Traditionally, this repost would be in the “National” section, but I’ve decided instead to use it as the main post on the home page here. This was originally published on January 14th of 2009, but it is just as relevant today.
It will, sadly, continue to be relevant until we get a grip on our political process. Contrary to popular opinion, our political process is not fueled by money or votes (although it looks that way). The lifeblood of American politics, for at least the last 80 years has been corruption.
On Friday, the Illinois legislature voted (nearly unanimously) to impeach embattled Governor “Hot” Rod Blockheadjevich. The reason? U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald’s impending indictment of the Governor on charges of corruption and conspiring to auction off PEBO’s vacant Senate seat to the highest bidder.
The “Pay-To-Play” scandal has been headline news around the world for over a month now, with moral outrage and righteous indignation springing up from media organizations and all ends of the political spectrum.
My only question is this: What’s all the fuss? “Pay-to-play?” Doesn’t that sum up our entire modern political process?
Think about it.
You have a Congress with approval ratings below 30%, unemployment worse now than at any point in the last 15 years, and an economy that has been turned on its ear (by bad government regulations and politicians on the dole from the same failing companies whose solid financial footing they testified to just 3 years ago). All of this should add up to chaos, not to mention red-faced fury from the electorate, yet candidates in the last election cycle raised and spent over 2 billion of OUR dollars.
And what will be their #1 priority in Washington over the remainder of their terms? Yep, paying back all those big-dollar campaign donors with favorable regulations and government contracts for their friends’ companies. What do you get for the money you sent in? A momentary sense of satisfaction in supporting someone, monetarily and ideologically. Then, reality will set in as you realize that they, like all the rest, will continue the government tradition of confiscating your pay before you even see it.
Just something to chew on.
Look, perhaps it’s not quite as obvious as what Blockhead is accused of, but it seems to me that there are actually 537 elected officials in Washington, D.C. whose seats are bought and sold every election cycle. Does it have to be this way? Of course not.
But true change does not occur in a vacuum. It requires a significant outside force. I, for one, am proud to be an outsider. Will you join me in being part of the force?