The one thing on my mind today is really a question: Who are we? What kind of country have we become if we are willing to be led by liars and cheats?
The people we elect are called “representatives” — a highly technical term that means that they're supposed to represent us. But more than just representing us, they represent our values and our principles.
But the question is, are they?
Caroline Kennedy thought she could get into the Senate despite reports of tax evasion, nanny problems and rumors that she might literally be in bed with The New York Times.
President Obama’s treasury pick Tim Geithner, has — at best — iffy book-keeping skills and terrible judgment.
Congressman Charlie Rangel — the head of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee — also conveniently forgot to pay federal taxes and is also being investigated for his ethics.
Congressman John Murtha — the head of the Defense Appropriations Committee — has allegedly doled out millions of dollars in funding to a couple of Pennsylvania contractors who the feds just raided.
Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich is accused of literally trying to sell the power his state loaned to him.
And, most disturbing of all, the man who said he's going to change the tone in Washington by keeping the lobbyists out, has now put one right into his administration. President Obama's nominee for deputy secretary of defense, William Lynn, has been a lobbyist for the defense contractor Raytheon.
Of course, it’s not just this current crop of leaders and it’s not just Democrats. Corruption and lying has become a bipartisan effort and we can only blame ourselves.
One hundred and twenty-nine years ago, President James Garfield brilliantly predicted the situation we now find ourselves in: “The people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness and corruption."
We need to hold our elected officials accountable for their actions. Are we a country that stands for greed and corruption or do we still believe in antiquated ideas like honesty and integrity?
If you don't want these things happening in your name, it's time to speak up and say enough! Because if we don't demand accountability, if we don't require that corruption be met with consequences, then we are just as complicit in it as they are.
What do you think? Send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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