There’s Something Rotten in Washington

by Richard H. Frank

Nancy Pelosi’s pledge upon assuming the position of “Speaker of the House of Representatives” was to “drain the swamp” and to preside over the most reputable Congress in history.  That  statement was issued over 2-1/2 years ago.  Two years ago, corruption and ethics charges were lodged against New York Representative Charlie Rangel and are now finally being brought before the House of Representatives for trial.

Had Mr. Rangel been a member of the minority party, it seems highly unlikely that it would have taken the Ethics Committee two years to reach a finding for violation of the “House Ethics Rules.”  Moreover, the clamor for the accused Congressman to resign would have been deafening.  Politics and political ideology reigns supreme over the law in Washington today.  This is true in both parties and stands in evidence of the Founding Fathers warnings against career politicians being elected to office.

Washington today is populated by career bureaucrats and the Congress is comprised of career politicians and lawyers that consider themselves as members of an elite aristocracy far removed from the very citizens that elected them to office.

So how can the corruption and the stench of ethics violations in Washington be cured?  I would refer you to Noah Webster’s quote from the 1823 History of America book in which he stated:

“When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public officers, let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers, “just men who will rule in the fear of God.” The preservation of [our] government depends on the faithful discharge of this Duty; if the citizens neglect their Duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made, not for the public good so much as for selfish or local purposes; corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the Laws; the public revenues will be squandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the citizen will be violated or disregarded. If [our] government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the Divine Commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the Laws.”

These words are as relevent today as they were when written in 1823.  Every American should keep them in mind as we prepare for the 2010 mid-term elections in November.

To quote Madison:  “If men were angels, no Government would be  necessary.  If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on Government would be necessary.”

Unfortunately we are governed by men and not angels.  With Government comes power, and power often tends to corrupt.  Absolute power corrupts absolutely and “We the People” must remain ever vigilant of this fact.  Therefore, regardless of your political party or affiliation, keep the values and principles of our Founding Fathers in mind as you prepare to exercise your “right to vote” and elect worthy representatives in the coming election.

I urge each of you to “Remember in November” and vote to rid Washington of the decay and rot that is eating away at the foundation of our Republic.