Friday, June 16, 2006

NOW . Crude Awakening . Trivializing Corruption . 6.16.06 | PBS

NOW . Crude Awakening . Trivializing Corruption . 6.16.06 PBS: "Trivializing Corruption
By David Sirota

David Sirota is the author of the new book 'Hostile Takeover: How Big Money and Corruption Conquered Our Government -- And How We Take It Back' (Crown Publishers, May 2006)

Ninety thousand dollars in a Democratic Congressman's freezer. A Republican House Majority Leader indicted for money laundering, and a senior Republican thrown in jail for accepting bribes. Washington's biggest lobbyist thrown in jail for trying to buy off lawmakers. This is what the Washington Establishment and the media want America to believe is the worst form of corruption: a few dirty political hacks who had the nerve to violate our supposedly pristine democracy.

Certainly, these examples are egregious. But the intense focus on them by political leaders and the media to the exclusion of the real corruption destroying our democracy trivializes what corruption really is. That's not by accident -- it is a deliberate tactic of distraction, and shows just how bought off our political system really is.

Today, the lifeblood of American politics is money. Candidates must raise enormous sums of private cash to run for office -- sums that the wealthy and corporate interests are only too happy to provide in exchange for legislative favors. We are told by politicians that this system is 'the greatest democracy in the world' when, in fact, it is very clearly the same form of bribery that has marked every corrupt regime looked down on by history books." A must Read David & Nikki

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