Voters/Citizens See Corruption in Government as The Number One Issue Facing the USA
This article will piggyback another article full of survey results by the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) which found that voters/citizens now see corruption in government as their number one concern. When I first started my project on citizen journalism over a decade ago, I thought the problem was poor newspaper coverage on local government issues. Well, as it turns out, that is just part of the problem, but it is a key facet.
In this article, I’ll address the primary problems for our corrupted government and what is needed to add a sense of ethics back in to our governmental institutions. It’s a handful because those who have taken it from us will not be handing it over willingly.
The Free Press Ignored Their Responsibility
I’ve written plenty of articles about the free press as our Constitutional Founders laid out when creating our Declaration of Independence. There was a balance between government and oligarchy or the private sector. The government was supposed to regulate the industry within our society. That means the government had to have powers too. In order to prevent government corruption and abuse of power (executive, legislative, and judicial), was to create a quasi-fourth branch of government – the free press. As with the private industry, government, and the press, all three were to serve the people within society. A delicate balance of powers was struck.
As humans do what they do, and power does what it does, the delicate balance crumbled very quickly. Personally, I’m not even sure they functioned properly at the beginning. The press crumbled and wasn’t doing its job because it relied on a business model for its existence. Business advertising, government classified, and consumer ads and subscriptions. It’s hard to ask the clients for money and then hold them accountable at the same time. Wielding power hurts profits.
The Politicians Made Deals With Business
Oligarchs bribing politicians is a practice that goes back long before the creation of money most likely. Politics was always about the distribution of power and how things were done. People of means could get their way by using their economic clout to get public servants to do whatever they wanted. This is why the Bible had plenty of stories about the love of money and the evil of gold. Our Founders saw what happened back in Europe with government corruption, and wanted to strike a balance.
The Robber Barons controlled the government and the newspapers oppressing workers leading up the first Gilded Age in the 20s and 30s. I guess we are having our second Gilded Age right now – oligarchs own everything and the free press has yellowed again (sensationalistic but powerless). Most of our muckrakers are on Substack or run independent websites. Still the government tries to censor them through Google and social platforms.
Julian Assaange, an Australian journalist and publisher, developed a free press website where whistleblowers could anonymously transfer data and information across encrypted cables revealing not so flattering information on multinational corporations and governments who were breaking laws in broad daylight without getting caught. These multinational corporations controlled the government, newspapers, and the criminal justice system. Wikileaks was a game changer and the criminal enterprises hated them so they went after Julian Assange and Wikileaks. Julian’s been suppressed and tortured for a decade.
How to Solve the Corruption Problem
According to every self-help guru and philosophical teacher I know, the first step in solving the problem is admitting you have one. Based on the POGO’s survey results, I’d say US citizens (quite frankly it’s the world’s citizens) have admitted that corruption is our problem. Government corruption is everywhere! It’s the source of most all our problems within local, state, and federal government. The Oligarchy owns the media and the government so there are no checks on power – none! There are only a handful of investigative journalists because it’s dangerous, so what you see on TV, listen to on the radio, or read in the paper, is mostly propaganda. Period.
Case in point, whistleblowers are jailed in this country as spies. The journalist who was holding the Crowned Prince of Saudi Arabia accountable was eventually attacked in a foreign embassy and dismembered. The Saudi’s who did it were trained by the CIA who also designed plans to kill Julian Assange.
What we have running our governments are criminal cartels – they just dress in business attire. So, how do we fix this? What is the solution? I can think of two intitial steps to get the corrupted institutions reversed.
Restore the Free Press & Protect Whistlblowers
In order to take corrective measures, the first step is to restore the free press. But, that doesn’t mean to restore the newspapers to the way they were either. The funding has to come directly from the people so the journalists can be free to hold the powerful accountable. If there is any way their stories can be altered by powerful people, those ties need to be cut. NPR is probably our best bet and remove their need for corporate subsidies. This means the government must fund it all with our taxpayer dollars. Once the people experience the benefits of a real free press, they will fund it because it’s serious and meaningful.
Lots of legislation will need to be passed to protect this entity and the whistleblowers who feed it. Government and private sources will require protection. The model used by Wikileaks could be expanded. This also means that the surveillance state built up by the Fascist government since 9/11 should be defunded dramatically. Think about it, we’ve already claimed our government is corrupt, and we’ve given it the power to spy on everyone for no reason.
Once the protections are in place, get ready for troves of information to come in from near and far. I suspect there are thousands of whistleblowers ready to share what they have seen over the last decade or so. Especially, coming from the military. I would imagine the Pentagon should require auditing as well. As we saw with the $2.3 trillion in expeditures over twenty years in Afghanistan, the oligarchy made a killing because the Afghan people got nothing to show for it.
Clear Out All Private Sector Money in Politics
We cannot just repeal Citizens United, we have to repeal and make bribing public officials illegal with excorbitant fees and prison time. We’ll need to pass ethics laws from top to bottom with citizen oversight boards. Any violation of election or finance laws eliminates the public official of ever serving as a public official again. Lifetime ban.
We basically need to reverse all the ridiculous laws passed allowing criminals to get rich by serving in public positions. Insider trading and government contracts all need to be overseen by the public. Much of the governments business can be done on online open source Wikis. Set them up.
This is just a start, but you see that it’s going to require many changes that the fascists now serving will reject. That is to be expected. They’ve been taking advantage of a poorly run system for decades. Changes take time and I suspect as the rollouts get implemented there will be many departures. Patience will be the keyword. The systems didn’t break down over night, so it will take time to make improvements. However, once the changes take effect, our systems will be more trustworthy because we all know we’re accountable. Other areas may need address like eliminating the need for public sector unions. All the working class should enjoy union representation but they shouldn’t be entangled in our political parties and they shouldn’t donate money to the parties.