The mantle of responsibility fell hard on the Democratic Party. Perhaps it was the Christmas season that caused members to frame their latest undertaking in messianic terms, as if the democratic republic they are sworn to save will vanish from the face of the earth if they don’t do the wrong thing.
When the ends justify the means government ethics is an anachronism. Classic abuses like corruption in office are difficult to ignore and are usually punished sooner or later. Sneaky bad behaviors like spreading propaganda and disinformation are subtle and do more damage because they are harder to spot and can influence millions.
Capitol Hill still hasn’t rid Washington of insider trading. Like term limits, that’s going to be a very difficult ethics rule to get everyone to agree to but at least it’s a conflict we know about.
Government ethics: the worst problems hide
The worst types of unethical behavior are the ones we don’t see coming. They undermine what America stands for and what we believe in. Examples are political rhetoric that distorts the truth, pandering to big money donors, and selecting special interests for legislative favoritism. All of these things point to how government ethics falls by the wayside when opportunity knocks.
The ethics of winning and losing
The rise and fall of Hillary Rodham Clinton and lingering anger among her supporters speaks volumes about America's ability to look the other way when confronted with ethical lapses.
With Donald Trump in charge ethics is about foreign interference in our government. Robert Mueller took the first head with the Manafort indictment. Now we’re warned that Michael Flynn could be another thorn in the administration’s foot in a scandal that likely won’t go away and may never be resolved.
On Capitol Hill government ethics has turned to harassment and sexual misconduct. America wanted bipartisanship, now a scandal that’s causing problems for both parties is giving us what we asked for.
What is the Government Ethics category about?
The government ethics category is about what happens when political opportunity takes precedence over doing the right thing. From fake politics to outright thievery, as long as there is money and power to be had ethics will be an inconvenience best ignored.
What do a nativity scene with Mary, Joseph, and Jesus in cages and the past week on Capitol Hill have in common? They are unmistakable signs that scorched earth politics has gone too far.
What’s happening in Washington started as partisan brinksmanship that turned into an all-out, scorched earth war between left and right.
America is about being on top. Our nation is the preeminent economic and military superpower. We also pride ourselves on our ethical and moral leadership, but now these testaments to our strength are under fire. Socialists like presidential candidate Bernie Sanders who target vulnerable Americans are determined to cast doubt on what makes us great:
We must put an end to the obscene income and wealth inequality in our country, and ensure living wages, quality health care, and retirement security for our seniors as human rights.
Common sense tells us that stopping crime means preventing criminals from doing illegal things. That’s not easy. There is enormous political liability in cities where failure is measured in bodies and the crime statistics have to be sold to the public.
93 million fat people are a huge, expensive problem.1 That’s nearly 40% of the U.S. population. This statistic should shock. It doesn’t. So many of us are overweight that fat is practically the norm.
That’s a bad thing for our country.