Can We Stamp Money Out Of Politics… With A Stamp?
The other day, when I looked at my change from the grocery store, one bill stood out in particular. It was a one dollar bill, and right next to the face of George Washington, there was printed, in red ink, the message: Stamp Money Out Of Politics: Amend The Constitution”. I’d never seen this message before, but it certainly got my attention, so I decided to research where the bill had come from.
Looking more closely at the stamped message, I saw that there was a web address there, but I couldn’t quite make it out, as the ink was smudged. Still, it wasn’t hard to find the site online. A simple Startpage search for the phrase “stamp money out of politics stamp” brought me to the site Stamp Stampede.
It turns out that Stamp Stampede, which is dedicated to spreading opposition to unlimited campaign finance through independent expenditures by commercial corporations, was founded by Ben Cohen, one of the founders of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream. The inspiration for Stamp Stampede came in part from Occupy George, a similar activist effort in which red messages about income inequality are stamped on dollar bills.
Is Stamp Stampede an effective form of activism? In its ultimate goal, to get corporate money out of our democratic process, it hasn’t worked yet. However, that one stamped dollar bill did get me to take notice of the cause, and to write about it, spreading word of it to you. So, it’s been successful at least in moving the issue forward that one additional step…
… which is more than will get done if we just sit around and fume in private about how corrupt the American electoral system has become.