The Politics of the Present
The Politics of the Present
[col. writ. 12/13/08] (c) '08 Mumia Abu-Jamal
If the media is any measure, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich is the most corrupt Chicagoan since the infamous Al Capone.
His visage beams from every cable and news channel, the latest prey of the horde of hunters who inhabit the media safaris.
They are on the prowl for a juicy quote, hopefully enriched by an expletive.
But what did he do besides rant on the phone, and curse like a prison guard?
Does anyone think that the private phone conversations of any politician in America is substantially different?
And what is American politics but ambition and gain? Nearly two centuries ago, that great French visionary, Alexis de Tocqueville observed, "Than politics the American citizen knows no higher profession -- for it is the most lucrative" (Democracy in America (1835).
Statements, standing alone, are not crimes, no matter how shocking or objectionable. Unless an offer is made, and accepted -- that is, unless there is an overt act in furtherance thereof -- there is no crime.
In fact, the recent court filings may've preempted the actual crime!
Blagojevich may, or may not, resign, but if so, it'll be not because he committed a crime, but a blunder.
Few of us can bear the scrutiny of our private conversations with our friends, our erstwhile allies, or our spouses, made public.
It is a measure of our present political hour that a high government official, like a governor, can be wiretapped so easily, essentially on a whim.
I'll bet there are 49 state governors who are suddenly more circumspect on the line.
Does anyone really think that politicians aren't in it for money and power?
Name the American president who, upon leaving the White House, didn't make a pile? (The possible exception may be Jimmy Carter). Clinton cleaned up like a vacuum cleaner; Bush I went on a global 'Gimme' tour. Bush II is getting ready to cash in.
How many wars have been declared, not for democracy or for 'weapons of mass destruction', but for corporate advantage, and attainment of great wealth.
Blagojevich may be an S.O.B., but he's an all-American S.O.B., with his like in every legislature, and most government offices in the land.
He's the American way.
--(c) '08 maj
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