In Brief— Part 1 of “A Dose of Reality” explained how there is little justice in America. This part examines the reality of how the American government is drowning in corruption. While corruption has existed from America’s beginning, the Trump administration sets new records for corruption. [Written in December 2016-January 2017.]
“Politics is Corrupting”—
When asked for her candid view of politics, my former wife who had been immersed in the political world stated succinctly that “politics is corrupting.” This piece puts meat on the bones of her brief but pithy observation.
In Part 1 of “A Dose of Reality” I spoke of Human Nature as including both the good and bad aspects of being a human. Every human has those aspects within. Corruption, double-dealing and duplicity are parts of Human Nature. This piece merely scratches the surface of America’s political culture.
What exactly does corruption mean? Basically, it is a process by which something is changed from its original form or meaning to something that is deceptive or fraudulent.
Let’s start with congress. The United States Congress is referred to as “The Millionaire’s Club.” Why? Once in office, a member of congress sees his (most are male and white) net worth exceed a million dollars. In many cases, it exceeds ten million dollars. It’s not salaries, it’s investments. Where does that investment advice come from? Wealthy donors whisper advice into the shell-like ears of their representatives and senators. Do you wonder why those representatives do the bidding of their rich donors? Ever hear of Insider Trading? According to the law, that’s illegal. Corruption
As an aside, it should be noted that the Republicans in the House of Representatives voted on January 3, 2017, to gut the independent Ethics Office because it did its job in investigating miscreants of both parties including Republicans who voted to gut the Ethics Office. Due to the public outcry, the House backed down and shelved the action. Could they have attempted the gutting because Donald Trump’s business dealings might also be challenged as unethical? If it looks like a duck…!
The above ethics-gutting—which incidentally is primarily taking place in Republican strongholds across America—demonstrates the extremes politicians seem willing to use. I’m compelled to add that attempting to conceal a crime is also a crime. Look for this example of corruption to surface again…and again and again. Lest you think I’m attacking only the Republicans, banish the thought. Democrats want to protect their perks, too.
As you may recall, not only do most voters have no idea what their representative stands for or has voted for, but the vast majority of representatives are reelected: 97% for the House and 90% for the senate. In effect, many voters are casting their votes for corruption. Let’s see what happens in 2018. Is anybody paying attention?
Now let’s look at representations made by the U.S. government, the Democratic Party and the FBI. They claim that the Russians hacked and influenced the American election. Computer experts traced the hacks back to the Ukraine, parts of which are controlled by Russia. There’s a gap between the charges that Russia did the dirty deed and undeniable proof. Maybe the Russians actually influenced the American election. As of this writing, we don’t yet know; hints of truth but the proof remains open, stoutly denied by the corrupt Trump administration where lies are common. The smell of corruption is in the air.
There has long been the assumption that Richard Nixon deliberately sabotaged a proposed peace settlement of the Vietnam War in order to get reelected. Now it has been proved from H.R. Haldeman’s notes that Nixon deliberately sabotaged the peace settlement in order to be reelected. Here we see an assumption confirmed as fact. Tricky Dick Nixon was a liar when he denied his actions. This is a man who was called ”a statesman” by his fellow politicians and many pundits. Nixon was corrupt.
The National Security Agency (NSA) continues to assert that they have done nothing wrong in their surveillance practices and that everything they do is constitutional. As Edward Snowden has proven from the NSA’s own files, and as several federal courts have shown, substantial parts of the NSA’s surveillance are unconstitutional. Put bluntly, the NSA and those who support the NSA’s actions are liars. That’s corruption.
I’ve told you about the Republican effort to corrupt the ethics office. Well, now they are attempting to make the independent budget office a partisan organ that’s no longer an independent source of information. Why? Because the budget office will explain the truth about the doctored numbers provided by the Republicans. They don’t want the truth. That’s Corruption.
As if that weren’t enough, a former Navy admiral and eight other officers have now been charged with bribery that cost us millions of dollars. That’s corruption!
This is just a teeny-tiny fraction of the corruption of the American government, a miniscule piece of the corruption that has gone on since America became a nation. The Trump administration’s corruption on steroids reveals it’s getting much, much worse. The level of corruption is mind-boggling. It’s said that daylight is the best disinfectant. Is there daylight in America’s future? Fact is that we are daily seeing the corruption of the Trump gang and Republicans growing so fast that our heads are spinning. Hey, folks, we need to be very worried.
Our democracy—or what’s left of it—now faces the peril of becoming an authoritarian state. Only America’s citizens can turn it around and make America the best it can be. Except for the endemic corruption, I’m still optimistic enough to believe America can be saved. What about you?
The Weekly Sampler—
As a reminder, go to the Archives on the right side of the page and click on the month and year of that week’s featured Sampler. If you wish, go to the January 15, 2017, blog (“A Simple Reading Assignment”) for more thorough instructions.
If you want to read the entire piece, simply click on the box titled “Continue Reading.” When you want to read the next piece, simply swipe your cursor across the one you have been reading and you will find the next one. Do this every time you want to read the next piece.
Don’t miss the Comments and my replies. Even though the Sampler pieces are from the past, feel free to comment…or not.