Swickard: Never ending elections for personal gain of the elected

© 2016 Michael Swickard, Ph.D.  New Mexico and America’s elections have become never-ending. Every minute of every day for decades has been focused on coming elections. There has never been even one moment when the elected stop campaigning and start representing the people.
            Worse, our society has descended into a “Thumb in the eye” society so that every action in politics is meant to divide the people, not bring anyone together. Every issue is calculated by both parties as to how much money the political operatives can raise because people are upset.
            For many years I took care of an uncle who was a staunch Republican. One day while doing talk radio I was talking to a staunch Democrat about the mailers coming to my uncle. He said that he gets the same volume of mailers and their message is similar: to stop the other side just send lots of money.
            Perhaps what bothers me the most is that we have professional legislators who will stay in office until they are recalled by their maker. In some offices there are term limits but the professional office-holders just move to another elected position and continue feeding on the carcass of New Mexico and America.
            Even worse are those professional office holders who work for professional entities that are effected by the legislature. These elected ones turn into a lobbying representative for the people who write their paychecks instead of representing the voters.
            Be it public education, environmental organizations or those attorneys who gain immense wealth once elected to an office that pays no money, they represent their own interests rather than the voters. It is why some people think New Mexico is the capital of crony corruption in our country.
            Corruption is intertwined with all of this political activity since it rewards those who will break the rules and laws. Even more stupid are those who think that the crony corruptors will self-report their transgressions. If someone with a bribe gives it to someone who wants to trade influence for that bribe, neither will report this fact.
            The only way to see even the shadow requires noting the rise in wealth of these people when the reason for the rise is not apparent. Mexico’s President, Enrique Peña Nieto observed, “Whenever there are some who have more opportunities than others, this feed corruption.”
            It goes on all of the time. The person elected stands at the buffet of corruption and no one reports on their meteoritic rise in wealth. The media gives them a pass.
            Bess Myerson wrote, “The accomplice to the crime of corruption is frequently our own indifference.” We are partially responsible because year after year the crony corruption continues and more often than not the crony corrupt legislators are returned to office because the citizens do not care or often even vote.
            At the coffee shop the other day someone said that they could not wait for the November election to be over. Me too, but I understand that there will be no pause. The 2018 election is upon us as is 2020. We cannot think about governing because we are in the never ending election cycle.
            We are bombarded with Thumb in the eye political actions. The elected are not stupid, they do so intentionally to rally the base to give more money. Normal citizens are made nauseous by their actions and they do not care as long as they feast at the money buffet.
            The number one problem in our country is that the media has changed sides from protecting the citizens to protecting the crony corruption agents. Perhaps they are also on the take or they understand that if they do not take the side of the elected ones, they will be cut off from contact.
            The only time corruptors cannot avoid scrutiny is the Internet but canceling the First Amendment rights of citizens is very attractive to those dealing with corruption. When the First Amendment ends, which it will end, given the power of the corruptors, the nation goes over the cliff.
            At the very least let us stop allowing companies and organizations to have paid lobbyists in elected office. We have to start somewhere in cleaning up our government.