Political Corruption in America - Research Paper Example

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A paper "Political Corruption in America" claims that one of the most established democracies in the world is the American government. In fact, it has been said that democracy has become their way of life for equality is viable in almost all the main areas of development…
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Political Corruption in America
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Political Corruption in America
One of the most established democracies in the world is the American government. In fact, it has been said that democracy has become their way of life for equality is viable in almost all the main areas of development (De Tocqueville and Heffner 9). Nevertheless, it has undergone several major transformations since the eighteenth century. These transformations include the change of political and economic plans for the country. Along with these efforts are the challenges it has to take in maintaining its power and authority in the international community. As such, even how powerful a particular state may, it is still prone to problems and issues which is a reality.
The American government has been observed as corruption free from the viewpoint of other countries. Many of these states have contended that such attribute is the reason why America has become a superpower. However, if one is to critically assess the history of the American government, it can be observed that U.S. before was in truth and in fact struggling to eradicate the prevalent problem of corruption in its local and national level of government. Considerably, there have been many political personalities who have been charged and arrested for violating the anti-corruption law.
To cite, U.S. Congressman Duke Cunningham in 2005 was charged for having conspired to commit bribery, wire fraud and tax evasion (Rozen 15; Meyers 14). He then decided to resign and relinquish his post. Later on he was convicted and sentenced with over eight years of imprisonment and ordered to pay a whopping amount of more than one million dollars in restitution (“Duke Draws” A01).
Notably, this type of corruption has been referred to as political corruption which poses danger to democracy and good governance and undermines the legitimacy of the government and its democratic values (Gore). According to Heidenheimer and Johnston, “political corruption involves a public official who violates the public’s trust in a manner which harms the public interest by knowingly exploiting his or her office for clear personal and private gain in a way which runs contrary to the accepted rules and standards for the conduct of public office so as to benefit a third party” (42). In this sense, there are two ideas which can be derived from this definition, corruption and the culture of corruption. There is a culture of corruption if a public officer does a corrupt act because he or she expects to be given a reward. On the other hand, corruption happens for the reason that the government official is by nature corrupt.
Corruption and the culture of corruption have been haunting America before the American Revolution (Pickens). However, reforms were introduced and massive nationwide campaigns have been implemented which successfully lessened these two problems (Skocpol and Fiorina 31-46). Moreover, citizen participation has been highly emphasized by critics as one major key which stopped the culture of corruption in the American government (Barr and Serra 4-5). In line with this, one may say that a government is truly democratic if its citizens take an active part in changing a bad political situation (Barr and Serra 4-5).
Considering those facts, it can be gleaned that the problem on corruption has been prevalent in America. Furthermore, it has corrupt officials which pose a threat to its preserve democratic state and values. Nonetheless, this dilemma has been almost eliminated presently from its democratic and republican government due to the active involvement of its citizens in the political affairs of their state (Sneider 953). To this extent, it cannot be denied that the American government is after all not corruption free.
Works Cited
Barr, Abigail, and Danila Serra. “Culture and Corruption.” Global Poverty Research Group, 1 Mar. 2006. PDF file.
De Tocqueville, Alexis, and Richard D. Heffner. “Democracy in America.” New York: D. Appleton, 2001. Print.
“Duke Draws 8 Years in Prison: Ex-Lawmaker Admitted Bribes.” The Washington Times 4 Mar. 2006: A01. Print.
Gore, Martha. “Political Corruption in America.”, 22 Aug. 2008. Web. 9 Mar. 2010. .
Heidenheimer, Arnold, and Michael Johnston. Political Corruption: Concepts and Contexts. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Transaction Publishers, 2001. Print.
Meyers, Jessica. “Stern Watchdog: How Copley's Marcus Stern Exposed a Corrupt Congressman.” American Journalism Review April-May 2006: 14. Print.
Pickens, Donald. “Corruption, Political.” HighBeam Research. The Gale Group, 1 Jan. 2003. Web. 10 Mar. 2010.
Rozen, Laura. “Watching the Detectives: Other Shoes Begin to Drop in the Duke Cunningham Bribery Scandal.” The American Prospect July-Aug. 2006: 15. Print.
Skocpol, Theda, and Morris Fiorina. Civic Engagement in American Democracy. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution, 1999. Print.
Sneider, Allison. “A Government by the People: Direct Democracy in America, 1890- 1940.” Journal of Southern History 69.4 (2003): 953. Print. Read More
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