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Bring back the good ol' days when political corruption was homegrown

June 2nd 2005

Tom Delay

This column is written in Orlando, Florida. Therefore there is no interest here for the real or imagined corruption of an elected official from another state. This columnist is more concerned with a certain pudgy, slow witted, congressman whose only real use to the GOP is his mother’s connection with a well-known Christian radio psychologist.

Written more precisely, the accusations of corruption flying at Tom Delay should be of little interest to anyone except the voters in the congressional district in Texas that Delay represents. Delay is hardly the first American elected official accused of selling his influence to the highest bidder, nor will he be the last. The cold hard fact of human government is that anytime anyone can profit from swaying the scales of justice, the opportunity will be taken. Elected officials, like Delay, are in the position of adjusting that balance, so it should be of no surprise that there have been people attempt to persuade his influence.


When America was a republic, not an empire, political corruption was a local phenomena. Mayors and party bosses assured that local financial interests were protected and sustained. In order to preserve power, favors and patronage were passed to the right members of the community to assure reelection by any means necessary. At the point that corruption reached a critical mass and could not be ignored, the machine broke down and there was period of local shame, penance, and economic readjustments.

America is now a driving force in the global economy in which trade and paper profits supersede the value of stable communities and work. Within this new economic system a new method of political "entrepreneurship" has emerged, by which officials who influence the policies and laws of the nation are the focus of global financial interests that have the wherewithal to underwrite the multimillion dollar campaign tabs that come with media-driven elections. Consequently, when the critical mass of political corruption reaches the national and global scales, an entire nation faces the potential of shame, penance, and economic readjustments.

Even the potential national shame that can come from venal politicians selling their offices to the highest internationalist bidder is not sufficient to inspire interest in the affairs of congressmen chosen from outside the district in which this column is written. That is because to do so would only be walking into the trap that America’s two party system has set for the country.


Evidence seems to support the idea that leaders in the Democrat and Republican Parties are obsessed with centralizing power in their national offices. At every turn politicians from both parties in the US Congress and the presidency enact policies that puts the federal government in control over almost every aspect of life. Education, health care, civil law, criminal law, pensions, business licensure, drivers licenses, public transit, employment practices, internet access, multiculturalism, and public safety--to name just a few--have become more controlled by the federal government over the past six years--and that is under the influence of "conservative" lawmakers and a president who were elected to turn back the sprawling influence of government.

These usurpations by the federal government will not be halted or reversed by a national debate over corruption charges against a single elected official from Texas. Nor will they be addressed by media advocates from both parties pining that the press is a part of grand conspiracies against their various national heroes.

The absorption of power by the federal government and its two franchisees, the Democrat and Republican Parties, can only be confronted with intelligent and vigorous discussions on the role of the balance of powers in preserving communities built around self-determination and restricting power lusting individuals in high office. Or, paraphrasing the words of a late congressman who knew something about selling influence, "All politics must return to being local."

The politically motivated debates revolving around Delay’s charges, appointments of federal judges, various homeland security plans, and federal pension plans, among others, are serving no purpose but to keep voters focused on the national influence of the Democrats and Republicans. They also indicate that the GOP never had an effective plan for restricting the power of the national government when it appealed to voters with "The Contract With America" way back in 1994. If it had, it would have activated its county-based cells to educate the public on the importance of keeping most governing decisions close to the voters and how state and local governments could legally and properly defy directives from federal office holders, judges, and bureaucrats with more ego than intellect.

By Bob Strodtbeck

Bob Strodtbeck has been writing editorial commentaries since 1993.  He has professional experiences in pharmaceuticals, radio, and education.  He has also served as a church elder in an Orlando congregation where he has made his home since 1986.



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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Sunday, July 11, 2010 01:18 AM