Wednesday, December 10, 2008


I know he’s innocent until proven guilty. I will say it again, I know he’s innocent until proven guilty, that is our system of laws, but now I have to say that with today's surveillance sophistication I suspect Governor Blagojevich of Illinois is in a deep heap of federal trouble.

He is accused of preparing to sell the Senate seat vacated by President-elect Obama.

I often wonder what changes in the minds of elected officials after they are placed in office with the promise to protect and administer the rights of the electorate. What makes them think they can circumvent the law, take bribes, sell their office to the highest bidder and think they will never be found out, caught, prosecuted and disgraced? It has happened time and time again in many states, in many towns and in many organizations. Most get caught; yet it continues. Amazing.

It probably has something to do with arrogance. The dictionary defines arrogance as an offensive display of superiority or self-importance. The human ego usurps reason and installs itself in the self-righteousness of action to convince the rational mind that power is absolute and for use anyway one sees fit.

It is no wonder that British historian Lord Acton said, “power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. He apparently knew the dangers that authority faces when power’s temptation attracts man to greed.

Nothing excuses an elected official from crimes inimical to his or her office. Whether it’s a mayor, a governor or a president, there is an integrity the voter has the right to expect for the confidence of a vote.

I’m not sure if integrity, honesty, fairness and right action can be taught. We have tried to do so in our educational systems with emphasis on ethics, but ethics are only sets of unenforceable values by which we individually choose to live. They can be changed and are at any given moment of choice.

What we need from the lowest office to the highest are statesmen, not politicians.

We need grace, not greed and service above self from people in public office.

We need to eliminate perks and patronage for they are the seeds of temptation.

We need officials and administrators who embrace the public good, not public funds or special interest funds for their own advancement.

1 comment:

Keith Lewis said...

This is exactly what Ben Franklin was referring to in "Dangers of a Salaried Bureaucracy" What a visionary.

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