Location: Texas, United States

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Corruption of Politics

It doesn't matter what topic you discuss. Chances are if it's scandalous, a politician somewhere is engaged in it. And this is not party-centric. If you're absolutely fair, you can't point to a particular major political party and say "See! They alone are guilty of this!". For every Mark Foley, you've got a Gerry Studds. For every Harry Reid, you've got a Bill Frist.

The point is, our political system is broken. Congress as a whole is more concerned about keeping their jobs, with pulling down more pork and benefits. And less concerned with actually governing this country the way it's people deserve. The election process becomes more and more bedraggled with every turn. Allegations of campaign fraud, voter fraud, polling fraud, and vote counting fraud dog the steps of most elections now. Some of it's sour grapes on the part of the person that lost their bid for office, and some of it is genuinely plausible.

Politically active judges do not help the situation at all. Can anyone come up with a valid, plausible reason why we shouldn't force people to prove who they are, as a requirement to vote? I think I know why judges are doing things like forbidding the enforcement of laws that do just that. But that thought makes me ill to my stomach. It encourages voter fraud. And if I think that the judicial branch is attempting to influence elections, I get upset to the point of ranting aloud to myself. So, in a brief moment of fortune telling, here's what I see happening next month.

Whoever loses in Arizona and/or Missouri (and any other places that have voter ID laws circumvented) will launch a massive lawsuit claiming voter fraud. Votes will be recounted, registration lists will be double-checked, machines will be diagnosed, and nothing will change. The election will be allowed to stand. But the political party of the loser will from that day forward, point to that election as fraudulent. The problem is, they might be right.

Politicians have forgotten how to campaign honestly, and lose gracefully. Pointing out character flaws has devolved into mud-slinging, which has devolved into bitch-slapping, which has devolved into eye-gouging, which has devolved into public character castrations. How long until the situation has deteriorated to the point where someone just kills their political opponent? Think it can't happen? Look what happened to the mayoral candidate over in Russia.

Why have things gotten so bad? Because professional politics is lucrative. It's no longer about representing your constituants. It's about benefiting yourself. Gubanatorial candidate Kinky Friedman said it best. "Why did people spend millions of dollars, for a three hundred thousand dollar a year job?" when he discussed the last Texas gubanatorial election.

Ideally in my opinion, the way to fix things is to completely reform campaign finance, reform lobbying, and form a new political party that's free of all past (and hopefully future) scandals and questionable dealings. Of course, what do I know? I couldn't get elected if I wanted to. Too many mud-bogs in my past.

On a completely unrelated note, if anybody knows of more moderate liberal and conservative blogs than the ones I have in my links section. Please pass them on to me. I try to read the ones I have, but some days it's just too difficult to handle all the ranting, raving and genuine insanity.


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