I can’t believe it has happened again. Another politician is indicted for malfeasance in office. Another Governor goes to jail. Isn’t it time that we stop standing and accepting the fact that we expect politicians to be on the edge of being crooked. Why does this happen?
It seems that as politicians climb the ladder of office, they have to raise more money to campaign, and that means that they have to make deals to get the money. They get in to office and people are coming to them with requests for things that they need for themselves or for people they represent. They can’t give the politician money directly, but they can come up with creative ways to funnel money to them. They can give family or friends a job; they can give money to foundations that the politician has set up or many other ways to get money to them. The politicians have written the laws in such a way that these schemes are barely legal.
I think the first thing that needs to happen is that political campaigns need to be publically financed. The campaigns need to be shortened to 4-6 weeks so expenses can be cut. I realize this will cost media outlets millions of dollars, well too bad. We need to take the money out of politics and this would certainly help.
We need to have our legislators stop trying to find ways to skirt the issues and they need to put hard and fast rules on what is right and wrong in office. If a legislator is indicted, they need to be put on leave and lose any control over lawmaking until their case is closed. We aren’t finding guilt, they just sit it out until they are cleared, or convicted.
I’ve never been a proponent of term limits because I’ve always felt that it was our responsibility as voters to decide, good people shouldn’t be kept out of office just because they’ve reached a certain amount of time in office, but I’m beginning to change my mind. We have people who go in to politics right out of school, and never get out of the system. These people move from office to office never having an outside job, they depend on friends and supporters to help them stay in office and to help them pay their bills. I realize we don’t pay politicians enough, but then we don’t expect them to steal to stay in office.
We need to solve these problems and we need to do it quickly. People have little respect for government as of now, and it isn’t going to get better until we make it better ourselves. We need to stop complaining and make the changes we need. We can’t accept this level of service from our politicians.