A solution stares us in the face.
‘Tis no secret that corruption in politics is on the minds of millions. This state is rife with it. Many others are. Big cities ooze corruption. Washington is the Vatican of Pay-For-Play.
Ahhh, but what to do about it? A lot of people offer solutions that are not. And never will be.
Limit money in politics, they tell us. Limit who can give how much to which candidates. Right. Has this ever worked? We have tried it many times. It always flops.
Money is like water flowing down the mountain. You can divert it. You can dam it for a while. But no matter what you do, you can forget about stopping it.
Elect better candidates, they tell us. Candidates with integrity. Candidates who are honest. Check. So tell us how “we” are going to do this.
“We” are offered candidates by the party machines. The machines are corrupt. The system is corrupt. People who run it believe there is nothing wrong with it. Nothing wrong with $35,000 for dinner with a big politician. Nothing wrong with fat contributions. In return for special treatment. End of story. As far as selecting more honest candidates, it is.
Nothing would be a perfect solution. But consider this idea. And consider that it is kryptonite to most politicians. Which oughta be a clue as to how much of a solution it might be.
To machine politicians these are the two most dangerous words in the language. Because they remove the very reason for so much of the corruption. The very reason being the need for money to run the next campaign.
What if there is no next campaign for lots of politicians? What if politicians could only run, say, one or two campaigns? And then they would be history.
Voila! No need for the big bucks for the campaign coffers. No need to kiss the hem of special interests. Especially those who threaten to work against them next campaign.
Politicians despise the two words. Because they threaten their careers. Politics is in their blood. They spend all or most of their working years in and around politics. Isn’t that the problem? They have rigged the system to help them stay in power. Part of their rigging is their corrupt money-raising. It is the biggest part.
Get rid of the need to run the next campaign. Do that, and you get rid of the need for big money for campaigns. Or at least a lot of the need.
Meanwhile, on the plus side, you open the door for more citizen candidates. For non-politicians. Or at least for non-career politicians. A lot of good and accomplished people would come forward. To serve relatively short spells. Many would bring good ideas. And they would certainly be more in touch with voters. And would not be drugged by the fetid air within the bubbles of Washington and Albany.
But isn’t it important to have politicians in place who have many years of experience? In foreign affairs. Or in budget issues. Yes, when Washington or Albany is packed with guys who created the system. No, when it is not.
Term limits would alter the system. To burn up less money than today’s system does. Manure attracts flies. Money attracts corruption. Reduce the money and you will reduce the corruption.
Other solutions for the corruption in politics are wishful thinking. Maybe term limits is as well. Because politicians would fight it.
That is probably the best recommendation for term limits. Career politicians would rather nibble rat poison. Now, now. I heard what you mumbled.
From Tom…as in Morgan.