How much corruption, unethical behavior, and law breaking by our legislators is acceptable?
By Sparta Live | May 13, 2019 7:46 am
Democratic Dialog – By Debra Wines
We, the people, elect our legislators with the thought and hope they will represent us ethically while preserving the law and upholding the Constitution. It doesn’t seem to be working out that way. Lately, it appears a good many of those who have been elected to serve their constituents are exhibiting their contempt for laws, rules, and standards of basic decency. This isn’t only happening at the federal level but also at the state level, especially in Tennessee. Other state and city governments are experiencing similar situations. The majority of this behavior is coming from Republicans. And why wouldn’t it be when Donald Trump is the leader of their party?
Corruption and unethical behavior are nothing new on every level of the government. It has been around for centuries and not just in America. The obsessive desire for power is a dangerous thing. We can study the history of the world and see it over and over again. History has shown us even good people can fall victim to the trappings of having too much power. Our Founding Fathers recognized this and created a government they hoped would keep that from happening. The three equal parts of our federal government that provide checks and balances was supposed to do that. Most state and local governments have been created to follow that example. Unfortunately, on the state and local levels, those ideas haven’t always worked for the betterment of the people.
Now, we are witnessing nothing short of a knock-down, dragged- out battle, on the federal level, to preserve the government our Founding Fathers envisioned for us. This has happened before, in our history, but never to the level we are seeing today. President Nixon’s behavior in office was horrifying to a great many Americans. Congress and the judicial branch joined together to do what was right for our country. It was a fight, and, eventually, it was won, and our government remained intact. Our government has never been perfect, and it never will be. People are not perfect beings. They are flawed and so is our form of government, but it shouldn’t stop us from trying to improve on what we have been given.
Unfortunately, we seem to be characters in the worst reality show to ever hit the airways, and the majority of us are wondering how the producers are going to end this disaster without killing off the entire cast. Donald Trump has shown contempt for the rule of law his entire life, and you’d have to be deaf, dumb, and blind not to know it. It isn’t as if Mr. Trump suddenly appeared on the horizon as a miracle political savior with no history available to the public at large. Mr. Trump has been a self-promoting “entrepreneur” who has continuously lied about his business successes and especially how he conducted his various businesses. He is a bully, a cheat, and a liar who is proud of those qualities and believes that his behavior is perfectly acceptable. The people who supported him and voted him into the highest office of the land only served to strengthen and encourage his behavior. He got away with corruption and rule and law breaking his entire life and really never had to face the consequences of his actions. Now, that behavior is catching up to him, and he is fighting back like a trapped rat. Mr. Trump is hoping that he has surrounded himself with enough loyal cronies that they will protect him from having to finally face the results of his behavior.
Donald Trump is arrogant enough to assume he will be able to bully his way out of the trouble he is currently in and doesn’t even understand the damage he has done and is continuing to do to the country he claims to love. Hugging the flag at every opportunity does not prove his love for America. Mueller’s report shows he did not “collude” with the Russians to win his election. It does show several illegal acts of obstruction of justice. It doesn’t seem to matter to his supporters/enablers that his relationships with Russian “businessmen” and Vladimir Putin are unacceptable for any elected leader in our country. It doesn’t matter that his meetings and phone calls with Mr. Putin and other Russian government officials are done in secret. We only know what Mr. Trump wants us to know and most of that information comes directly from Mr. Trump to make himself look good and “in charge.”
He is banking on the Democratic leadership to be too weak to fight the roadblocks he is putting in the path of their investigations, with the help of his handpicked “obstructers” of justice. Mr. Trump is hopeful the Democratic leadership will continue to be fearful of bringing impeachment charges against him. If the House does bring impeachment charges, he knows he can count on Mitch McConnell to stop it in the Senate.
In a sense we are seeing something similar taking place right here in Tennessee. Granted, it is not on the scale of the chaos happening in Washington, but it once again shows us that the Republican leadership, in Tennessee, feels they are above the law and will fight however they can to protect themselves. House Speaker Glen Casada has demonstrated over and over again that he does not respect any standards of good governing. He has also shown the people of Tennessee that he has no patience and no desire to deal with any and all dissension or questions from the opposition. Mr. Casada’s disregard for ethical behavior is a slap in the face to every other state legislator who is trying to do the right thing.
Gov. Bill Lee is no better. He has shown us his true ethics by remaining silent regarding House Speaker Casada and his staff’s behavior. How long can we continue to ignore this kind of detrimental “leadership” from our elected officials?