Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Re-election Return

A prominent politician has been arrested, again. Not for the second time, but for at least the sixth time in the past ten years. His police record does not consist of minor fringe-of-the-law kind of infractions, but some big ones. I can assuredly believe that if he has been caught six times, that there are many other times he has broken the law and gotten away with it. His list of arrests while in office as an elected official include:
  • Caught smoking crack with mob figures;
  • Stalking young women;
  • Caught with marijuana and cocaine in his possession;
  • Not filing or paying income taxes for several years.
What blows my mind is that he goes through these very public arrests, some of which have been on video where he is kicking and screaming and cursing and way too under the influence, and the people keep reelecting him. What spell does he have over people that he can behave like this, get away with it, and be welcomed back into positions of power and influence with open arms? Do the people who voted for him purposely look the other way? Do they argue that he may not be the nicest person in the world, but he is such an effective politician? Do they believe that he is the right person for the job because his district has historically had extreme problems with drugs and sex crimes and he knows much about these topics? This discussion reminds me of an interview with George Shultz (Ronald Reagan's secretary of state). He was asked if the presidential election boiled down to an honest democrat with a strong track record running vs. a republican Satan, for whom would he advise the American people to vote? He looked in the camera, and without a touch of doubt or confusion, answered Satan.

Now mind you, this post is not meant to be a political rant or to demark open season on anyone. The point is, that we need to be responsible for the choices that we make and the people that we endorse. Yes I know that the situation is complicated and folks feel that their way of life is at stake. But can we sleep comfortably at night if we understand who we are pushing to the front of the line to represent us?