April 18, 2013 by Liberty
Completely putting political opinions aside for a moment, just about every American can agree that the number of corrupt politicians is egregious. Less than a quarter of the population approves of congress. You can ask just about any American and they’ll comment about the corruption of certain politicians. We are all aware of the backroom deals and false promises that just about every politician delivers. Most people even agree that it’s just a part of politics.
What Can Get A Politician Elected?
A politician needs public support to get elected. They need the majority of the voting population to support their plan. Politicians have a few different options when it comes to gathering the voting population’s support.
Their first option is to cater completely to the majority and financial supporters. They are willing to do whatever the polls tell them to do. This can make a politician very electable but naturally, majority rules has it’s own disadvantages within the system (51% rules the rest.) These politicians are fluid in their decision making. They don’t decide based on any absolute standard.
Their second option, which is the one that most politicians take, is to cater to the electorate just enough to get elected. They may have some personal pet projects that they support that aren’t completely beneficial but they cater enough to make up for the differences.
Their third option is the one that television and movies likes to create. It’s the staunch and independent politician. They follow their values perfectly and never alter their opinion for public support. This is the type politician that could really make an impact. They’re the kind of politician that could protect the constitution or completely trash it.
The Problem With Catering Politicians
When a politician caters to an electorate, it makes the politician less willing and able to help a cause. Real changes only come from passion. This might sound silly and cliche but it’s absolutely essential to convincing any politician to get stuff done. When a politician decides to support a decision to gain votes, what will they do? They’ll vote. Maybe call a few friends and throw a few words around but their not going to put their own butt on the line to support it. That’s because they know their role. If it’s more politically favorable to sway back in the other direction, they’ll sway.
The public is fickle and unpredictable. Any opinion that a politician makes can be used against them, even if the public supports the decision at the time. Public opinion on any issue can change dramatically with a single news story. A politician that caters needs to hedge his bets by making his opinions flip-flop-able (awesome word. I know.)
Politicians with strong values don’t care about the corrupt methods of gaining votes. They want to vote with their hearts or minds. They understand their decisions can be used against them and don’t care. That makes them easy targets.
Fish in A Barrel – Corrupt Politicians Versus the Good Ones
There are a lot of genuinely good people in politics. Their only goal is to help the general public. They don’t compromise their values for a second. The problem is that their political life is usually cut short. The vast majority of them never get past the town council meetings.
Most people understand that politics is a dirty business. This can include under the table deals, insulting opponents, and making false promises. This is a business that any genuinely good politician will avoid. That makes them virtually unelectable.
It’s like steroids in Baseball. So many players are using steroids that steroids become essential to competing. Politicians that move up need to use these strategies to survive long. It’s a part of competing in politics.
The higher up you go in politics, the more corrupt politicians you’ll find.
Would you support a corrupt politician?
One of the best ways of getting to the heart of the issue is looking into your own decision making process.
Assume you’re given the opportunity to bribe a politician.
To be more specific:
Assume you’re a teacher that can bribe a politician for a 5% raise. The politician has made it clear that he would accept the bribe and you can’t get in trouble for it. Also assume the politician supports every other issue you believe in. Do you do it? How about a 10% raise? At what percent would you bribe him for the raise?
I know I have a number that I’d give in at. It’s easy to just say you would avoid your own benefit but most people have their number. This is a downright corrupt politician that your money would be going to support but, for most people, it’s worth it.
Naturally, theoretical questions mean nothing but this translates into reality. Companies have the money to make these bribes. Politicians have been caught repeatedly accepting them. Even more commonly, politicians have been caught accepting legal but suspicious other benefits from constituents.
Who Suffers From Corrupt Politicians?
No politician could stay in power if they instantly stole all of the money the American population has through taxation. People would react. The government would collapse. Corrupt politicians understand that there needs to be a balance between the negative and the positive things being done. The negatives make them less electable (raising taxes.) The positives make them more electable (support social security.)
It’s in the best interest of the politician to make the negatives less relevant to their election and the positives more relevant. The best way that a corrupt politician can do this is through debt. Debt is a negative that does not get shown to the population today (other than through an obscure number.) The politicians are able to help the politicians of today with money from tomorrow.
Eventually though, that money needs to get paid. Someone is going to have to suffer to pay the value owed. The people that are going to end up paying it are the people that aren’t even born yet. They’re requiring children to support the life they live today.
The sad thing is that the children don’t even have votes in the matter. This comes from the age restriction on voting and the simple fact that some of them haven’t even been conceived yet.
While this game may be acceptable for people to play for their own benefit or loss. No one should be playing this game with their children’s future.
Corrupt politicians grow like weeds and it’s everyone’s responsibility find a way to stop it because we’re not going to be the ones to suffer the consequences. Our children will suffer them.