350 down, 16 to go. In Grand Forks, North Dakota.
Tonight I gave a talk to a group of guys at a fraternity at the University of North Dakota. A smart bunch. At the end, one of them spoke about corruption in the government.
That word - "corruption" - is thrown around a lot by people when they talk about their elected officials. So I thought I'd look it up. The Oxford Dictionary says it means: "Dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery." But people and corporations can legally give money to our elected leaders hoping it will get them to vote a certain way. We don't call that bribery.
But we wouldn't like it if pro athletes accepted money from people wanting them to throw a game. We don't let judges accept money from people hoping to have a judgment go one way or the other. In fact, I can't really think of an area of our society where we're okay with people giving money to people in power with the hope of influencing their decisions or actions, except politicians.
If it's true that money can be used to corrupt, then why on earth would we allow any of it to flow to our elected representatives?