Politics. I think after reading the title of this article and the first word, most people would simply nod sagely and be ready to move on. It’s no secret that there is a lot of corruption in the world of politics, and the consequences are felt by everyone, everywhere. From officials being paid off to do the bidding of corporate America to power hungry individuals who just want to be in control, we are beset on all sides by opportunists.
What sparked my thought for this article wasn’t necessarily political corruption in general, however. We accept a certain amount of political maneuvering in our government as par for the course and we rarely think about it unless something truly surprising comes to light. Even then, though, once the political landscape has been rocked and the issue has been resolved to some degree, we are all too ready to forget about it and move on.
The real insidiousness of the political scam is not only the breadth and scope of it, but the length of time in which it occurs. Much like the ponzi scheme that starts small and then grows to gargantuan size before it is discovered it was a house of cards to begin with, so it is with our political system. Like any scheme ever created, there comes a reckoning in which the truth is discovered and there are consequences to be had.
Our political system has been plagued by career politicians who produce nothing, yet benefit greatly. In the real world, these people are caught and imprisoned, and rightly so because they are taking money without providing anything in return. This is called stealing, and we have fairly strict laws about that. You take what you haven’t earned and you go to prison, and just about everyone seems to agree on that point.
Yet when it comes to the government, we don’t seem to have the same standard. A person can enter “public service” in their early twenties and spend a lifetime making backroom deals to make significant sums of money while contributing little or nothing to the system in which they are supposed to be participating. Even when they get caught, there is just a slap on the wrist and an admonition to not do it again. How often do we see political scandals end up with prison time?
What I find most interesting is that it now feels like America is getting toward the tail end of the most massive scheme ever devised. As the scheme runs it’s course and runs out of witless victims, people start to catch on and the scheme loses it’s appeal. Those who got the worst of it are suddenly started from their blissful ignorance, and there are angry calls for justice. So it appears to be with the current political climate. People are tired of being lied to.
You can only continue deceiving people as long as you can maintain their trust. Once broken, it becomes nearly impossible to restore. The American public has trusted the politicians for far longer than we ever should have, but it isn’t all our fault. Polished lies are difficult to see past, and anyone could be forgiven for hearing and seeing what they wanted. The best liars are experts at making us think they are giving us what we want. It is only at the end when they can’t produce and are finally forced to admit they never could that the scheme falls apart. By then they’ve made their fortunes and are ready to move on.
The unrest in our country is a result of many things, but I get the feeling that this scheming mindset is at the core of it all. We have had so many legitimate problems in our history, and for the most part we’ve solved most of them, despite what mainstream politics would have us believe. It is the dishonesty of those who stand to gain the most from our disunity that keeps us trapped in this endless cycle of political oppression. But now it’s finally time to wake up from the dreamy lassitude that our political system has created and start asking the hard questions…and demanding hard justice.
What do you think about political scheming? Can you think of any examples of how the leadership of this country put their own interests ahead of the nation? How many people have benefitted from the political corruption in our country? As the best and brightest nation in the world for nearly a century, it is difficult to imagine how much money has been stolen from the people. Imagine how much better it would be if we could somehow get it all back.
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