The Honesty, Generosity, and Philosophy of George Washington Plunkitt and His Use of Grafts to Benefit His Community and Himself

George Washington Plunkitt, senator of New York, was involved with the political machines associated with Tammany Hall. He used political power and the tips he received to obtain great wealth. Plunkitt said there were two types of grafts, honest and dishonest. Plunkitt argued that his ways were honest. He supported this saying, “I seen my opportunity and I took it.” Plunkitt compared his actions to watching Wall Street or the cotton market. Along with obtaining wealth, Plunkitt used similar ideas to gain votes.

He said, “…you must study human nature and act accordin’.” He saw opportunity to reach people within his district and took it, gaining votes in the process.

Plunkitt argued he ran an honest graft. Plunkitt philosophy was he saw opportunity and took it. He was an honest and generous man because he used the information he was given to benefit his community. There is a difference between honest and dishonest grafts. Dishonest graft involved blackmail gamblers, saloon keepers, and disorderly people, things that would not assist political success.

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The wealth that Plunkitt received was honest. The property that he withheld can be seen as an investment, like the stock market. In buying land, Plunkitt said, “… made a pretty good guess…” As in the stock market, or any investment for that matter, it is a guess; he could not be sure that he was going to make profit. Plunkitt demonstrated honesty when dealing with the granite blocks. At the auction for the granite blocks, Plunkitt said, “…I’ll give each of what you wanted for nothin’.

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” Plunkitt did just what he said, and gave each of the bidders what they asked for.

Plunkitt proved that his interest went farther than his benefit; he was interested in the benefit of others as well Plunkitt’s philosophy to take advantage of opportunity affected his community in honest ways. Plunkitt used his honesty to benefit his community through his generosity. Plunkitt made it clear that his actions were for the advantage of his district by aiding them to better themselves. He said, “I don’t ask whether they are Republican or Democrats.” The political party did not matter, what mattered was their wellbeing. He knew each person within his district. He assisted them in whatever was needed whether it was to help rebuild their lives or nurturing their talents such as singing or baseball. The people knew his as a father figure and came to him in trouble; a father is a trusted, honest man people inspire to become. The combination of his honesty and generosity allowed Plunkitt to become successful and keep ahold of his district.

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The Honesty, Generosity, and Philosophy of George Washington Plunkitt and His Use of Grafts to Benefit His Community and Himself. (2022, Oct 26). Retrieved from http://studymoose.com/the-honesty-generosity-and-philosophy-of-george-washington-plunkitt-and-his-use-of-grafts-to-benefit-his-community-and-himself-essay

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