Monday, January 05, 2009

Political Corruption...the American Way

When most Americans think of political corruption, we think of Latin America and African dictators. Rarely do we think of our own democracy. But corruption has been a part of the American way for ever. The difference is that many people tend to benefit from the corruptible behavior, not just the politician or his immediate family.

Earmarks are 100 percent corruption. Politician wanting for their districts things that matter little to those outside of the district -- using other people money for a politician's selfish needs. Result: more contributions and re-election.

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich who is charged with attempted to sell the Senate seat vacated by President-elect Obama is just normal behavior in Chicago politics. I see no reason not to allow Roland Burris to take that Senate seat after being appointed by a sitting governor, although tainted. Innocent until proven guilty...right?

Al Franken is declared the winner of the Minnesota Senate race unseating Norm Coleman with his 42% of the vote. The whole state-ran votes to count / votes not to count process is very shaky. A great editorial in today's WSJ clearly shows how corrupt the oversight process has been.

Votes are bought and sold. Donations are made and political payback is expected. That's just the way it is. If you decide to make a career out of politics, you make a conscious effort to lie, cheat and steal. They all start off justifying it but before long, they are as corrupt as the next guy.

Political party does not matter. Professional and education backgrounds do not matter. Religious affiliation does not matter. The Mormon politicians are every bit as corrupt as the Baptist, Evangelical, Jew, Catholic or agnostic.

It is really hard to image how any long-serving politician will make it through the pearly gates, unless of course, the gatekeeper is one of his cronies. Cronyism is certainly a part of all churches and religious organization, including the Mormon church.


Eric Browan said...

I'm sorry you are down on public service and anything relating to politics. Blanket statements that "all politicians are corrupt" is as silly as saying "all Mormons are homophobic bigots."

If there is anything Mormons should learn from King Benjiman, Alma, and the many other leaders who "reigned in Righteousness" and "brought peace" to the land, it's that good people can do great things for their people. Remember the non-prophetic leaders that also get mention in the BoM.

JH said...

thanks for the comment. I should have stated on the federal level and to a certain extent on the state level. It is impossible for anyone other than the very wealth; e.g., M. Romney, to afford a run for office.

A campaign need money, lots of it. Where does money come from? Donors. Do donors want anything in return other than ideological consistency? Many do; especially the the big donors.

Big donor constituencies are nothing more than lobbyists.

Politicians may not go to Washington with corruption on the mind, but they get there eventually.

Eric Browan said...

Modern campaigns do require tremendous resources but a diverse public donor constituency doesn't worry me. It's the private corporate donors that can influence decision makers against public interest without accountability.