Tough to trust our elected officials

Eric Berman

The thought that politicians are scumbags seems to be becoming more and more of a reality lately. Between the Jack Abramoff scandals and Mark Foley’s recent sexually explicit emails to a 16-year-old congressional page, how are we supposed to trust our representatives to make the laws for our country if they can’t even follow the laws in place already?

We elect these officials to serve us as our representatives in Congress; to serve us and be the moral leaders of the country. It turns out to be the exact opposite. We’ve recently found out how bad it really is. Ohio Representative Bob Ney has been linked with Abramoff and has reportedly taken monetary bribes along with paid trips to different countries around the world. Apparently votes are for sale to the highest bidder these days. Although Ney has stepped down, there are many more congressmen and senators using the same practices to gain an extra buck or two. What I, and the American public would like to know is, was it worth it? Was it worth giving up your moral obligations and disgracing your name and the title of Congressman?

I was disgusted when I heard about the sleaziness with the lobbyists scandals, but I was downright appalled when I saw the news story that broke last week about Florida Congressman Mark Foley. Apparently, the Congressman who acted as the chairman of the House Committee on Missing and Exploited Children also feels the need to hit on 16-year-olds and attempt to solicit sexual acts from minors. Oh how the mighty hypocrites fall! Foley has now taken the ever popular track of checking himself into a rehab center, claiming that he only sent the e-mails because he was drunk and has a drinking problem. First off, alcohol diminishes inhibitions but doesn’t turn people into attempted pedophiles. And second, there have been several accounts of Foley hitting on pages throughout the day while he was sober. This man obviously has sexual problems and going to rehab to be treated for alcoholism is not the way to help him.

As if the Foley scandal wasn’t bad enough for Republicans, it turns out that members of the Republican leadership have known for months, even years, that Foley has been trolling around after high schoolers, but instead of getting him to stop and get some help, they basically swept it under the rug to protect Foley and keep the Republican party out of even more trouble than it’s already in. Now, even leading Republicans are calling for Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert to step down, which would be the fourth change in House leadership in the past 11 years of Republican control of the House. The fact that the congressmen decided they would rather protect Foley instead of a child is abominable. This once again shows that the Republicans care more about their image than protecting innocent children.

This November, the polls will show what the American people truly believe. Whether they want to keep our scumbag leaders that are currently in office, or if they want a change in leadership so we can have respectable leaders who won’t sell their votes or solicit sexual acts from underage children. If our elected officials want the American people to trust them again, they need to start doing their job honorably and legally.