Letters to the Editor

Letters: Are corrupt politicians our biggest threat?

Almost daily, we hear about the need to strengthen our state ethics law. The implication is that public officials don’t know the difference between right and wrong, or are born criminals who need external controls to keep them from lying, cheating and stealing heedlessly.

When caught engaging in unethical behavior, the inevitable response is “I did nothing illegal.” What an unfortunate defense this is. There is an unlimited number of mean, hateful, selfish and downright immoral things a person can do that are not illegal.

Is the electorate to blame for putting these moral reprobates in office? Or are we so trusting as to believe these politicians are people of integrity and will do the right thing? Do candidates for office start out as moral reprobates, or does getting into office make them that way? Perhaps lying during the campaign after a while just makes it second nature.

We worry so much that the Syrian refugees coming into this state are properly vetted, yet I wonder if we should be more concerned about our homegrown politicians.

John G. McMaster III

Columbia

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