It is the consolidation of power that engenders corruption, but it is indifference that sustains it.
Up until recently, our permanent, professional political class was largely content spending their entire careers living off of taxpayer revenues, while, at the same time, finding new ways of squandering our hard-earned cash on projects and services meant more to ensure their reelection than providing any tangible benefits to their constituents.
Concomitantly, they expanded the reach of the federal government, further limiting our liberty with laws designed to consolidate their power and justify their useless existence.
Apparently, life as public parasites was simply not enough. The new paradigm for the permanent, professional political class is public service for private profit.
While lulling the citizenry into complacency by maintaining the illusion of representative government, both Democrats and Republicans have used their positions for financial misconduct, exploited the legislative process for insider stock trading, betrayed American workers in the form of illegal immigration and questionable trade deals, and sold off national assets to multinational corporations and foreign governments.
To paraphrase President Theodore Roosevelt, when roll call is taken in Congress, the members don’t know whether to respond “Present” or “Not Guilty.”
In this election cycle, Donald Trump has forced the permanent political establishment out of the closet, exposing it to the voters for what it really is, an oligarchy; a small, mutually supportive group of politicians, media outlets and financiers that exercises control of the government for corrupt and selfish purposes.
Trump called out a Republican Party that never practiced the principles that preached nor pursued the policies it proposed.
As Charles Krauthammer noted:
“GOP political leaders made promises of all kinds and received in return, during President Obama’s years, major electoral victories that gave them the House, the Senate, 12 new governorships and 30 state houses. Yet they didn’t deliver. Exit polls consistently showed that a majority of GOP primary voters (60 percent in some states) feel ‘betrayed’ by their leaders. Not just let down or disappointed. Betrayed. By RINOs who, corrupted by donors and lobbyists, sold out. Did they repeal Obamacare? No. Did they defund Planned Parenthood? No. Did they stop President Obama’s tax-and-spend hyperliberalism? No. Whether from incompetence or venality, they let Obama walk all over them.”
Because they hold largely the same views about government as Democrats, it comes as no surprise that anti-Trump, phony conservative Republicans experience no embarrassment endorsing Hillary Clinton’s Vice Presidential choice, Tim Kaine (D-VA).
The Republican leadership says that they will continue to “speak up in defense of our principles, in defense of not just our party’s principles, but our country’s principles”, which are, apparently, to support illegal immigration and Muslim migration. Given that a majority of Americans and an even greater percentage of Republican voters reject that viewpoint, exactly who do they represent? And are those principles they are defending or the aims of their wealthy patrons?
When Republicans talk about “limited government,” what they really mean is limiting voter choice, limiting the need to fulfill their campaign promises and limiting their responsibility to represent the views of those who placed them in office.
The 2016 election is not a contest between the Democrat and Republican ideologies, nor is it a choice among various approaches to address the nation’s problems, but something far more fundamental.
It is a battle between the entrenched power of the bipartisan political-media establishment versus the rights and liberties of the American people.
It is a conflict between those who want to adhere to the Constitution and the rule of law and the party leaders and a biased media, who wish to continue the practices of political expediency and crony capitalism.
It is a decadent system the political-media elite created and continues to nurture; one that benefits a few at the expense of the many.
It is time to return to a simple proposition, that the efficiency and effectiveness of government are directly dependent upon the trustworthiness of government officials as representatives and executors of the views and desires of the people.
A government separated from the people is like a house divided against itself – it cannot stand.
Lawrence Sellin, Ph.D. is a retired colonel with 29 years of service in the US Army Reserve and a veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq. Colonel Sellin is the author of “Restoring the Republic: Arguments for a Second American Revolution “. He receives email at firstname.lastname@example.org.