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Political Corruption Essay

Politics are the heart and sole of the American government. Without representatives in our government the people would not have a say. Although the American public has a say, does it really count? The fact of the matter is, the corruption and sleaziness involved in politics can shade the public’s outcry and their voices will not be heard. As Americans, we need to be selective in who we elect to office. As my political cartoon portrays, America is being run by corporations instead of officials. Still no change to this problem has been made. Over the last few years, the issue of corruption (the abuse of public office for private gain) has attracted renewed interest, both among academics and policymakers. There are a number of reasons why this topic has come under recent inspection. Corruption scandals have toppled governments in both major industrial countries and developing countries. In the transition countries, the shift from command economies to free market economies has created massive opportunities for the appropriation of rents, excessive profits, wealthy entrepreneurs and has often been accompanied by a change from a “well-organized” system of corruption to a more chaotic and toxic one.

With the end of the cold war, donor countries have placed less emphasis on political considerations in distributing foreign aid among developing countries and have paid more attention to cases in which aid funds have been misused and have not reached the poor. Corruption is now being dragged into corporations. As campaigns are now in more and more need of money, the wealthy corporations such as Exxon Mobile and Goldman Sachs, have begun running the government by helping to elect state and federal officials. With this power corporations can begin to take advantage of democracy and begin to pass laws that will benefit their company. In history many scandals involving corruption have existed, it is a prominent problem for the United States and anyplace where power can be sought out. Human nature drags us into these problems due to the lust for power and there isn’t a clear solution only temporary ones. Corruption, dishonest, stealing, bribery, fraud and deception are all synonyms for what corporate funding has made of our government. Despite the reformation and establishment of freedom our government has made, the effects of corporate corruption have ruined our portrayal as a country of freedom and equality.

Political cartoons are often necessary to embellish what is wrong in America. The wrongdoings are exaggerated and catch the reader’s attention to attempt to pass along a message. The corruption depicted in this particular cartoon helps show the American public that the corporations are negatively portraying society. The leadership within our government now belongs to the multi-million dollar corporations that fund our senators, representatives and even ties to our president, Barack Obama, exist. Corporations now go shopping at the “Congressman, Senators and Beyond” to try and fund the most likely candidate to win and supply them with what they want. Recently a scandal involving our own governor, Rod Blagojevich, and Tony Rezko, has shown that corruption exists and threatens American democracy. Elected officials are intended to represent the public. With corrupt official the American public will not trust the government nor be properly represented. Kickbacks from the local and federal government, although easier to detect compared to the past, are the major source of corruption.

Rezko and other entrepreneurs involving public facilities, seek out politicians, to grant them permits. The corporations charge double the actual cost and keep the rest for themselves. This is how many of elected officials gain corporate funding. As the cartoon shows, corporations are really the controls behind the congressmen while he is only a “figure head” for the company. The argument facing corporate sponsorships in campaigns is that this helps to keep normal people from sponsoring the politicians in return for job positions. This way of gaining campaign money originated from the Spoils System during the 1800’s. Politicians promised jobs to people that generously donated money to their campaign and strongly represented the nominee. This was somewhat working until a president, Grover Cleveland, was shot from a deranged campaign donor that didn’t receive a job. The Spoils System was removed and the idea of corporations donating to nominees was put into place.

Although this solved the general public from being upset about noon-appointments, it created a large scale of corruption and dishonesty within our government. The development of corporate corruption has deterred the common public but still, employees and friends within the company end up on state boards and under governmental jobs anyhow. So the solution of corporate donations has not worked at all. Not only has this “solution” developed a negative portrayal of American democracy, it has also slowed down the progress of our governmental officials in completing important issues. The development of corruption has burdened non-corrupt congressman and has created a goose hunt for the federal government and its programs. The real attention needs to be on internal affairs and international relations.


Corruption within our government means more than this single cartoon can portray but still reveals change is needed. The change needs to come swiftly and in a harsh manner in order to maintain our democratic, “American Dream” portrayal. As the government moves onto international affairs and problems facing our economy, corruption needs to have a set limit. Donations need to be limited and their control over politics needs to be put to a stop. As President Obama’s inaugural speech dictated, “A New Birth of Freedom,” [from corruption] must be brought forward.

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