Could you be the next president?

By Valarie Frost
Contributing Writer

Behind every presidential election, there is a large amount of money that backs each candidate’s campaign. In order to run for president, you would have to raise enormous amounts of money.

The top six candidates in the 2016 election have raised a total of over $217 million for their campaigns, with nine months to go. So far, an additional $187 million has been raised by super PACs and “outside” organizations to spend on these candidates.

Super PACs are committees that are able to raise an unlimited amount of money from large businesses and corporations in order to vouch for a specific political candidate. This is money that would be nearly impossible to raise alone, and is a big reason why people feel voiceless when it comes to politics.

Fortunately, for the first time, all of the presidential candidates have been talking about the problem of money in our political system. They all agree that something has to be done in order for citizens to receive the change they demand.

Some candidates suggest little change, while others are serious about changing the way that campaigns are funded. Right now, they are mostly funded by rich donors and large corporations. By changing the money that goes into campaigns, it will give American voters a louder voice in the election process.

This also makes it more probable that you could run for president without having to come up with large sums of money. This will only happen if people, including us students, vote to show that we want to be a part of our elections. So I’m going to pay attention this time, and I’m going to vote.

I’m going to figure out which candidates are serious about reforming the way political campaigns are funded. If we can get big money out of politics, we can make progress on so many other things I care about—climate change, economic inequality, the high cost of college, the out-of-control student debt, mass incarceration, and more.

If we allow rich donors, corporations, and unfair politics decide our laws, there will no longer be a democracy in America. To go against these issues is to encourage a government that is truly by and for the people.

The student vote is important and decides what kind of country we want to create. Support candidates who will make it possible for students and citizens to have a voice. We can make it possible for all of us to say that we could be the next president of the United States.