Saturday, March 17, 2012

Money In Politics Creates Partisan Politics

Larry Lessig, Professor Of Ethics At Harvard, says giving politicians money who are pretty much on your side already is not bribery, and not illegal.

But consider:

1. Debate, discussion means first seeing the argument of the other side, then responding.
2. Most politicians at some stage or other of their careers will be undecided, or changing.
3. Almost all politician believe they need money to get and stay in office.
4. Rewarding one side, and making continued reward contingent on staying on that side, results in creating one-sided politicians. One sided politicians do not discuss or debate.
5. Money in politics creates partisan politics.

Partisan politicians, simply by not being interested, undermine the institutions of government that make life safe: rule of law, division of power, protection of the weak from assaults of the strong.

A politician taking money and becoming partisan is working against the necessary institutions of government. Without asking what the citizens represented want, we can be sure, as citizens, they want their government to continue to exist and protect them.

Politicians taking money and creating a crisis of government betray their contract with the people who elect them.

Taking money to break the rules of employment is bribery and illegal.