“There is no more dangerous menace to civilization than a government of incompetent, corrupt, or vile men.”Ludwig von Mises
One must understand that corruption is first and foremost a heart issue that no form of legislation can address. To truly combat corruption, the heart must be targeted through continual prayer, bold witnessing, and Gospel studying, all while trusting that God will ultimately carry out His plan.
As a basic definition, however, corruption can be defined as, “dishonest or illegal behavior especially by powerful people” as well as, “a departure from the original or from what is pure or correct”. Political corruption, then, is exactly that: corruption within the political sphere.
Yet what is true “corruption”? The definition is objective, as all word definitions are, yet most would agree that real, tangible corruption is a deviation from basic morality (which we would see as defined by God) for the purpose of self-gain.
The most obvious example of governmental corruption is our government as a whole. No longer is it a government “of the people, by the people, for the people” as President Lincoln once stated. It is no longer a republic. It is no longer a democratic republic. It is almost an Oligarchy. Even our core government seems to be studded with neutered, effeminate old men and power-hungry, aggressive old women.
This apparent Oligarchy has oft been led by an individual with no qualms about abusing power, from President Grant’s involvement in the original gamestopping of the stock market to FDR’s 3,721 numbered executive orders. President Clinton’s criminal record is the most recent, and possibly the most infamous, example. This level of corruption is consistent throughout all of history, and why wouldn’t it be? Power and money, both of which come with positions of authority, are the most corrupting substances known to sinful man.
Moreover, since the beginning of the U.S. Congress, we have seen a substantial percentage increase in the number of years members serve. “The average representative term has nearly quadrupled while the average Senate tenure has more than doubled. Roughly 24% of the current Congress has twelve years or more experience in at least one chamber and that trend is on the rise” (Selleck).
It is worth noting, however, that this isn’t necessarily wrong, yet these statistics present plenty of dangers.
“The factors attributed to increased tenure are expansion of incentives associated with the power and prestige in holding congressional office that lead to more incumbents seeking reelection and institutional changes such as increased incumbent advantage, gerrymandering, and political party influence that decrease chances of defeat at the ballot box to less than 5%” (Selleck).
This rise in career years can force career politicians to become out of touch with their districts, eliminating citizen legislators that are integral parts of their districts.
Beyond the increasing desire for power and ever-increasing ability to actually satiate this burning need, humanity is corrupt as a whole. Thus, it stands to reason that the government, a representative of humanity, would outflow the human heart in presenting such corruption. Just as Adam once represented our humankind as a race, the governments of Earth provide an equally damning corruption.
The only true, effective, and lasting solution to governmental corruption is a God-given change of heart. To truly combat corruption, the heart must be targeted through continual praying, Gospel witnessing, and Bible studying trusting that God will accomplish His will.
Is there any legislation that can be passed to rage against darkness, corruption, and tyranny? In a sense, the Founding Founders provided a way in article V of the United States Constitution.
“The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof” (Constitution).
This statement provided all Americans with a way to combat evil as they see it. Our forefathers, in their God-given wisdom, gave us the ability to unite around common issues and actually solve them with a simple majority. This is a true blessing, yet it has been used for the reverse effect as of late. Instead of the government being used to better humanity, it has reverted back to its fallen state, just as expected. History repeats itself, does it not? Government always returns to its representation of fallen man, and the promotion of abortion, homosexuality, and promiscuity merely increases this idea.
There is a Convention of the United States being attempted right now. It seeks to propose amendments that impose fiscal restraints on irresponsible Federal Spending by limiting the power and scope of the Federal Government and by imposing term limits on its officials.
How do these restraints help put corruption to death? Responsibility in fiscal spending helps prevent bribes and ensures that would-be politicians are not running for office because of the fiscal benefits.
This responsibility also protects liberty by bringing power back to the people. Its goal is to lift the burden of debt from the American people, which collectively owe 225,000 dollars per taxpayer.
Our responsibility as citizens goes beyond calling for accountability for our leaders. We are called to lead as godly men and women, pushing each other for good as we strive for good morals. Even if our leaders are not Christians, the Christian morals are more necessary in our government than ever. What if even two commandments were encouraged in our government? What if we actually fought to not lie, and to not steal (only two commandments). Would our government not see a radical change?
Fight, my good people, for morality. We must combat the corruption in our government and live in peace with one another, loving each other as Christ loves His church. If love was the center of our daily lifestyles as a country, all of today’s issues would be gone. Imagine, a world without political lines, race/hate wars, or riots. A perfect world, and not one described by communism. This world is described by God Himself. This world exists and is a very real place. All we need to do to access it is trust in Him and ask Him to lead us.
May God watch over you tonight,
Elisha McFarland and Timothy Smith