A friend from Terre Haute assures me there is a headstone in town with the inscription “Here lies a Democrat, a father, and an honest man.” His question was why they put three people in the same grave?
A friend in Louisiana used to say voters there didn’t expect their politicians to be corrupt, they demanded it.
One can make the argument the people we choose to be elected officials should be better than average. We want them to be. And they certainly think highly of themselves.
No one ever successfully ran for office with a motto that “I suck less,” or “No worse than the other guy,” or “At least if I serve you don’t have to.” No. We charmingly, naively cling to the hope that our leaders, in church, government, education, or our families, may be better well-equipped to lead.
Yet the public servant who puts our interests ahead of theirs is as scarce as a Lean Cuisine in Jerry Nadler’s freezer.
Until we take the profit out of government things won’t change. Too many people view government as a way to get rich or, in the case of Clinton, to pick up chicks.
Current law allows members of Congress to essentially benefit from insider trading. If a constituent tells them of a pending development, announcement, or new product line, our elected officials are given a peak under the tent that puts then in a position to profit in ways unavailable to mere mortals.
The day before Joe Biden announced that the federal government was moving to an all-electric fleet, Nancy Pelosi’s husband bought a million dollars in Tesla stock. They do it all the time and aren’t even very clever about it. What a coincidence. Our expectations of elected officials are so low, and the chances of mainstream media letting them get away with it so high, that there is little risk for the political elite.
Harry Reid made a fortune as a U. S. Senator, a job that never paid more than $200,000 a year. He bought and sold vast tracts of land that, again coincidentally, benefitted from changes in federal policies in which he played a role. Nice gig if you can get it.
The Clintons, of course, developed grifting into an art form. By forming the Clinton Global Initiative, and shaking down foreign donors and corporate elites to pay for it all, Bill and Hill managed to live a lifestyle that would make your average Sultan jealous. They gave about three per cent of the money raised to charity. Almost all went to staff salaries, expenses, and luxurious travel. The lesson from the Clintons? Why pay for your own private planes and first-class hotels when you can get others to pay for it?
Our new president is demonstrably among the more corrupt ever to seek the office. He is president largely because the mainstream media refuses to cover his corruption. His son received millions in direct payments from a Russian oligarch for no apparent reason, except the obvious one, which is to buy access to Dad. He was paid millions to sit on the board of an energy company (a field in which he had zero experience) in the Ukraine. He got $1.5 billion from the Chinese Communist Party to invest and manage for them, again although he had no experience in the field.
It should be concerning, for anyone who values freedom, that the Biden’s most generous international benefactor is the Chinese. You know, the nation that practices genocide and has no use for freedom. Yeah, that China. When a president and his son pursue policies that benefit a sworn enemy, we have a problem.
We also know that the CEO of Hunter’s company has said, publicly and on the record, that Joe knew about it all and benefited personally from it. And, of course, the DOJ is investigating Hunter for money laundering. No big deal. Nothing to see here.
It is difficult for people to base voting decisions on information they do not have. Thus, when social media censored these and similar stories, and when the MSM failed to cover them, millions of Americans didn’t hear about it. There are millions who think the Chinese money or Ukraine stories are just made-up conspiracy theories - even though they are undeniably true – simply because the places where they get information did not cover them.
Possibly the best work on all of this has been done by Peter Schweizer. He has been indefatigable and bipartisan in his exposure of corruption among our political elite. Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell, and Diane Feinstein are just three examples of how foreign nations, our avowed enemies, buy access to our leaders by paying their families. The worst part? In many cases it is entirely legal.
We will continue to have government that does not care about us, does not serve the common interest, and looks with disdain on those of us who aren’t counted among the political elite, as long as we keep tolerating their dishonesty.
One of the changes in party loyalty and composition in recent elections has been the increased support for Democratic candidates by Wall Street, high tech executives, and others in the corporate elite. In recent campaigns, Democrats have outraised Republicans on Wall Street, in Silicon Valley, and certainly in Hollywood. And it isn’t even close. A lot of corporate chieftains are happy to turn their freedom, and no small part of their fortunes, over to people like Pelosi, Clinton, and Biden, if they get to be in the club, too.
Rather than being freedom-loving entrepreneurs and defenders of capitalism, leaders of companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter are sucking up to Congressional leaders and begging for governmental regulation. And why not? Regulation raises the cost of entry and lessens the chances that a competitor can take market share from them.
Do yourself a favor and pick-up copies of Clinton Cash or Secret Empires by Peter Schweizer. He has done the best work of anyone on the way our elites use politics to get rich.
People like Biden, the Clintons, the Obamas, the Reids, and the McConnells got rich by being public servants. Much of it legally but through questionable ethics.
Our founding fathers thought public service was a good thing, an honorable pursuit, and something they would do for a while and then go back to tending their fields, practicing law, or manufacturing. Today, too many of our leaders start out as unexceptional, if ambitious, people and run for office to build wealth, sell influence, and gain power. It has been said that politics is show business for the ugly. If your ego requires stroking, your bank account needs an infusion, and you’re possessed of flexible morals, running for office is an option you should consider. If we keep electing people who fit those descriptions, we get what we deserve.
You are more likely to find a narcissist candidate than an altruistic one. And get this clear: “Narcissistic Altruist” is a contradiction in terms. Like “Democratic Socialism,” “Religious Atheist,” or “Conservative Democrat.” There is no such thing. You can’t put your own interests, wealth, or greed first and still put the interests of your constituents first.
Our freedom is at risk and we will be disappointed if we expect corrupt people in business and government to fight for it.