August 3, 2001

Editorial

Politics A Question of Ethics?

There was a time when the citizens of our country had a child's faith in the honesty and integrity of those whom they elected to public office. They put their faith in them and trusted them to do what was in the best interests of the country and the public good. Elected officials worked hard at their duties and they did not take the burdens of their offices lightly. Their pride in the offices they held was palatable and it showed in the manner in which they carried out their duties.

There was no question that they took the responsibilities that they had assumed seriously. It was obvious that they felt great pride in serving such a noble cause. To be a politician and a part of the governing leadership of our cities, states and nation was the highest calling to which man could aspire. They were the human links in a long chain of individuals that led back to the founding fathers of this nation. For the most part, they were distinguished individuals who provided the wisdom and leadership that would serve our country well for nearly 400 years. Integrity, honesty and a binding ethical morality were the building blocks of their foundation.

As we entered an era filled with ethical misconduct and deteriorating morals, honesty and integrity were set aside and our political leaders at the local, state and national level appeared lost, confused and rudderless. Their internal gyroscopes no longer pointed to true North and they lost their bearings, spinning out of control.

Where once the people had trusted in their elected officials, trust had now become elusive and fragile. Trust is a commodity that has to be earned. It is not given. Now they wonder just who they are representing. Is it the people who they swore to represent, or is it the moneyed special interests? We wonder... How much did they sell their ethics, morals and honor for? We fear for our society as we witness a deterioration of the principles that had sustained and guided our country for so long.

When the destruction of everything we hold dear is self evident, one wonders who will be the sacrificial goat thrown into the fire to appease the gods? Can our democratic society and the republican government survive this betrayal by their elected political leaders?

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