History of Big Money & Social Change

Karl Zinsmeister, RealClearPolitics
There is a hue and cry from certain quarters today against private spending that aims to reform the politics, economics, or morals of our nation. But the truth is, such spending has been common right through American history. Indeed, big donors have fueled many of our proudest national transformations.Nineteenth-century social reformer Gerrit Smith, for instance, spent the equivalent of a billion dollars in present funds to help turn fellow Americans against slavery. He used the full spectrum of tools employed by todayÂ’s donors—creating advocacy groups, subsidizing newspapers, donating money…