Investigations have begun to uncover information about the role played by Russia in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. In a shocking revelation, it has been released that Donald Trump Jr. met with a Russian operative before the election took place. This event could have telling implications for the entire Trump administration, but it also reminds us of the dire state our current electoral system is in.
Foreign countries can take advantage of loopholes in our system and secretly deposit large sums of money to influence political affairs. It is believed that Russia spent money on popular media, internet trolls and hackers to influence American opinions and votes. Investigations continue to look for information on Russia’s meddling and the scope of its influence.
Currently, the law allows foreign countries to affect our political system through a loophole created by Citizens United. In 2010, the Supreme Court granted corporations the right to spend money on U.S. politics as long as they were American-registered, even if they were foreign-owned. This allows foreign leaders to easily have sway in our political campaigns. As a result, our politics lose their integrity and fail to protect the interests of American citizens.
The very notion that a foreign nation could interfere with our political system is a blow to democracy. Congress has a responsibility to step up and reform our campaign financing system. The government is meant to uphold the will of its people, and allowing back-door political dealings is an insult to the fundamental principles of democracy. The recent news of Trump’s collusions with Russia have shaken the trust of American voters, and Congress must react to correct the damage done by Citizens United.
End Citizens United is a political action committee devoted to removing big money from U.S. politics. The committee has already raised over $4 million this year and expects that it will raise over $35 million by the 2018 midterm elections. The group raised only $25 million for the 2016 election, its first year in action, so its new projection would be a significant increase of $10 million. The PAC had 100,000 contributors in the first three months of this year, and 40,000 of those who donated were first-time contributors.
Tiffany Mueller, the leader of the PAC, says that they aim to elect “campaign-finance reform champions” to Congress in next year’s midterm election. Trump’s presidential win was a blow to democrats and they are “ready to fight back” against his plans, as well as his Supreme Court nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch, Mueller says.