Another Brick In The Wall

(“We The People Build The Wall” Fund, A New Wave In Political Activism?)

Trump Wall

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Perell, AP

2018-12-30

Since the discovery and founding of the United States of America the principle of “if you want it done, do it yourself” has been a driving force in its society. This continues to reign true, even through to modern day as one veteran from Florida has shown us. In light of the looming government shutdown on the twenty second, Brian Kolfage, a triple amputee, purple heart recipient, has decided to take matters into his own hands. By simply creating a GoFundMe page titled “We The People Will Build The Wall”, Brian has raised over eighteen million dollars for the cause in less than fourteen days, with the help of over 300,000 donors. With the final goal of raising upwards of one billion dollars, Brian’s ambitions are high, but with the rapid growth of his movement they are becoming possible. The U.S government has accepted donations before, according to the National Park Services a Philanthropist just recently donated 7.5 million dollars to fund reparations to the Washington Memorial in Washington D.C. The wall fund would coincide with this precedent. If successful, could this type of fundraising mark a new era of political activism? One that is much more accessible to the average citizen?

Although this campaign is making a splash in the mainstream media outlets, it is not the first political fundraiser through GroupMe to be wildly successful. In recent news the same website was used to fund Christine Blasey Ford during her testimony to the supreme court during the Kavanaugh confirmation controversy, raising $647,610 in all. Other political activists run donation campaigns for various causes as well, however what is unique about the “We The People Will Fund the Wall” fund is that it is allowing individual small donors to donate money straight to the government for a specific program. Could this be used as a referendum by the general population in the future? Allowing individuals to voice their opinions, and put their financial support directly into government programs that they feel passionate about, in order to streamline the ever so common stagnation in Congress? It certainly seems that way as the fund continues to gain momentum.

Naturally many questions have arised about this fund. Are there big corporations pushing for it? What does the average donation look like? Could this entire fund be the product of just a few large donors seeking personal gain from either the fund itself, or the resulting effects of the wall? Surprisingly, it seems that the answer to that question is no. According to the official GoFundMe page, the largest individual donation was fifty thousand dollars, made by an anonymous source. Now that is without a doubt a very pretty penny, however in comparison to the ever increasing eighteen million raised by the fundraiser, 0.27% of total funds doesn’t seem to be a majorly influential number. The third highest donor and first appearing business donor shown as of now is Fortress Stabilization Systems, a basement wall repair company that is the closest to a big business donor as any of the donations seem to get. Donating a total of $12,000, Fortress Stabilization Systems’ donations roughly equate to a minute 0.066% of total funding, making the “grand industrial influences” argument a difficult one to support. It appears that the average donation on this fund ranges from about twenty to fifty dollars, mostly from individuals. It is also notable to add that the donors appear to be from all walks of life, ethnicities, and cultures, an interesting political unity for this cause not being discussed or considered by many other blogs.

The fund has now reached the tip of the “Top Funds” page on GoFundMe.com and has its own official donation website at www.wefundthewall.com. The fund now has just under one million shares and is gaining an increasing following on social media. However with this growing publicity arises growing criticism as well. Critics claim that even if the fund reaches its one billion dollar goal, it would not be enough to fund the entire wall. The U.S House of Representatives have placed an eight billion dollar minimum price tag on the border wall, a cost eight times greater than the end goal of the GoFundMe page. Despite this daunting challenge, Brian Kolfage remains undeterred and more determined than ever, campaigning for his fund on Laura Ingraham’s, “The Ingraham Angle” on Fox news. Will Brian be able to reach his goal? Will this fund inspire similar types of political activism in the future? Only time can truly tell.




 

Source Material

https://www.gofundme.com/help-christine-blasey-ford

 

https://www.gofundme.com/TheTrumpWall

 

https://www.nps.gov/wamo/learn/news/philanthropist-donates-7-million-dollars-to-repair-washington-monument.htm