Politics Today: The Game of Follow the Money

by Richard H. Frank

Every elected Representative in Government – local, state or national; each and every political appointee and member of the Judiciary, and every member of our Armed Forces takes an oath to “Preserve, Protect and Defend the Constitution of the United States of America.”  This oath is the only commitment along with the pledge to “faithfully discharge the duties of the office to which they are elected or appointed that sets a benchmark against which they may be measured.

The average American voter has almost no knowledge of the scope or limitation of the duties for a particular political office, nor does he or she possess an informed understanding of our Constitution.  We may thank our public education system for a diminished level of knowledge in these areas of enlightenment over the past 50 years.

So just how does any individual become a candidate for public office in America today and in what manner do we vet his or her qualifications to hold any particular office? Unfortunately, the truth be told, we need to follow the money for the answer to the question.  Politics today in America is all about money, special interests, party and political ideology.  The adage that “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely” has never been truer in the history of the United States.  If you need proof for this statement just look at the record of our Democrat-controlled Congress and Democratic President passing legislation against the Will of the People.” We have failed miserably over the past 100 years to heed the warnings of our Founding Fathers against professional politicians being bought by the special interests to forward their agenda without regard to the consequences for “We the People.”

The 2008 Presidential primaries and general elections are examples of the political candidate selection process at its worst.  Never before in our history  have so many candidates, the majority of which were  professional politicians, begun their quest for the nomination two years prior to the General Election.  This holds true for both political parties.  Money flows from the special interests to the party and finally to the candidates.  Issues for the election, real or created, take center stage and drown out the serious debate to establish an individual’s qualifications to occupy any political office as representative of “We the People.”

The whole mess escalates into a process resembling voting on an American Idol where the most popular, not necessarily the most talented or qualified, individual wins.  Somewhere along the way, we forget to ask about their knowledge of the Constitution and their particular experience to discharge the duties of the  office they seek.  Slogans, oratorical rhetoric and sound bites on the 6 p.m. news become the basis for judgment as we go the polls to cast our vote on how we will be governed over the coming years.  This process is precisely how we wind up with a  “community organizer” possessing little or no skills for  governance as President of the United States.  Popularity over substance, rhetoric over reality and a lack of understanding on the part of voters on values and principles that have made America great result in electing those unqualified to lead us to continued prosperity and liberty.  This isn’t American Idol.  The stakes are much  higher than producing a bad recording  or video.  Our leaders are entrusted with taking the helm of our ship of state and steering a course toward continued peace and prosperity for America.

Therefore, forget all the fancy words and hollow promises when you enter the voting booths and ask yourself:   If elected will this candidate “preserve, defend and protect the Constitution and what qualifies him or her to “faithfully discharge the duties of the office for which they are being elected?

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