The Sleaze Factor – How Politics Became So Dirty

For the past five years, honest, law-abiding citizens have been the victims of political systems that are badly broken. As things stand today, those who actually did the breaking of our political systems have freely admitted their guilt. The question remains: What are we going to do to remedy this situation before the forces of anarchy and lawlessness destroy our respective nations?

It can hardly come as a surprise to anyone that people who are in power at the top of our government will do almost anything to stay in power. Why? Generally speaking, because there are laws on the books which state that acting or current politicians cannot be held to account for any crimes they commit while in office. Of course, once they are no longer in an official capacity, it is easier to bring someone to justice.

When our politicians have not lived up to a higher ideal of what we believe they should be doing to reflect our values, they should answer for their actions. Their questionable behavior includes doing things which are repugnant to those of us who have spent our lives living with ethics, honest-dealing with others and upholding the laws of the land. Who would want to upset this delicate balance? The answer is obvious. However, a more relevant question is why would powerful individuals use their money and influence to interfere with government functions by supporting a corrupt or corruptible individual? The answer is a bit more complex.

When a billionaire or a corporate entity gives their support to a candidate for office, they do so because they know that this person will be a loyal foot soldier to their cause, whatever it is. They do not care if their choice causes instability in government or creates massive protests. They also do not care that their choice for office is lacking in ethics or honesty. In fact, they count on this factor when selecting someone to become their standard-bearer. They know that they cannot control someone who has strong sense of public service or ethics or supports the rule of law. This is precisely why we have so many sleazy people with a wanton disregard for honesty in office today. And billionaires certainly know they can control a politician for a variety of reasons. Some of those reasons include the ability to blackmail someone into doing their bidding like Vladimir Putin did to Donald Trump. Fealty to one’s benefactor, such as that exhibited by Mitch McConnell is another kind of corruption. With their unlimited resources, they can dig up dirt on anyone with a past or secret to hide. Similarly, they do not question the amount of financial support they are doling out to their choice for higher office. For them, it is simply the “price one pays for doing business.”

Corporations and wealthy individuals figured out years ago that by controlling the courts, this was the most effective way to get their hands on the levers of power. Sadly, they admit this freely. This is why it is so hard to dislodge those politicians who have committed offenses who often become brazen in their actions. Trump once boasted he could kill someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue and nothing would happen to him. The Koch Brothers managed to get the Supreme Court to rule the Citizens United case their way. Our politics has not been the same ever since.

People now speak of “taking back their government.” That phrase simply means they recognize how broken our politics truly is and they want to change course. They know they are up against unlimited money and the power it represents. The trick is to effect change that prevents such control in the future. Our democratic governments are not sustainable otherwise.

About the Author
Rachel Grenadier was an olah from the Commonwealth of Virginia in 2003 who returned to the United States in 2015. She really wanted to stay in Israel, but decided that having family members nearby was better for her health than a bunch of devoted, but crazed, Israeli friends who kept telling her hummous would cure her terminal heart condition. She has her B.A. and M.A. from George Mason University in Virginia and is the author of two books: the autobiographical "Israeli Men and Other Disasters" and "Kishon: The Story of Israel's Naval Commandoes and their Fight for Justice". She is now living in Virginia with her three Israeli psychologically-challenged cats and yet, denies being a "hoarder".
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