When it comes to United States’ politics, it seems that dishonesty is unavoidable. Money from big businesses influences and sways important individuals in our government, highlighting greed on both a political and corporate level.
The commonality of this phenomenon, however, does not mean that as citizens we should stop upholding high standards for our elected officials.
The Office of Governmental Ethics concluded in a report that there was “substantial reason to believe that Representative [Chris] Collins … [violated] House rules, standards of conduct, and federal law.” Collins, who represents parts of Western New York including Geneseo, allegedly tried to persuade the National Institute of Health to allow clinical trials for an Australian biotech firm in which he had a significant amount of stock, according to The Buffalo News.
Additionally, the current administration is plagued with corruption and acquisitive leaders. President Donald Trump has previously claimed that politicians, not businessmen like himself, have allowed campaign donors to influence their beliefs, according to an article published The New Yorker. Meanwhile, Vice President Mike Pence’s “political career, though, has been sponsored at almost every turn by the donors whom Trump has assailed. Pence is the inside man of the conservative money machine,” The New Yorker reports.
While many examples of corruption point to Republican misdeeds, it is certainly not a partisan problem. Robert Menendez, the New Jersey Democratic Senator, “has labored under the shadow of his indictment on corruption charges for more than two years” according to The Washington Post.
Menendez is facing charges for working with a wealthy eye doctor in Florida. Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter Koski claims, “These two defendants corrupted one of the most powerful offices in our country. The defendants didn’t just trade money for power, they also tried to cover it up.’’
Looking at the news, it is clear politicians are willing to bend their morals—and the law—to gain money and power. It is imperative that scandals like these continue to be uncovered and individuals continue to be held accountable. Furthermore, it is important to note that all U.S. officials are elected for a reason, and that as a nation we must be better informed and more aware when deciding who to place in positions of power.