Annie Michigan

Anonymity and monetary support

Dear Mr./Madam President,

allow me to provide you with an allegory in hopes of providing you some insight into my viewpoint that anonymous political monetary support is problematic. Imagine if you would two birds, one blue jay and the other a cardinal. The blue jay chirped louder than the other birds and had a craving for power, he was fine with his voice being heard. The cardinal on the other hand did not like all the chirps that the blue jay made but decided show his support; he decided to give the blue jay some berries, but he did not tell the blue jay and the other birds who he was or the amount of berries that he gave the blue jay. The other birds did not understand why the blue jay got berries from some a secret bird with an unknown amount of berries? Was it do to the fear of backlash from his fellow birds? Was it pride? Shame? Protection? Can anyone answer the birds questions Madam/Mr. President? I surely can not. Does one seem that secrecy is justified? This scenario leads me to a topic of which I am passionate; the topic at hand being anonymous support. For what reason would someone chose to remain anonymous? I do not posses the answer to my question, however I have gathered sufficient information in regards to the effects of secrecy on a community in hopes of demonstrating how possibly detrimental this secrecy could become. Why would one accept money from anonymous people? Why do people give money as a symbol of support? What is the purpose? Is the political purpose to fund campaigns or does the money stretch to other areas? It is currently illegal for companies to buy or give goods as presents to figure heads. In gathering research questions that I generated included, who is responsible for limiting the amount of money one receives? Is there a limit? After doing some digging I found an answer; the limit is capped at $48,600. An individual can spend up to $48,600 on contributions to candidates, plus $74,600 total on contributions to political parties and committees. This sum of money raises a plethora of ethical, moral and economic questions. Firstly, from the standpoint of ethics, is it ethical to be given vasts amounts of money and not permit the public to know where the money is going or who the money is from? This secrecy in turn creates a lack of trust among citizens; with a lack of trust fear increases. It is well known that politicians are dishonest but to what extent is this dishonesty hurting your presidency in the long run? This brings up the issue of full disclosure; must one need to fully disclose information such as who donates what amount and what is done with the money or is that unnecessary? Also what is keeping people from disclosing that they are financially supporting a candidate? This mystery increases the tension as to what one is hiding from the public. Are people that embarrased to be backing candidates that they do not wish to disclose their names? Going into the moral dilemma of the situation are the morals of this country easily bypassed when it means one’s own financial gain? Is one willing to succumb to bribery of sorts? How far can moral boundaries and limits stretch? There are more beneficial ways to demonstrate support. I believe that when you are given money without the public knowing the donor questions of your morals are raised. Allow me to elaborate; when accepting support in the form of a monetary gain the question raised by many is why does one need money in order to demonstrate that they are being supported? In my opinion one’s words should be enough as well as your track record and history to sway the minds of voters. It as if you are inquired about your honesty or credibility and you ask your friend to vouch for you. In reality you should not need your friend to vouch for you; your words and previous actions should be enough to prove to whomever that you are worthy of his trust. Mr/Madam. President money cannot be your friend nor can it be symbolic of the amount of support you possess; there are more valuable symbols of support than a check. To continue, money leads to issues of honesty and issues of corruption. With all of the struggles you have now found yourself facing you do not need an alleged scandal on your hands. If you think about this topic with an economic viewpoint in mind one can start to question how is it possible for you to have gained that much money throughout your journey to the White House? Who is backing you that makes that much money? $48,600 is more than the average person makes in a year, so who is the incredibly wealthy company or person that is throwing money towards you? In my mind there should be no reason that one needs money in order for people to believe his or her viewpoint more so than anothers. Ethos is an appeal to ethics, and it is a means of convincing someone of the character or credibility of the persuader. Pathos is an appeal to emotion, and is a way of convincing an audience of an argument by creating an emotional response. Logos is an appeal to logic, and is a way of persuading an audience by reason. Ethos: it is ethically questionable for people to pay political figure heads in order to aid in their campaigns. Furthermore it is even more suspect that people chose to not state their name or remain anonymous, in my opinions it makes one’s motives questionable. Pathos: without transparency there is a lack of trust and no one wants a president that they can not trust. If there is a lack of trust fear will increase. This is common knowledge and the side effects have the ability to disable the United States. As displayed via “Ryan’s search and consulting” the effects include a lack of or no communication. An inability to return honesty or direct responses. An unwillingness to deal with conflict, and the growth of cliques. Logos: is it not reasonable to be truthful. This is not a situation of white lies, or lying in order to better others. Logically there is no reason to not tell the truth, it raises questions of honesty. The purpose of a President is to accomplish tasks and better the United States, and without trust the President can’t live up to his or her potential. Additionally, why chance creating more hatred against you because there are always people who will be against your opinions and actions. There should be 100% transparency when groups or individuals contribute to the election or re-election of officials. The people of the United States should feel confident that their elected officials policy decisions have not been influenced by someone because of the amount of money that has been donated to a campaign. One wonders why would a group or individual feel the need to hide or not disclose the amount that they’ve donated to officials campaigns and why wouldn’t the official disclose the donation to the public? Why do secret groups need to be formed with names that the public can’t link to certain causes or beliefs? Why should one individual’s influence be greater than anothers just because he/she contributed more money to an officials election campaign. This is my viewpoint, however there are two more ways in which to view this topic; these two viewpoints are the conservatives and the liberals. Conservatives feel that anyone should be able to donate any amount of money to an official’s campaign because that is part of their right to free speech. Liberals believe that the rich are merely using their wealth to exert an unfair advantage on the political system where money talks. It is understandable that money is needed in order to have a campaign because the public does not want to pay for the campaign via taxes. However many problems can rise when we don’t know where the money comes from. Without knowing the true identity of donors how are we to know their identity, it is extremely plausible that money for a candidate's campaign is not coming from the United States. Money can be coming off shore then the power of our politics is no longer in our hands. Many citizens do not like that outsiders can decide our affairs. And currently we do not know where our money is coming from. That is an issue because many citizens don’t feel comfortable having other countries influencing our decisions and dipping into our rights. To summarize, there are ethical, moral and economic questions and issues that are raised when anonymity is present in a candidate's road to the White House. Monetary support is a non-negative decision of a candidate, however the anonymity involved in said monetary support is still the present issue at hand. You have already made your way into the oval office, but you still have the ability to leave a legacy for future candidates. You have the opportunity to set a precedent for candidates in order to preserve your citizens safety and peace of mind. Congratulations Madam/Mr. President but remember, affluence and anonymity do not necessarily mix.

Sincerely, Annie Dargay 

Clarkston Community Schools

Eisele IB ELA 12


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