In recent months there have been a number of incidents that remind us of how politics is a field ripe with corruption and disappointment. This past week the governor of South Carolina was caught in and then disclosed his adulterous relationship. This despite a pro-family image. The Governor of Illinois was also revealed to have engaged in a kind of buying and selling of offices. Going back even a bit further there scandals involving the Governors of New York and New Jersey. And, well I haven’t even mentioned the numerous scandals involving Senators and congressional representatives. But you get the point.
And then there is Political Disappointment. Many times Catholics and other Christians pin their hopes on a certain party or individual to “bring about needed reform” or to “stop the business as usual in Washington.” We want them to be paragons of virtue and be uncompromising in their stands on moral issues only to find that they compromise, or do not actually end up changing things dramatically. Or, perhaps we agree with them on certain issues but find their stands on other issues odious.
As Americans we usually have high expectations and high hopes in politics. (I have found that many Catholics are more passionate about their politics than their faith). But in the end, politics is pretty “down to earth” and quite dirty sometimes. We need to be sober about politicians, even the ones we like. They are politicians and politics can be very compromising and sometimes just plain dirty. Even the best can corrupted by money, power and prestige.
But as usual, I go on too long. I think I’ll get out of the way and let Fr. Robert Barron take on this issue. In this video he considers political corruption from a Biblical Perspective.