The title above eventually is apropos of any politician or legislator given a sufficient interval. But it doesn’t stop there. It spreads like the pox to anyone with even a whiff of authority. There’s a gene on chromosome 17, SKNK23a, that’s expressed in early childhood in all humans and amplified by experience that manifests the commandant inherent in all of us.

I started with politicians and their congeners because the trait is so obvious in them. From local dogcatcher to president of everything the urge for self-aggrandizement is as compelling as that for food or sex – often more so. The formulation of rules that one expects everyone to observe while exempting oneself seems a universal trait.

The trait in combination with human inventiveness is likely a lethal one. Lethal for those under the sway of the person with even a hint of authority. The resultant death may be very slow in coming or be symbolic rather than biological. Either way pain and suffering are the result.

Two constants are key to understanding the human dilemma that worsens as we get more technologically proficient. First, politics is everywhere. Elected or appointed offices are just one sphere of the political. Second, Lord Acton’s famous dictum applies to virtually every human activity. Corruption is in our DNA It brands us like the mark of Cain.

Most people would rather be lied to than hear an unpleasant truth. They also have great difficulty in distinguishing true from false. They generally do not wish to spend the time needed to understand an issue in the public sphere that is even faintly tinged with the complex. They also are uninterested in anything that doesn’t hit them like a tire iron on the back of the neck.

Thus, a crook needn’t bother with a disguise as his mark is either desirous of being swindled or oblivious to being a victim. Ironic, as victimhood is much in fashion. There’s a distinction between a victim and a sucker which largely goes unmade.

The American craze for higher education has just about brought the country to the edge of extinction. A college or university degree is of little real value to anyone who doesn’t desire to pursue a career as a scholar. In fact, the proliferation of universities in the country is similar to an infectious disease with a high kill rate. There aren’t enough students who are interested in the arts and sciences to fill the state universities in just one of our large states – hence the proliferation of courses mired in BS and fraud. Even if there were a plethora of students interested in true scholarship there aren’t enough faculty qualified to transmit higher learning. Inevitably, the drift to administration becomes a tsunami. And the university becomes a tool for civic development – an athletic department with a few classrooms. The whole enterprise is a scam. The crooks who run the schools are interchangeable with the crooks who run the government.

America lucked into its start under the guidance of a few men who understood just how bad governments could be. Hence the rigorous system of checks and balances they wrote into the country’s constitution. James Madison, considered by many as the father of the Constitution made a famous observation about men and angels deserving full reproduction. With just a few alterations in word order, crooks could be substituted for angels.

If Men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and the next place, oblige it to control itself.

Madison has defined the problem with surgical precision. Alas, its solution is still in hiding. The last phrase is a killer who still runs amuck. Another famous aphorism that works just as well after inversion is Clausewitz’s definition of war. Here’s the new version: Politics is war by other means. We are programmed for violence and our struggle against it is less than dermal deep.

Humans evolved with violence as defining a characteristic as language or tools. War is raiding writ large. Violence no matter how camouflaged supports almost everything we do. Do anything the government, any government, disapproves and men with guns will be at your door.

The government disapproves of a lot of seemingly innocuous pursuits. Minnesota is considering requiring a license to buy paint. The states are riddled with licensing requirements designed to benefit a herd of special interest groups who want to protect themselves against competition.

Jesus and the Buddha may have defined how we should act, but their truths go largely unheeded. English is no longer the international language – Newspeak is. If anybody in a position of authority, no matter how slight, is moving his lips the truth was first swallowed. There are only two remedies to the spread of disinformation which is a word that really means its opposite – they are lip amputation and embalming fluid. I’m ignoring writing and its variations. Thus, anyone who claims to preserve and protect democracy means the opposite.

They’re (those with any degree of authority) all a threat to democracy, a form of governance under which we don’t operate under anyway, that they claim to protect. Newspeak is the official language. Lip removal and embalming fluid are the most needed remedies.

A political crook is worse than one who steals your property, though he may do that also. He confiscates your liberty. See California, now a failed state despite occupying the best piece of real estate on the planet. But the real perpetrator of crookedness is us. We are responsible for the wanton misbehavior that pervades our society either through our ignorance or collaboration. We are all crooks.

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