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Scandals and shadows: a reflection on political power and corruption in America

Merwil Urena

Anchor Staff Writer

It seems like every week, the prevalence of political corruption and scandal continues to riddle the tapestry of our democracy, undermining the principles of equality, justice and transparency that are supposed to be the underpin of our nation's foundations. Bribery, cronyism, nepotism and the influence of dark money has led to a distortion of seemingly everything from policymaking, to the integrity of our institutions, to the deterioration of public trust, the very currency that our politicians seem to take for granted.

Take Senator Robert Menendez from the state of New Jersey, for example, and see how the power of politicians has become so abused that they can steal and take bribes with little to no repercussions. A man who has previously averted conviction on prior bribery charges in 2017 is now being prosecuted again for similar crimes due to his blatant and grotesque corruption of the power he has accumulated as the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. This, however, is not the first time that a politician in the Democratic Party has done a salacious and unspeakable act that will eventually force them out of public office.

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Remember Anthony Weiner, the representative who in 2011 had to resign in shame due to engaging in inappropriate online relations with several women? How about former two term governor of New York City Andrew Cuomo? He stepped down due to the detailed allegations made against him by the state attorney general's office, with evidence pointing to how Cuomo had groped numerous women. Both parties have been involved in numerous amounts of corruption and scandal that has led to the disdain that many Americans now feel for their politicians around the country. Let us not forget that the former president of the United States has been indicted four times with ongoing criminal investigations that have amounted to 91 criminal charges, both federal and state.

For far too long these individuals, who are supposed to represent us as the people of this country, have gotten away with crime after crime with no repercussions. There is a difference, some may even say, fundamentally, between playing the political game in which those in power must grease the wheels to continue to build and keep our country moving and the blatant and disrespectful disregard for the integrity of our political system. When will it end? When can we have the trust in our politicians that they're supposed to fight for? It should no longer be freely given. It should be earned.


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