The depth of the rot

It’s no secret Americans are waking up to the fact their government is not serving them well.  Some are noticing the special “comfy chair” punishment of financial kingpins and captains of industry.  The president’s ratings are down — he even got a four-Pinocchio rating from the Washington Post over Obamacare!  And Congress… well, “No Incumbents, Please” has a fertile environment in which to resonate.

So what is left in which to have confidence?  If Gallup is to be trusted, Americans still overwhelmingly think well of their military.

Is this high esteem, relative to everything else in society, deserved?  Perhaps not:

…embarrassing episodes are described in previously undisclosed files of military investigations into personal misconduct by U.S. generals and admirals. Along with about two dozen other cases obtained by The Washington Post under the Freedom of Information Act, the investigations add to a litany of revelations about misbehaving brass that have dogged the Pentagon over the past 15 months and tarnished the reputation of U.S. military leadership.

The sheer number of lapses in the military in a short period seems to have drawn some attention, but there has been trouble at the highest levels — and among the rank and file — for some time.

It’s understandable that Americans make a distinction between an organization predicated on placing lives in harm’s way from more domestic institutions of society and governance.  But at the end of the day, all of these flow from the same culture — and make no mistake, that culture today in America is one of rank corruption.  We have reached the point where the shame of exposure is no deterrent — the guilty will act contrite all the way to the bank.   As the favored and the powerful watch out for each other, the rule of law continues to die.  To whom much authority is given, much responsibility is to be expected.  Until and unless the public loudly and consistently demands accountability commensurate to the betrayals of public trust — whether by civilian or military officials — the country will continue to plunge into a dystopian jungle we used to associate with so-called “banana republics.”

Don’t look now, but the monkey appears to be on our back.


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