Authored by William Robert Barber
It has been pronounced by those who know all things that the electorate receives the government it deserves; it therefore rationally follows that a democratically elected government’s ethical practice is derived from the ethical and moral mores of its citizenry. Or is it the other way around? Does the government by its sheer size and power influence and therefore to some measurable degree set the standard on acceptable ethical-moral mores? As an example, certain state governments have a monopoly in the numbers racket; some states, and certainly the gargantuan federal government, have positioned themselves to directly benefit from taxes and licensing fees on gambling, cigarettes, and liquors.
To paraphrase, President Lincoln once said that he hoped a government of, by, and for the people would not perish from this earth. He then went on to enact numerous violations of the Constitution and Bill of Rights in the name of safeguarding the country. Of course the country was in the midst of a civil war, the nation’s survival was in jeopardy, and hundreds of thousands of Americans were losing life or limb. In other words, the nation was in crisis.
It has been proclaimed, by varying timbre, that President Obama is managing the affairs of state within the throes of a crisis; certainly, his crisis is different than Lincoln’s. Nevertheless, as expressed by Obama, the present day crisis is as serious as the ‘Great Depression’; therefore, speedy desperate measures are needed to stem, contain, and abridge the typhoon-like financial disaster. I believe that Obama has taken full advantage of the situation to promote his political or personal agenda.
Whether it is the war on drugs, laws to counter discrimination, the eradication of poverty, the government’s hypocrisy regarding the ill effects of smoking (while benefiting from the taxation of such drugs for the last century), the minimum tax initiative, or almost any other governmental action designed ostensibly to improve the public welfare and the common good — the effect has unintended consequences. These consequences almost always cost the taxpayer a fortune and bit by bit abate individual rights and freedoms.
As I have alsways stated, the very fact of governing by any government enables corruptive behavior. It matters not if the government structure is a democratic-republic, monarchy, totalitarian, or parliamentarian; the elected, appointed, and employed (staff/bureaucracy) of those engaged in governing will, inevitably, by some degree, betray the trust and fiduciary obligatory of those they represent.
During my time as a consultant to the government of Panama that experience verified that overt pervasive corruption is not economically viable; often, the viability of corruptive practices are not economically viable even for the perpetrators. Nevertheless, government corruption, like a cold virus, is not curable and highly contagious.
No one should be surprised of governmental corruption; after all, the affairs of governing are managed by human beings, not plants or software programs. I believe that no government can govern free of corruption; indeed, the validation of a government’s rightfulness is in part measured by the limit or smallness of its corruption.
Such therefore begs the question: Why, if government is inherently corrupt, do the people trust government institutions? Why do we trust the words or workings of politicians? Regardless of political party or a politician’s ideological affiliation, why, in the name of sensibility, do we entrust and subordinate so blindly to governmental actions?
But no one is concerned. Voting only seems to change the party affiliation, not the practice of stupid or the continuum of corruptive behavior.
It seems the populous only responds to crisis. For example, as never seen before, Pearl Harbor put the nation on a footing of collective resolve. The government was trusted. Of course once trust had been established, taxes were continuously raised and individual rights/freedoms subsided and the populous could never again find the pea under the right shell.