Political corruption kills the legitimacy of our government. Democracies are fragile institutions that require the trust of the governed. Those who hold these governing offices must act and live far from any hint of impropriety. There is a natural tendency to question authority, predicated on the belief that those who govern will act only in their best interests. As cynical as human nature may be, the truth is that there’s a lot of good people trying to make a difference.
The battle to keep institutions legitimate is tough and ongoing. Trust earned over a life time can be lost in an instant. Without the trust of the system, people resort to a state of warring factions, a mentality that leads to minimizing values and principles. Sometimes these become the disconnects in politics allowing us to tolerate corrupt behavior, especially when a politician's personal interests are in-line and associated with our own. In these circumstances, those who are governed will overlook the articles of corruption. However, corruption still remains and seeds of distrust are sown, whether short term or for the future. This is why corruption is lethal.
Our citizens deserve a system free from the cancer of political corruption. Corruption destroys any sense of fair play and merit. To win at any cost is really a loss for nothing. Many times, those corrupt office holders who have fought so hard against the injustices of the system, damage and destroy the effectiveness of the very institutions that can impact change. To be rid of political corruption is a moral imperative for our society. Candidates and the elected must be held to the highest of ethical behavior. We must instill the principles of selfless service in those who seek public office.
Today, our elected officials are not bad or evil people. Some have made bad decisions, and it quickly became a slippery slope in betraying the trust of all of us. Our failed politicians did not start out corrupt; they just got used to the system of perks and entitlements, and lost their way. The real problem is that there is a new generation of politicians with no shame or guilt who have decided to start where the corruption left off. This we must stop.
In the final analysis, we want a community that fosters the best in all of us. However, there must be a presumption that the system is fair and that it works under a set of rules. Adherence to these rules is our social contract. Holding to principles and learning from failures allows us to travel further than we ever thought possible. These are the conditions required to foster growth and fulfillment toward our dreams. Our dreams that we hold so dear. Dreams free from corruption. These are our American dreams.