Everyone wants to be on the winning side of an election. Winning an honest election means that your side has convinced a majority of the voters that your candidate has expressed the views which with they agree. If an election is won by fraud, by counting votes of people who are dead or who have moved out of the jurisdiction, it only means that corruption has won, not the voters. It means that the winning side doesn’t care about a free election, they care only about power.
This has been the case with big city machines since the days of Tammany Hall and Boss Tweed. It seems to be a lot more prevalent in cities and states controlled by Democrats, but Republicans are hardly blameless. Corruption is bipartisan.
Vote rigging is just one measure of corruption. The first measure of political malfeasance is how personally enriched a politician has become since he or she was first started serving in elective office. For instance, while there are questions about Harry Truman’s connections with the Pendergast political machine in Kansas City, Missouri, he never personally seemed to have gained monetarily from that or any other connections.
The second criterion for checking political dishonesty is comparing a politico’s actions and voting record with the organizations, businesses and individuals who donate to his or her campaign. When an elected official invariably votes against the lowering of credit card interest rates, and receives large donations from credit card companies, it may not be explicitly illegal but it is certainly an indication of corruption. When an outgoing president, Bill Clinton, pardons a billionaire, Marc Rich, on the government’s most wanted fugitive list, after that man and his ex-wife had made sizable donations to the Clintons and the Democrat Party, it may not violate any law, but it is demonstrably the height of unethical corruption.
Another example of political wrongdoing is when our elected officials make financial profit from information they have obtained by virtue of the offices they hold, that ordinary citizens would not have. Early last year, several members of the US Senate received a briefing on the Covid-19 virus. Republican and Democrat Senators who had that information later sold stocks that would be adversely affected by the virus.
Republican Senators Kelly Loeffler, David Perdue, Richard Burr and Jim Inhofe and Democrat Dianne Feinstein all were implicated in selling stock after they had been briefed about the seriousness of the virus. In late May the Justice Department dropped the investigation against three Senators and no other charges have been forthcoming. Whether crimes were committed or not, ethical standards were definitely breached. Senators Loeffler and Perdue both lost their bids for reelection this week.
Republicans seem to always pay for their indiscretions, while Democrats seldom do. Richard Blumenthal, now a US Senator from Connecticut, has claimed to have served in Vietnam when he did all of his reserve military service stateside. If we had a truly independent press, Blumenthal would be run out of office by a press that would respond to his every statement with the question, “How can we believe you now, when you lied about serving in Vietnam?”
Now we are about to inaugurate a President, who until this election was best known for plagiarism and nepotism by his son and brother who got rich by merely having the same last name. Nepotism, the game the whole family can play.