POLITICAL CORRUPTION

You hear the word corrupt thrown around a lot these days when it comes to politics. You hear the phrase the whole system is corrupt. Is our system of choosing candidates corrupt? Are all politicians crooked?

According to Merriam Webster corrupt is when you are doing things that are dishonest or illegal in order to make money or to gain or keep power.

You’ve heard people talk that all politicians are crooked. Like all generalities, there is some truth to the claim but all in all the truth probably is that some politicians are dishonest. To paraphrase Lord Acton, money tends to corrupt and a lot of money can corrupt a lot of people.

The trouble with politics now matter where you are is that when money is involved you have a potential problem. In today’s run for the Presidency it is interesting to note that the two candidates who are outsiders, who claim to be not part of the system claim that the system is corrupt. It is as if you are part of the system you are thereby condemned by the mere association that you are corrupt. Legally we can not have campaign finance reform. We are temporarily forced to comply with Citizens United.

Candidates take money from both corporations and individual contributions. With very few exceptions this is how our system operates. But to make the assumption that by taking money from corporations you have done things that are dishonest or illegal is a big assumption. This is what part of what the Bernie Sanders campaign is asserting. He assumes that if you have accepted money from the top 1 to 1 and 1/2 percent you have been corrupted and dishonest in your dealings.

This is an insult and a damaging one to those among us who are honest and hard working public servants. The idea is to listen to each every constituent.

We are thereby to assume that Hillary Clinton was to ignore her own constituent, Wall Street. Are we going to make the rich the enemy. It sure sounds like it. If you listen and give an honest hearing to each person or entity it does not mean you have sold your soul and have become dishonest and have thereby done something illegal. What about Warren Buffet or Bill Gates are we to refuse to listen to them just because they are wealthy?

Donald Trump pretends to be immune to outside influence because he is self funding his campaign. He might be doing that but does that mean he is honest?

Three of the best president’s we have had were wealthy, each in their own way, Franklin Roosevelt, Teddy Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy were a traitor to their class. They felt obligated to because of their wealth to serve and serve honorably because of a noble obligation to give back to society more because they had been lucky enough to gain wealth.

Each person and each incident should be treated fairly and without any preconceived notions just because you have been given a donation.

We would all be better for it if the law were different. Teddy Roosevelt was right when he said that no corporation should be allowed to give a dime to any political committee or candidate due to its undue influence. This is true now and it was true over a hundred years ago. We have a law that is wrong which is Citizens United. It is the law of the land. It makes it harder for a politician to be honest. But that does not mean that just because you have complied with the law and accepted corporate donations that you are therefore corrupt. Judge Wisely by the facts not by supposition.

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