February 26, 2012

THERE'S NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE LEFT AND THE RIGHT:

The corruption of US politics: From Occupy to the Tea Party, the obsession with corruption is far more damaging to democracy than politicians' alleged shady dealings (Sean Collins, 2/24/12, spiked)

Among students of American history, it is generally recognised that American politics is much less corrupt than it was in the past. Sure, politicians on the take, like the Nucky Thompson character in the Prohibition-era drama Boardwalk Empire, still exist: witness William Jefferson, the Louisiana congressman who was found in 2005 to have $90,000 in bribes stashed in his freezer. But examples like Jefferson stand out precisely because they are so rare.

And yet, more and more today you hear claims that the money-changers are overrunning the temples of Congress and the White House. Campaign fundraising by so-called 'Super PACs' (or Political Action Committees), created by a recent Supreme Court ruling, are said to be distorting the 2012 contest for president. Occupy protesters suggest that the roots of our problems lie in corporations controlling politics, and a common cry from them is to 'get money out of politics'. And it is not just a liberal-left complaint: many conservatives, including the Tea Party types, contend that 'crony capitalism' is alive and well in Washington, and that's why we shouldn't trust big government.

If you cling to the delusion that you are a populist and yet politicians won't give you what you want, it's only natural to imagine that their corruption is thwarting the popular will.  The problem, of course, is that Populists don't actually hold popular views.  


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Posted by at February 26, 2012 8:02 AM
  

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