This I Believe

John - Two Rivers, Wisconsin
Entered on March 8, 2007

Random thoughts sparked by the Libby conviction.

I believe the path we as country have been traveling politically is broken, very, very broken. And that it is broken on both sides of the fence, be it Republican or Democrat. It is my opinion there really is very little difference between the two. The motivations and beliefs behind each Party, and those running, leading and being elected under their different manifestos are for me very similar. These incentives being power and the economic benefits for those aligned with them. It in essence is just which side of the same coin will wield the privilege and corruption our system has come to allow as the normal course of business in our Capital for those in charge.

I believe lying is a crime.

The Libby conviction I see as a glimmer of hope for the salvation of our politic. Here the people of this country were able to speak about leaders lying, and send a message that this is a crime, a crime that has become too common and disastrously too accepted by both Parties as “just the way things get done around here”. Libby is a bagman and for this impotent role I do feel sadness for him. He is no different than other political bagmen and women, but he is an awfully top ranking one and indicative of how systemic and endemic our Country’s disease has become. Personal responsibility has been sorely lacking for those in power, be them running our largest corporations or holding our highest offices. This conviction has provided some measure of accountability.

I believe in accountability.

What I would like to see is another type of accountability. I truly believe the largest reason most politicians are in politics is for the money, or for the power the dispensing of public money engenders. Corruption is an essential factor in politics. Its control is the biggest challenge for us as Citizens face. I would like to see a move for transparency amongst our elected officials in respect to their finances. I would like to have unilateral auditing of all our politicians assets and incomes, their campaign funds, their family members financial interests, their trust funds, their lobbyist, and their closest associates as a normal course of events. I would like to see the cash flows of our elected leadership and the political apparatus behind them, because it is there where the power we have vested in them will most probably show either their culpability in corruption or their innocence. Money is the power behind the Oligarchy we as a Nation, and erstwhile Democracy, are quickly becoming. Following its tainted trail amongst our elected officials is IMHO the only method to commence real change, to halt the lying, and to see lasting reform. Our leaders should be held to a higher standard and our freedom to insure these standards are met is a basic right of us as citizens. When the standard is set by Money, its investigation is the best chance for us to set it aright.

This I believe.