Monday, September 5, 2011

Corruption in politics

In a September 1 piece in the Allentown Morning Call headlined, A corrupt system still is in place, columnist Paul Carpenter pointed out the obvious: Not only are some elected officials corrupt, but the whole system is fraudulent. He was referring to politics as twisted in Harrisburg.
Readers of this blog will know that I have often referred to this phenomenon but have pointed out that the pestilence affects even the lowest of political bodies in PA.
Mr. Carpenter states: “Then, as now, news stories about all the corruption investigations and prosecutions made it seem that clean state government must be just around the corner. I am not going to hold my breath waiting for that to happen, because the same vile two-party monopoly that creates all these problems is still in place in Harrisburg.”
Neither am I nor am I going to expect it to suddenly end in local politics.
He continues: “The two-party system is not what politicians pretend it is — Democrats and Republicans combating each other. Each party serves respective special interests (and no one else), but otherwise they work hand-in-hand to maintain the monopoly. It is absolute power, and as Lord Acton put it in 1887, "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
The real enemy of either party is the threat of any third-party or independent movement. So the Democrats and Republicans have conspired to make it nearly impossible for anyone but themselves to get on a ballot in Pennsylvania.”
While party affiliation means less in local races, there is a certain mindset that goes along with party affiliation. (I will investigate that in another blog.) What matters more is basically a thought process that can be summed up by these words: what’s in it for me. The political party has no input into this elementary notion. Neither does the community, the voter.
The only antidote is an informed public. You have to do it yourself.

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