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Corruption In American Politics

Corruption is as old as mankind. It is understood by many as being selfish and putting ones private and personal interests over the public good while serving in a public office. It is today the root cause of what ails American democracy. It can never be agreed on what real corruption is or even on ways of fighting it effectively but people unanimously believe that it is a problem. A farmer George Mason warned that they needed to provide for corruption or the government will soon be at an end. Corruption is not all about change of cash for a vote but is viewed in broader sense as the opposite of public virtue.

In the American elections, corruption, influence and bribery are discussed more often than violence and instability. Corruption has remained a dominant theme of American politics. It is due to this reason that lobbying has been treated as illegal for much of the nation’s history. Even when lobbying is not a crime some states have taken a step of making it a crime and courts refuse to enforce lobbying contracts on the basis that it is against the public policy.

It is also seen as corruption or a risk at democracy when corporations and individuals spend a lot of money campaigning. This makes people questions if the elected leader will represent all the people equally or will be increasingly interested in those willing to spend vast sums of money in campaigns on their behalf. These facts erode democracy and voters tend to believe that the government is owned by a few rich and influential people who spend so as to look after their interests. The court put a restriction on the amount that a corporation can spend but not on the amount that a candidate can spend in campaigns. This also limits the freedom of speech even though not directly. Anyone can speak but whatever the influence they have depends on the size of the corporation and amount of money they give for campaigns to their favorite candidates. Despite the fact that each individual has got only one vote, what big shots in the community say is quite influential.

The court has found itself on a hot spot in defining precisely all that appertains to corruption during elections. They seek to declare buying of votes as the only illegal and corrupt deed in elections. But as both history and contemporary evidence demonstrate, the integrity of a serving government may be threatened by the amount spent during campaign even if not a single bribe was given.