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The Death of Morality and the Electoral Process
by Scott D. DeSalvo

When nihilists' educational and social policies remain in effect for enough time, moral relativism becomes the de facto yardstick by which all things are measured. The lack of objective moral standards has a ruinous effect on popular culture: music, movies, and the visual arts are plagued with yet praised for unimaginative, repetitive music with an irrational message of death, stories of corrupt anti-heroes preying upon those whom they have sworn to protect, and ugliness heralded as brilliantly realistic. The signs are all around us. But what happens to the democratic process when the flip banter of philosophers of a century ago that "there is no objectivity, there is no right and wrong" becomes the moral compass for a democratic citizenry?

In the City of Chicago, Illinois, United States of America, there are several convicted felons sitting as Aldermen on the Chicago City Counsel. For example, Alderman Walter Burnett, Jr. was convicted of an armed bank robbery and sent to prison. Today, Mr. Burnett is a city alderman who enjoys tremendous popular support of the citizens he represents. Former Chicago aldermen Ambrosio Medrano and Jesse Evans are running for their former aldermanic seats in next year's election. Both were convicted of public corruption in federal court for their actions while formerly serving in public office.

In Waukegan, Illinois (a sizable city about 80 miles north of Chicago), Rev. Charles C.L. Fairchild is running for mayor. In 1981, Fairchild was convicted of manslaughter as an accomplice in the fatal shooting of a 22-year-old man in Hyattsville, Md., in 1972. He was sentenced to 5 years' probation. He was convicted in 1976 in Cook County for armed robbery, serving 38 months of a 4-year prison term before he was paroled from the Pontiac Correctional Center.

In Dixmoor, Illinois (a smaller town near Chicago), the Rev. Donald Luster is mayor. He was convicted and sentenced for armed robbery in 1991.

Carol Moseley-Braun, while never convicted, was constantly under investigation during her single term as United States Senator. Her first brush with the law occurred during her 1992 Senate campaign, when it came to light that three years earlier, she had deposited a check for $28,750 into a personal money-market account. The check in question actually belonged to Moseley-Braun's mother, who owned a property in Alabama on which she'd sold the timber-harvesting rights; the $28,750 was a royalty payment. Edna Moseley was staying in a Chicago nursing home at the time and relying on Medicaid to cover her expenses, something ostensibly reserved only for the near-indigent-not people with $28,750 checks to their name. The royalty should have been used to reimburse Medicaid; instead, Moseley-Braun divvied up the money with her two siblings. When the situation came to light, she apologized and paid Medicaid $15,240. The Illinois Department of Public Aid declined to launch a criminal probe.

Moseley-Braun's post-victory honeymoon was brief. Even before she arrived in Washington, she was blasted for rewarding several campaign workers with cushy jobs at her old office, the Cook County recorder of deeds. Her campaign manager and then-fiancÚ, Kgosie Matthews, was accused of sexual harassment by several Moseley-Braun campaign staffers; the newly minted senator stood by her man, to whom she'd been paying a salary of $15,000 per month. To celebrate their '92 victory, the pair jetted off to Matthews' native South Africa on a 27-day vacation, making use of the Concorde for one leg of their trip; several aides, meanwhile, complained that they hadn't been paid.

Beginning in 1993, Moseley-Braun was investigated by the Federal Election Commission for $249,000 in unaccounted campaign expenditures. The FEC was investigating charges that Moseley-Braun and Matthews had squandered the donations on personal trips and shopping sprees; the campaign would admit only to lackadaisical bookkeeping and eventually filed nearly 10,000 pages of amended reports, according to the Chicago Tribune. The nearly five-year investigation did turn up some splurges, like a $4,000 tab at the Four Seasons Hotel in Maui, but the agency and the Justice Department declined to take legal action, citing a lack of resources.

This month, February, 2003, Moseley-Braun has set up an exploratory committee to investigate her run for the Presidency of the United States of America.

The Founding Fathers of this nation were the best, brightest, and most honest citizens of the member States. They were men who made their living as farmers, lawyers, business owners, and were as likely to have calluses on their hands or wrinkles on their faces from an honest day's hard work as the citizenry they represented. Today, since there is no right or wrong, and we cannot trust the legal process, and any publicity is good publicity, and the color of a person's skin is more important than the content of their character or accomplishments, we have the likes of these 'representing' us.

We sleep in the nihilist, moral relativist, statist bed we watched being made, slowly, with every argument we kept in our mouth, every objection we thought better of expressing. It is time to change the sheets. Vote in every election, against the corrupt. Take every opportunity to speak out against any candidate whose duplicity, dishonesty and evil has been exposed. Identify and express the real, fundamental issues. Save this beacon of light and hope, whose light is slowly fading, but can yet burn bright again.

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