Born in revolution on July 4, 1776 and raised in resolve, America promised its citizens equality, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It welcomed immigrants who had the desire to live free, provide for their families, and freely worship without fear of persecution.
The government that was created laid down amendments and articles in the Constitution to ensure that the above would persevere and that America would remain the land of the free and the home of the brave for centuries to come.
The responsibility of the “by the people, for the people” government was to protect its citizenry. But, unfortunately, over the last 236 years it has become the “by the lobbyists, for their own personal gain” government with electeds miserably failing to represent or protect.
These politicians who were sworn to protect and serve have either served or are serving time in the slammer because they protected their own ill-gotten gains. Some resigned, some were convicted, and some were just given a smack on the wrist.
This past week saw New York’s latest disgraced pol, former state Sen. Carl Kruger, head off to the slammer to serve seven years on a corruption charge.
Waiting in the wings and yet to be sentenced is state Sen. Pedro Espada for four counts of theft. But there’s a whole lot more: those already incarcerated, Gov. Rod Blagojevich; those still smarting from a slap on the wrist, Rep. Charles Rangel; those that stepped down in disgrace, Gov. Spitzer, Rep. Anthony Weiner, and Rep. Vito Fossella — and this is just a partial list!
But whether Democrat or Republican, a thief, a liar, or just morally corrupt, the one thing all of them had in common is that they forgot who they worked for: we the people.
We’re the citizens who elected them, the tax-payers who footed the bill, the sons and daughters of immigrants who yearned for a better life, and the descendents of those that shed their sweat and blood so that we can all be free today.
Not for nuthin, but when elected officials go wrong, we the people, have an obligation to channel our inner Donald Trump and tell them, in no uncertain terms, “You’re Fired!” Happy birthday, America.
Reach reporter Joanna DelBuono at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (718) 260-2523.