July 28, 2010
The other day on my Sunday radio program, several callers lamented the caliber of politicians we have in the United States.
These good folk wanted to know why they are so corrupt.
The classic example of a politician who is totally corrupt is, of course, Charlie Rangel who has been re-elected 20 times.
He was first elected in 1970, taking the seat of the disgraced Rev. Adam Clayton Powell Jr.
Congressman Powell was sent to Washington to represent the citizens of that district in Manhattan which depended heavily on its political leaders. But, Powell turned out to be so corrupt that even his Democrat colleagues in the House of Representatives voted against him and he was removed from his house seat.
Powell was a charming man and I could see why he was so successful. But, that wasn’t enough; he had crossed the line. I remember him saying repeatedly, even upon his removal, “Keep the faith, baby.”
Along comes Charlie Rangel, who in his own way was also a charmer. He was handsome, gregarious and easy to like.
However, I learned quite early what a phony he was. He was elected for the first time in 1970 and I began my radio program in New York at the very same time.
I had my producer call Charlie Rangel many times for a telephone interview. He would always ask what time and would always say OK. But when my producer called the Congressman, there was always some stooge telling him that Mr. Rangel could not make it . . . that something had come up he had to attend to.
I can understand this sort of thing happening once in awhile. But in Charlie Rangel’s case, it happened all the time until I got the message and realized he had no intention to do the Bob Grant Show.
But, that is all right with me. If he didn’t want to appear on the program, he should have just said so. When someone else asked him about his dodging the Bob Grant program, he would laugh and say, “Oh, I like Bob. It just never worked out.”
So, we have come to a case of history repeating itself. Apparently Charlie Rangel will go the way of Adam Clayton Powell. But, make no mistake these two politicians aren’t the only ones who have betrayed their public trust.
There are many ways in which politicians show us how utterly sleazy and grasping they are. Take John Kerry, Senator from Massachusetts. He represents the Bay State, but he docks his yacht in Rhode Island, in order to avoid paying the Massachusetts taxes.
And if I were to go into all the crevices of John Kerry’s past, I would find numerous examples which demonstrate he is capable of only tawdry conduct.
My purpose today is not to talk about the lack of morality of our political leaders, but to point the finger where the root of the cause can be found. And that, my fellow Americans, is us.
As Walter Kelly said in his cartoon, Pogo,“We have met the enemy and he is us!”
Yes, we are the enemy because we vote these scoundrels in and do not vote them out as soon as we discover their moral turpitude.
Grover Cleveland, my favorite Democrat, who was our 22nd and 24th president said it best, “Public office is a public trust.”
I believe President Cleveland was never guilty of violating that public trust. But, it has also been said, “We get the government we deserve.”
How much longer can we put up with the likes of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi?
Only you have the answer!