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    Tom Hoefling

    April 23, 2011

    “An honest politician is one who, when he is bought, will stay bought.” – Simon Cameron, U.S. financier and politician, 1799-1889

    For more than a century this has been accepted as a truism in American politics, one that is, sadly, generally acknowledged as such with a rueful chuckle and a resigned sigh.

    Poor Mitt Romney. There are just so few honest politicians left in the country these days. Over the last five years or so he’s spent a considerable portion of his children’s inheritance, and his friends’ fortunes, buying political hacks throughout the formerly grand old party. And now along comes a ne’er do well like Donald Trump, who has more than enough money to outbid Mitt for the rented, unprincipled, callous affections of Republican-dumb.

    The Republican establishment so wanted Romney, too. For a long time they thought he really had it going, with his deep pockets and total lack of genuine moral political principles or commitment, but squeaky-clean, airbrushed, cardboard cut out, boardroom-burnished, exterior. They may be the political equivalent of hookers, but they have high-end aspirations when it comes to their johns. (After all, in the last presidential election they nominated and backed John Judas McCain, even though most of them hated his guts and still do.)

    But, now there’s “the Donald,” who really is a good fit for the modern Republican Party: More money than actual knowledge, understanding, wisdom, or sense. Totally centered on celebrity, money, and media. Shallow. Unprincipled. Deceptive. Shoot, even his little remaining hair is used to cover the bald reality. Perfect. I mean, who needs real reality when you can have a reality show?

    Unlike the smooth, smug, straitlaced, calculating, cautious, double-talking Romney (who at least has good hair), Trump, ever the brash, arrogant showman, throws caution to the wind and says anything to pander to the lowest common denominator. No demagoguery is beneath him, if his (Democrat, previously Obama-supporting) political fortune-tellers and focus groups tell him it might be popular. Anything to help “close the deal.” Not only can he afford the high class call girls of Washington, DC, as he’s proven in spades with his generous political giving to both “major” parties, he can go where the real numbers are: to those Republicans across the country who don’t seem to have any principles any more either, and can often be bought for a mere tip of the hat to their egos and their vanity, or some cynical lip service on the television screen for their favorite hot-button “issue” de jour, or for a modest donation to their organizations. Just give them enough for a packet of political crack, a quick fix, a good high, and they’ll be happy. Very happy. At least for a day, until the high wears off, and they wake up the next morning to the painful realization that they’ve sold their precious virtue for nothing but a hangover.

    You know, what I’ve written here is pretty crass. I know that. But I hope you’ll forgive me, because I believe it to be an accurate, honest, unvarnished portrayal of the low rent reality of our current political situation in America.

    I know I’ve pointed some fingers at specific individuals, and groups of people. But this isn’t about any one of them per se. It’s about all of us, and what we have become.

    Let me leave you with some thoughts that perhaps can help get us up out of the political gutter we find ourselves in, and point all of us upwards to a much better way:

    Even prostitutes can repent. Jesus forgave those who did, and He cared enough about them to die for them on a Roman cross to give them the hope of eternal glory and light.

    John 8

     1 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.

    2 Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them. 3 Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, 4 they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” 6 This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.

    7 So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” 8 And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”

    11 She said, “No one, Lord.”

    And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”

    12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

    As a nation, as a people, let us turn back to the light, to personal and public purity. Purity of principle. Purity of motive. Purity of action. It’s the right thing to do. It’s for our own good. And our survival as a free people, the people of the City upon a Hill, depends on it.

    "Public virtue cannot exist in a nation without private, and public virtue is the only foundation of republics. There must be a positive passion for the public good, the public interest, honor, power and glory, established in the minds of the people, or there can be no republican government, nor any real liberty: and this public passion must be superior to all private passions."

    -- John Adams

    "A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue then will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader."

    -- Samuel Adams

    "Since private and public Vices, are in reality, though not always apparently, so nearly connected, of how much Importance, how necessary is it, that the utmost pains be taken by the public, to have the Principles of Virtue early inculcated on the minds even of children, and the moral sense kept alive, and that the wise institutions of our ancestors for these great purposes be encouraged by the government. For no people will tamely surrender their Liberties, nor can any be easily subdued, when Knowledge is diffus'd and Virtue is preserv'd. On the contrary, when People are universally ignorant, and debauch'd in their Manners, they will sink under their own weight without the Aid of foreign Invaders."

    -- Samuel Adams

    "He who is void of virtuous attachments in private life is, or very soon will be, void of all regard of his country. There is seldom an instance of a man guilty of betraying his country who had not before lost the feeling of moral obligations in his private connections… [P]rivate and public vices are in reality… connected… Nothing is more essential to the establishment of manners in a State than that all persons employed in places of power and trust be men of [exceptional] character. The public cannot be too curious concerning the characters of public men." 

    -- Samuel Adams

    I have an idea: Let’s find some men and women of exceptional character and put them in public office for once. Those who won’t sell America’s principles, or their virtue, for any amount of money, or power, or personal political gain. Can you imagine the transformation they could bring about?

    May you have a blessed Resurrection Sunday.

    And may God have mercy on the United States of America.

     

    Tom Hoefling is the founder and chairman of America's Independent Party and the editor of AIPNews.com. You can reach him at tomhoefling@gmail.com.

    Posted 2011-04-22 11:46 PM (#52367) By: EternalVigilance


    Another case study in the state of the formerly grand old party, for those so inclined.
    Posted 2011-04-23 8:35 AM (#52374 - in reply to #52367) By: EternalVigilance


    Trump’s Eminent-Domain Empire
    This faux conservative scoffs at fundamental private-property rights.

    He agrees with the Kelo decision 100%.

    Posted 2011-04-23 8:55 AM (#52376 - in reply to #52374) By: EternalVigilance


    Much too crass! When folks describe Congress as spending like drunken sailors, I think the comparison is unfair to the sailors (since the sailors spend their own money). I react the same way to the analogy in this thread title. I do share your disgust for the lust-for-power crowd, though.

    And what's with the hair jokes?
    Posted 2011-04-23 10:04 AM (#52379 - in reply to #52376) By: SteveSchulin


    My apologies to whores, then, comparing them to politicians and all.

    The hair remarks are appropriate, whether you're talking Romney or Trump.

    I've actually seen Romney supporters say he should have been the GOP nominee in 2008 because he has good hair. It's an insight into the shallow nature of Republican politics these days. Take a look at Congress and you'll see lots of good hair, I assure you. But little else of substance.

    And when it comes to Trump his hair is an obvious, self-evident, in-your-face insight into what he's really all about. The man is bald, Steve. Have you noticed?

    Posted 2011-04-23 11:03 AM (#52382 - in reply to #52379) By: EternalVigilance

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