That stench that makes you want to puke is coming out of a political sewer called Washington – a place littered with the rotting corpses of American idealism and drowning in the blood from a wounded and dying republic.
Corruption, scandal, immorality and lapses in ethical judgment have become so pervasive in today’s government that Americans find themselves numb. Our government is awash in deceit, driven by a lust for power and controlled by those for whom truth and morality are foreign concepts.
In 1994, Republicans marched into control of Congress astride promises to reform the system, eliminate pork barrel politics and restore honesty and accountability to government. Instead, they have proven even more corrupt, dishonest and immoral than the Democrats they replaced in the seats of power.
Six years later, George W. Bush would promise “the most ethical administration in history.” Instead he delivered the most corrupt, a despotic power-mad White House bent on domination and driven by lies.
This goes beyond normal political corruption. We are talking about perversion of the system by a cancer that goes to the very core of our way of life. In politics and government, lying is the norm, not the exception. We expect our leaders to deceive us and rationalize it by claiming the other side lies more often or tells bigger ones.
We accept intrusions on our freedoms by buying into the fantasy that such intrusions become necessary to remain safe when, in fact, we are less safe in a government that intrudes or spies or interferes.
Dishonesty becomes relative and measured not by whether it is right or wrong but by the outcome. It is OK to lie about sex but not about war. It is OK to accept the blind faith argument that our government knows what’s best for us when, in fact, our government turns out to be a bigger enemy to freedom than any Islam-spouting terrorist.
Sadly, those we elect to represent us immediately forget that this is supposed to be a government of the people, by the people and for the people. They start to believe that it is, instead, government of the powerful, by the influential and for the special interests.
Our forefathers never intended for government service to become a career yet nearly every facet of our lives are controlled by lifetime politicians who live in a world far removed from ordinary Americans. Our fates lie in the hands of those who see elected office as a way to accumulate both wealth and power.
Polls show voter anger at an all-time high, driven by too many lies about Iraq and too many scandals involving sex and money. The odds are strong that Republicans will be sent packing and Democrats returned to power.
There is no doubt that the Republicans deserve to be sent home. Some should go to jail for their crimes against decency and the Constitution. As a voter in Virginia, I will vote against GOP incumbent Senator George Allen because I don’t want a racist who also takes bribes representing the Commonwealth in Congress,
Jim Webb will probably make a better Senator than Allen. That won’t be hard given the low threshold that Allen has set but at the same time I’m not sure he will be a good Senator. Webb’s campaign has relied on innuendo and distortions and that raises questions to me about his honesty.
And I fear that Democrats, if they gain control of the House and/or the Senate will fall back into their old habits of catering to their brand of special interests and putting the perks of power above the needs of the country.
The system is corrupt and rotten to the core and it has taken a long time to get there. The moral decay comes from both political parties as well as an apathetic and self-centered populace that sat out too many elections and allowed the infection to spread.
An answer to America’s ills may no longer be available at the ballot box or through the current system that controls our government, our lives and our destiny.
It may be too late to trust the system. It has let us down too many times.