Remove the dirty money

The Sept. 17 News and Sentinel printed an editorial from political columnist Mike Myer. That column was a big collection of contradictions. You don’t often see that from a professional writer.

He started out by reminding his readers about simple rules of common courtesy and civility. He used a good example nearly everyone follows. At the supermarket, we wait our turn in line. We don’t crowd in front of someone else just because we might be in a hurry.

He then tried to contrast that example of common courtesy with the present-day effort by Democrats to break Senate rules and block the SCOTUS nomination of Brett Kavanaugh. He referred to it as “guerrilla politics” and suggested the Democrats have forgotten any good manners they once might have had.

Mr. Myer must be disadvantaged with a very short memory. That shouldn’t surprise anyone. It’s a typical Republican ailment. He seems to have forgotten President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland for Supreme Court Justice nearly a year before Obama’s second term expired. Senate leader, Mitch McConnell, ignored that nomination and refused to even allow hearings on Judge Garland.

So, playing the political game by Mr. Myer’s rules means it’s OK for the right-wing to screw with the left-wing, but not vice-versa.

Dirty politics has been around for a long time but it didn’t get expensive and hateful until big dirty money entered the game during Nixon-Watergate. It got particularly nasty during Reagan’s Iran-Contra debacle and has continued right into the Trump era. Trump made it to the Oval Office with help from some highly questionable foreign funding and he’s been trying to cover it up for 20 months.

Dirty, impolite politics won’t end until we take the dirty money out of politics. We’ll get the dirty money out when we have laws that make it a criminal offense for a corporation to buy or rent a politician. CEO’s should go to jail for that crime. Our wealthiest citizens will also be jailed for trying to buy their favorite candidate. If we forcefully remove big money from the game our elected leaders will suddenly discover they have only one customer to serve. That customer would be the average citizen.

The political civility Mr. Myer longs for can be returned to politics as soon as the dirty money is removed.

Ralph Chambers

Parkersburg

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