"I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."

Thomas Jefferson
Sept. 23, 1800

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Corrupt Does Not Equal "Crazy"

The brazen behavior of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has led many main stream media apologists to suggest the man is out and out crazy. As such, he is not a symbol of corrupt Democratic politics, but a sideshow freak. He's interesting and horrifying, but not indicative of any larger problem. Some have even managed to lay blame on the man's hair.

This reaction shows either a total disregard for the intelligence of the news consumer, or a complete ignorance of the nature of political power in human society. John Locke wrote that humans are born with the right and desire to be free. Governments are set up as a necessary evil to ensure that one man's freedom doesn't infringe on that of another. History records an unbroken string of men given power over other men by government over stepping their bounds. It's the reason our founders installed so many checks on the power of the federal government in total and on each branch individually. It's also why the first amendment was designed to keep the government's hands off the news business.

Without constant vigilance, the actions of Blagojevich are the natural way of things. It's not crazy, it's human nature.

Here in Brunswick County, we had a similar situation. Our long-time Sheriff was running his department as a personal fiefdom, and when he was investigated, was recorded trying to obstruct that investigation. Ronald Hewett was at one time a very admired man in this county, and to some he still is, though he sits in prison today. He was a young man put into a position of power as part of a Democratic party that was used having all things political and legal as they wished. Our county has changed a lot recently, both demographically and politically, and Sheriff Hewett was unprepared for and maybe unaware of that change. Some here tried to blame his behavior on alcoholism and prescription drug abuse, which was part of the problem, but it went far beyond that. Having grown up in the political and social climate he did, Hewett acted as a man with his morals and character would be expected to act.

Hewett and Blagojevich were wrong, but the hubris and power-hunger they demonstrated have been a part of the human struggle for as long as we've banded together into societies. Forgetting that we have to keep up a constant watch for this in our leaders will ensure further abuses of power.

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