First, I'd like to take this opportunity to salute and commend true public servants like Senators Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders. They are two shinning examples of what an American politician should be about: selfless service to their constituents, and their country; honesty, a true sense of empathy, unshakable sense of justice and equality under the law for all; incorruptible; and respect for the Constitution.
But this memo is not for them. This memo is a re-send, for those many other American politicians who may have not gotten the first one.
As a citizen, it pains me to have to write this pointed reminder to people who should not need any; to people who presumably chose the path of public service out of an honest desire to serve their country, honorably.
This memo will not address definitions which have been blatantly changed out of selfish convenience by (corrupt) legislative bodies. This memo will address common sense definitions; definitions that endure the test of time, because they are self-evident.
We all understand that politicians are also citizens. Some start their professional lives in the private sector, either as employees, business owners, or managers. Others come from academia, or the legal profession.
We also assume that when these citizens choose to go into politics, they do it out of a sense of duty, of wanting to make a difference by addressing social problems, and challenges, as well as by harnessing the energy, drive, intelligence, initiative and good will of the citizenry in order to help bring about a more perfect union, which is the promise of the Constitution.
We also assume, or should, that politicians should be smart enough to know that trading on their power and positions as public servants for personal gain represents the highest betrayal of their office, of their duty, of the trust the citizens have placed in them.
Unfortunately, because of the endemic, and widespread influence peddling corruption that results from the infestation of money and politics, it seems like not only have many politicians deluded themselves into believing that this type of behavior is acceptable, but they insist that the public do the same. That ain't going to happen.
If you are a politician, a public servant, and in any way, shape, or form, trade on your power, position, and influence for personal gain, personal enrichment, then you are a crook.
To make sure there is no doubt about what this means, let's get more specific. Let's say your served in public office for ten years. If after that tenure, you leave office and become a private citizen, and go back to work in the private sector, the entity you work for should have no expectations, nor should you imply in any way that it will be able to benefit financially from your previous position as a public servant.
If that happens, the business entity is acting in an immoral and unethical manner, and you are a crook.
It's perfectly okay for you to leave public office and find employment in the private sector, but as a private citizen. Yes, the business entity will benefit from your education, your experience, your talents, your initiative, your hard work, your entrepreneurship; that's all fine. But never should there be any hint, even appearance that the entity you go to work for will get a competitive advantage, or profit from your influence as a public servant.
In a more grievous example of corruption, if you are a politician, and knowingly engage in relationships with private business interests where you use your position, your power, your influence, in order to help those private interests profit at the expense of the public, you are not only a crook, but a traitor, as you would be violating the most sacred duty of a public servant.
This memo is short, since the main message should be self-evident, and self-explanatory, based on thousands of years of history.
This memo is addressed to the type of politician that is slowly helping turn this country into a Banana Republic, institutionalizing a two-tiered justice system, helping corporatist cartels loot and pillage the public coffers.
You are the most grotesque example of the debasement of public service in this country. The citizenry is on to you. You and the nefarious corporatist interests that influence you will be exposed, and shamed, and removed from those trusted positions, because your work for us; and you have failed us.