Watch out! As of late, the news has been full of stories exposing the dirty dishonesty that exists within local politics. A lot of these scandals happen right within the town hall of a small town. For example, some local politicians are getting paid off to overlook some zoning infringements committed by big corporations establishing themselves in smaller communities. This is a huge problem because it gives the big corporations an unfair advantages over small businesses, and small business are the heart of what America needs to be.
HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW YOUR LOCAL POLITICIANS?
It is very easy to get sucked into the media and only pay attention to the big political figures. Oftentimes, a juicy scandal about a nationally-known congressman or senator can completely erase the thought of local politics from somebody’s mind. One might think, “wow, that person is really rotten” and have no idea that the same kind of people exist in power in their own communities! In order to hold these local government officials accountable, we need to go to town hall meetings and seize any opportunity to maintain open communication with these politicians. Make sure that you are asking tough questions that will them honest. Additionally, if you can get to know them on a personal level, then you might be able to know whether or not they care about their community or if they just care about money and themselves. If you don’t do these things, then you are relinquishing your power to know what is going on in your local world.
It is unbelievable how rampant dishonesty is in the political world. The lies, the scandals, and the corruption are almost more prevalent than the good and the progress made in our country. One way that we can restore government accountability is to eliminate the dishonesty in politics. How can we do this? One of the best ways to do this is to elect honest politicians.
WHAT MAKES AN HONEST POLITICIAN?
An honest politician is someone who has integrity. Integrity, which is perhaps one of the most valuable character traits in politics, is defined as “staying true to one’s values and claims.” For example, one way a politician can demonstrate integrity is by sticking to campaign claims and promises. Too often, politicians claim or promise to make a certain change when they get into office and never end up doing it. This demonstrates dishonesty and unfaithfulness to what the politician had originally set out to do. Another way to demonstrate integrity is by not taking bribes. Oftentimes, politicians accept money from unscrupulous sources who seek to gain political leverage over their adversaries. This leads to corruption and the promotion of lawbreaking. However, bribery can also come in the form of accepting large amounts of money from special interest groups or corporations who are looking to sponsor a politician’s campaign. These large monetary contributions can often “buy out” a politician and cause him to affect change or give unfair advantage to that special interest group or corporation.
EXAMPLES OF AN HONEST POLITICIAN
Our nation would do well to elect someone like Senator Bernie Sanders. He demonstrates great integrity by not taking large contributions from corporations who are looking to control him like a puppet with their money. He is also up front with many issues and potentially image-marring topics, which shows that he believes that the truth is more important than keeping up appearances to win an election.
WHO CAN YOU TRUST?
It is a scary thing to not be able to trust anyone. As humans, our sociological foundations depend on trust. If we as humans cannot trust other human beings, then cooperation in society will be very difficult. Given this knowledge, it is paramount that our nation has leaders who are trustable. Unfortunately, this is not the case. How on earth are we supposed to progress in this world as a nation if we cannot trust our own government? One of the problems that we can fix is to restore the lack of government accountability.
LACK OF ACCOUNTABILITY
There are several ways in which the government is not earning our trust in the area of accountability. For one, there is a large amount of corruption present. This corruption can come in many forms. One of the biggest forms of corruption deals with money. For example, the hard-earned taxpaying dollars of honest and good Americans are being laundered into the grubby hands of greedy politicians just looking to make a buck. A recent study done by a respectable university reported that up to 5 cents per American tax dollar could be involved in illegal and fraudulent activity in the government. Can you believe that?! Doing the math, that means that a whopping 5 percent of the the large sum of money collected by the Internal Revenue Service is being stolen from good Americans. This needs to stop if we are going to be a decent and honest nation. Furthermore, the money saved from stopping these greedy politicians can be used for schools, roads, and other programs. We need to restore government accountability.