Saturday, July 25, 2009

Hanging Blago, Et Al

In the United States it is virtually impossible to convict someone of treason. The founding fathers made it difficult because, frankly, they were involved in an act of treason. They thought treason was permissable in certain circumstances, notably the overthrow of a corrupt or tyrannical government. This is evident in, amongst other things, the phrasing of the 2nd Amendment, which states "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

It's no stretch of the imagination to read that as a statement that corruption and tyrrany are bad and sometimes the only prescription for it is violent revolution. (Sorry, anti-gun lobby.)

So two days ago there were 44 people arrested in New Jersey for corruption, money laundering, and racketeering. Those arrested included rabbis, assemblymen, and 3 mayors. The undercurrent of most of the reports all indicate the same thing: corruption is just a part of New Jersey politics. Citizens of Chicago say the same about their hometown, and I can't imagine that these are the only locales in such straits.

Evan has made the argument on more than one occasion that corruption should be rebranded as a form of treason. Misuse of the public trust for personal gain should be punished by hanging, or something more severe than a fine and a year in prison. And I suspect that the founding fathers might agree with this.

Food for thought.



Ben said...

We could always go with the Bill Maher solution.

Kurt said...

And what was that?