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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 2/10/10

The Corruption of Power Versus Morality

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The right use of power has been hidden from the masses for hundreds of years. There was great hope when the Declaration of Independence became a reality; however, as with most beautiful things for the good of all they have barnacles attached to them. John Quincy Adams wrote the following: All the public business in Congress now connects itself with intrigues, and there is great danger that the whole government will degenerate into a struggle of cabals. I began thinking about the power of corruption and realize it has been in power for centuries and perhaps eons yet people still hope for moral men and women to lead our government.

I have noted that with Obama now the president that many people assume that he is a trickster. I would like to think that he is a man of his word and he does give the people of this country hope. It is my observation that too many people have lost faith in the government. This is not a new thing and by failing to become involved with the elected leaders, we become the silent accomplices. Bess Myerson stated, The accomplice of the crime of corruption is frequently our own indifference.

In my research, I came across The Idaho Encyclopedia written during the Great Depression of the last century. The chapter on the history of state government is most enlightening. Idaho was part of the Washington Territory in the second half of the 1800's. As miners and settlers began coming into the portion of what is now Idaho, each camp had its own customs or rules along with a judge, a recorder, and an executive officer of some sort. Attorneys could be found in large camps, which became towns. There was what was called a miners' meeting that became the final source of authority. It was similar to a New England town meeting. It also put into practice the fundamental American doctrines of equality and manhood suffrage. You will notice that women were not considered. This method worked for a while, but the lawlessness of desperados and banditry called for more law enforcement. Therefore, the Idahoans petitioned the Territorial Government to become its own independent territory. This was rejected and the people petitioned the U.S. government to become a state. Idaho became a state in 1863.

The new citizens of the state of Idaho were affected by this move. Author Vardis Fisher states, The first and most serious of these impediments to order were (1) Political corruption; (2) Crime and violence; (3) Inflated speculation in mining; (4) Poor roads; and (5) Indian troubles. The people thinking their problems would be handled had to face the political corruption along with crime and violence. Doesn't this reflect what we are seeing today? It would appear that political corruption has been a bane throughout history along with crime and violence. Where does morality come in?

Vardis goes on to write that both the Democrats and Republicans were considered corrupt even before the territory became a state. Between the strife of the two parties, concern for the public good almost disappeared. The Republican machine, desperate to gain the spoils of office, made use of such questionable and corrupt maneuvers as were calculated to offset the overwhelming numerical strength of the Democrats. These factional intrigues and counterplots resulted, very naturally, in shortsighted and nonsensical legislation. Doesn't this apply today? This quote reflected on Idaho in the 1860's.

When Obama took the oath of office, there were those waiting in the wings to criticize him or condemn, others who are playing the wait-and-see game as well as those acting with indifference. We are at a pivotal point of change and this can be the greatest change in history. We have an opportunity to connect with our government and insist that we want to move beyond corruption. We want to have a healthy environment. We want to move from dependency on oil to alternative fuels. The moment has come for us to dance to a new rhythm and reclaim the power of the people with our government elected officials serving the needs of the people. The time has arrived for a new march. Use the website and let Obama and his team know what you are wanting, demanding. Write your national senators and representatives and demand action. Write your state legislators and demand action. Let us build a momentum and demand a fair and honest government. We will be going up against powerful corporations and power-mongers. President Eisenhower warned the American people when he left office to beware of the industrial-defense complex. A warning we should heed.

In researching the corruption of power, I began looking for moral leaders and, about the only ones I could find in recent history were Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela one each from the U.S., India and South Africa. Morality is essentially a code of conduct. Humanity has had codes of conduct stemming from the ancient Egyptians and over the centuries, the corruption of power has pushed these codes into the background or trampled them. I have come up with a beginning of my own code of morality, which I have taken from others. When we begin to change ourselves, then we will begin to see change in our governments. Change must begin with each individual. It is time to stop playing the ain't it awful game and take action.

Treat others, as you want to be treated.

Do not lie. If one is wrong, admit it.

Do not murder, cheat or steal.

Obey the law. If you do not like it, petition to have it changed.

A kind word and a smile can do wonders.

Do not evangelize. Allow others their own spiritual/religious beliefs.

Take responsibility for your life, your words, your thoughts and your actions.

Give up bigotry, hate and discrimination against others.

Love and respect yourself.

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Bettye Johnson is the award-winning author of Secrets of the Magdalene Scrolls, an Independent Publishers Book Award Winner 2006. Moving from the cotton fields in Texas to the embassies of Paris and Tokyo, Bettye Johnson has a woven tapestry of (more...)
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