The differences between United States President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump are legion, but nothing can distill the political gulf between two men quite as well as a good old-fashioned Reddit AMA.
On Wednesday, Trump placed himself at the mercy of the "front page of the internet" — or, more specifically, Reddit's pro-Trump and unabashedly racist The_Donald subreddit — answering questions about Obamacare, immigration and "media elites".
And then came a question about "reducing or removing the influence of money on politics," which Trump answered in what is essentially boilerplate language for him at this point: "Keeping Crooked Hillary Clinton out of the White House!"Hillary Clinton out of the White House!"
The issue at hand: In both cases, the question refers to the Supreme Court's ruling on Supreme Court's ruling on Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which says that corporations have the same fundamental rights as human beings, thus enabling them to contribute unlimited amounts of money to political campaigns.
Ending the influence of money in politics has been an issue championed by Democrats. In her acceptance speech of the 2016 presidential nomination at the Democratic National Convention Thursday night, Hillary Clinton said that if elected, she would work to pass a constitutional amendment overturning the Citizens United decision.
"I believe American corporations that have gotten so much from our country should be just as patriotic in return," she said. "Many of them are. But too many aren't. It's wrong to take tax breaks with one hand and give out pink slips with the other."
The responses, side-by-side: In his 2013 response, Obama addressed the Supreme Court case by name, saying that the unfettered ability of corporations to influence elections has threatened to "drown out the voices of ordinary citizens."Supreme Court case by name, saying that the unfettered ability of corporations to influence elections has threatened to "drown out the voices of ordinary citizens."
He also mentions the Disclosure Act, the Congress-backed legislation aimed at making campaign donation transparency mandatory for corporations.
Trump, on the other hand, doesn't mention anything about Citizen's United, or the corrupting influence of money in politics, for that matter.
Instead, he chooses to respond with an ad hominem attack on Clinton, his political rival — and, in the process, fails to address the substantive issue in a meaningful way.