When the people see their national leaders repeatedly disobey the laws without any consequences, the people begin to lose respect for the law. When individuals in positions of authority and responsibility show through their actions contempt for the law, there is a corrupting effect on the people. (We have all heard the phrase “lead by example”.) Over time, there is a growing or cumulative effect on the people – corrosive to their moral character – that contributes to them acting lawlessly themselves.
To maintain confidence in the integrity of the government and its various departments, there must not be even be the perception of corruption. Yet, what do we see in Washington, D.C. from those in positions of responsibility in our national government? A recent Secretary of State, now seeking to be President, that engaged in illegal activities. As more of her past actions come to light, evidence of her corrupt character and behavior mounts. A politicized Department of Justice (including the FBI), and an IRS (Department of the Treasury) that targets for abuse the political opponents of the President and those who oppose his destructive policies (remember Lois Lerner). The FBI did not pursue its investigation of Hillary Clinton to its logical end, that of recommending that the attorney general impanel a grand jury to seek an indictment of her for her crimes.
What else do we see? Lobbyists for various special interests spreading the money around to buy influence over lawmakers in Congress. Make no mistake: both major political parties are corrupt. (The Republican Establishment opposes Trump because he wants to break up the climate or culture of corruption that permeates Washington.)
Corruption is not limited to government. Banking executives reap huge yearly financial bonuses after overseeing unethical and at times illegal practices in their banking corporations.
Let us consider so-called special interest groups for a moment. Any group of individuals that votes, lobbies, or argues for one position on an issue, or for one program, or one agenda that benefits themselves either at the expense of other people or without benefit to other people can be included here. The moral myopia is important to note. There are many such groups that do not care about the general welfare of the country as a whole. Rather, they want their own way on their particular issue even if that means backing candidates that will do great harm in other areas. Yes, one can consider “pro-choice” women and “gay rights” activists as special interest groups. (In truth, Hillary Clinton’s coalition, “Stronger Together”, is a collection of numerous and diverse special interest groups.) The power of special interest groups helps to keep the culture of corruption intact in Washington.
Will the people continue to allow this lawless behavior of their government officials? Under our form of government in the US, the government is really a reflection of we the people. Sorry to say, that albeit there are tens of millions of decent people with good values in our nation, there are even more people who do not have true values and have lost their virtue. Misled by the biased media that controls what they see and (more importantly) do not see on TV, and bought off by government checks and big government promises and programs, or voting (rather selfishly) only for one issue that for them trumps all other issues facing the country, they keep the criminals in power. It is a sorry state or condition that does not bode well for the future of the US.
other related thoughts
We addressed demoralising the people in a much earlier essay (July, 2012) that is worth a read or re-read.
There is more at stake in these times than the moral character of the people. The nation’s economy is being crippled by the policies being imposed on it by those miscreants in Washington. Long term damage is being done. When I drive home each week from physical therapy, I pass by an elementary school about the time that it lets the students leave for home. It saddens me to think that the young children I see will have a much tougher time of it when they are adults. They will not have a very bright future and that will not be their doing. It is immoral what the corrupt, lawless government is doing to current and future generations.
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