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Fearless Philosophy For Free Minds: Culture of Corruption

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Culture of Corruption

I find it very amusing all this talk from the American Left about this so-called “culture of corruption” in the current Republican-led government. I agree that there is a culture of corruption in all levels of government but these people would have us believe that this corruption started when the Republicans took control of congress and climaxed when George W. Bush became president. When the Democrats held power, there was no corruption in government. Are we really as stupid as they think we are? I know that the attention span for the average American citizen when it comes to politics is slightly below that of a common housefly but I cannot believe the average American believes that the U.S. government was scandal-free prior to the Republican Revolution of the 1990’s. How many jokes does the Average American know about crooked politicians? Here’s one:

Father: “Now son, you know where all liars go?”

Son: “Hell?”

Father: “No, Washington D.C.”

I heard that joke when I was a child—back when the Democrats controlled both houses of congress. There were many more jokes just like it. Politicians generally are not spoken of in a positive manner. Politicians are held with about the same regard as used car salesmen, lawyers, and television evangelists (though politicians seem to possess the traits of all three). This is nothing new. Corruption in government is as old (if not older) as government and civilization itself. This is why we Libertarians and Classical Liberals want a smaller and more accountable government; neither party can be trusted with the type of power we, the American people have allowed the government to take over the last century.

Democrats seem to be counting on the Jack Abramoff scandal to swing public opinion back in their favor. The mantra at this point is that this is a “Republican scandal.” Is it? Does anyone honestly believe that Democrat politicians are not corrupted by many of the same corrupting influences; that Democrat politicians are above corruption? Recent history suggests otherwise. Let’s take a stroll down memory lane shall we?

Where to begin? There was Al Gore’s fundraising scandal involving a Buddhist temple, Bill Clinton used the Lincoln Bedroom as a way to reward campaign contributors, Clinton received illegal campaign support from foreign governments (including Red China), the Clinton pardon scandal and very many other well documented Clinton administration scandals which involved convictions, resignations, or removal. Not recent enough? Ohio Representative James Traficant (D) was convicted of bribery, racketeering, and tax evasion. The House unanimously voted to remove him in July of 2002. A mere three months later New Jersey Senator Robert Torricelli (D) was forced to drop out of his Senate race because of poor polling numbers stemming from his own campaign ethics problems.

Returning to the current corruption scandal, according to NewsMax (for what it is worth, it is an admittedly conservative source) nearly 90% of Senate Democrats took money from Abramoff. It will be extremely interesting when Abramoff starts naming names. I will not be at all surprised if a number of Democrats are implicated along with their Republican counterparts. Let the chips fall where they may. Whoever is being bought off should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Maybe by then we will all have some idea of the true scope of this culture of corruption in Washington and be reminded why we should watch our government officials (Left, Right, or Center) even more closely.


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