With the news that the Biden administration is setting out a game plan for tackling government corruption both at home and abroad, Liberty Nation author Graham Noble was quick to remark, “It’s like a pack of wolves drawing up a dietary plan for a sheep farm.” While draining the Swamp was a key tenet in Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, the fact that President Joe Biden sees himself as the man to finish the job both in the United States and overseas has left many watchers scratching their heads.
The short document released first on the official White House website details a series of five pillars that will apparently strengthen anti-corruption efforts in nations around the world, including the United States, which promises to lead from the front in this effort.
Falls at the First Hurdle
“Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” wrote Roman poet Juvenal in his Satires. Who guards the guards themselves? This salient adage also translates as “Who will watch the watchers?” It asks us to consider to whom those in power are truly answerable. And in the case of this battle plan against corruption, the answer is abundantly clear. The report summarized that government agencies will:
“… hold ourselves accountable, Federal departments and agencies, coordinated by the National Security Council, and in consultation with the National Economic Council and Domestic Policy Council, will report annually to the President on progress made against the Strategy’s goals.”
So to evaluate how far a governmental organization has come in tackling dishonesty in its own ranks, said organization shall also be the judge? While this was a common tactic in the former Soviet Union, the idea that one should sit in judgment of oneself is now considered the very antithesis of transparency and honesty.
In fact, one wonders if the government should not be following the words of the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 4:3 (NIV), “I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself.”
The Scandals of the Scandalous
That it should be the current president leading the charge against international corruption may seem bewildering to many outside the Biden-friendly Fourth Estate. Whether it is Hunter Biden’s dubious relationships with foreign governments and secondhand influence peddling, or Joe Biden’s long list of lies and falsehoods that the media conveniently ignore – no, Joe, you were not considered a liaison during the Six-Day War – each of these dealings involves an element of corruption.
Lies are corrupting because they con the voter into believing something that isn’t true, and the beneficiary gains a vote he would not otherwise have had; it is stealing an individual’s sacred approval. Spending money that does not exist is a form of bribery, offering gifts not theirs to give in exchange for political support.
How is it that so many politicians enter Congress or other high office with only modest wealth, and yet after years of a standard government salary become millionaires? Is it because they have a huge army of staff members cutting coupons?
Books published by politicos for ludicrous advances within weeks appear in the discount racks – and yet the money keeps rolling in.
If the Biden administration wishes to eradicate government corruption once and for all, it would be better served to start on Capitol Hill.
Leading by Example
An interventionist strategy by any other name would smell as sweet. Rather than imposing values and ideals on far-off countries in the manner of past presidents (not including Trump), perhaps Joe Biden and his administration would do well to lead by example. Or, as the saying often attributed to St. Francis of Assisi goes, “Preach the gospel at all times; if necessary use words.”
~ Read more from Mark Angelides.