RESPONSE to Political Corruption Article


Thank you for sending this along to me. I read every word, finding the article sobering, enlightening and frightening at the same time. As you suggest, her writing reminded me of what I already knew but had not articulated. Jane Smiley is a compelling writer and a passionate voice against the corruption of power, a worthy goal in my opinion, though her targets are only the latest in a long chain of similar entities obsessed with power at any price.

Happily, rather than driving me into a position, stuck between apathy and indecision, her piece rekindled the spark of an old, smoldering purpose of mine. That is, to use whatever writing skill I may possess or acquire to expose the nature of what is occurring, the insidious and relentless rape of the integrity of our country, leaving it a hollow shell, stripped of its basic, fundamental purposes; devoid of any appreciation of basic human rights and the individual freedoms on which this country was founded.

It is my opinion that America was instrumental in igniting the torch of freedom for the world in 1776. The battle cry for individual freedom for the common man has risen its head at various times in history, but this time, America seemed to have gotten it right, and the world was never the same. American industry, technology, and ingenuity have all but conquered the world with, Coke-Cola, McDonalds, Disneyland, Starbucks, Levi’s, and more.

I was in China, Japan, and the Philippines over forty years ago and you could look for days and not find a McDonalds hamburger, (or any hamburger for that matter); theme parks didn’t exist, coffee was industrial strength and cheap, and although rare, you might stumble upon a pair of Levi’s if you looked long enough.

The people of earth seemed to want what America stood for and what she could offer regarding cultural advances and standards of living. However, they decidedly did not want American politics and policies. Perhaps they recognized, as we can no longer ignore, the truth in that old saying about absolute power and corruption . . . I only wish I were as adept in she in expressing my rage in writing.

Now that I think of it, I’m reminded of a piece of writing I did on this subject generally. It was disseminated amongst a few insiders at some universities around the country. It was not as strong, nor as well written, but the message was clear and seemed to resonate with a fair number of people. You may remember it. The title was “How To Boil A Frog.” – An essay on economic seduction. I’ll send you a copy if I failed to get one to you. Just let me know.

Again, thanks for the article. If for no other reason, the intellectual stimulation was worth the time reading it.

Daniel Jacobs, Jan. 24, 2008

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