George Graham

The Real Bottom Line


I just read a report that big-money donors are threatening to abandon the Democratic Party “if they go too far left.”

As an example, a wealthy Democratic donor named Stephen Cloobeck said on TV recently:

I’ve talked to Schumer. I’ve talked to Wyden. I’ve talked to Pelosi.  And I said if you use the term billionaires again, I’m done… And I told them to stop it. Knock it off…

Asked if he is worried about the party moving too far to the left, Cloobeck declared:

So much so it would make me quit the party. And I’ve made it very clear I’ll cut your money off. And others will do the same.

Cloobeck must think money buys elections. And I can understand why. The recent obscene spending on election campaigns in Ameruca might make it seem the Almighty Dollar determines results at the ballot box. But what does money really buy?

Ads of course. And professional campaign operatives with their skill at “getting out the vote.” Psychological manipulators with their focus groups and creepy behavior management… All of it indisputably useful.

But money can’t buy enthusiasm. Money can’t buy conviction. Money can’t buy passion.

And that’s the bottom line.

Bernie’s crusade in the last presidential election demonstrated the power of the people over the power of the purse.   And Trump’s showmanship, salesmanship and guile defeated Hillary’s massive spending.

Cloobeck argues that everybody hopes to get rich some day and they don’t want the government taking their money when they do.

But that kind of thinking by America’s politicians has already produced an economic environment in which the top 10 percent of the population owns 80 percent of the wealth.  Even the most deluded American must by now realize how elusive that pot of gold has become for the ordinary working stiff.

So when the big money threatens to abandon the Democratic Party, I say let them go.

There’s nothing Democrats have to offer those donors in return anyway.  Or there shouldn’t be.

In a two-party system, the parties should offer alternative agendas – not the same old system of serfdom and servility. When both parties are beholden to corporations and the rich, who will help the underdog? Nobody.

So what incentive does the underdog have to vote?

Democrats should tell Daddy Warbucks to keep his ill-gotten riches. We aren’t for sale any longer. We will make do with our nickels and dimes.

When we the people pay the piper, we the people will call the tune.

The Cloobeck interview

About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for