The Ron Paul Endorsement Buying Scandal Is A Reminder Of The Inherent Evil Of Politics

By Kevin Boyd – Contributor –

On Wednesday, former Iowa state senator Kent Sorenson pled guilty to accepting a secret payoff from Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign in exchange for his endorsement and lying about it to Federal investigators. In exchange for Sorenson’s testimony, he won’t be prosecuted for similiar charges related to accepting a payoff from the Michele Bachmann campaign in exchange for his original endorsement of Bachmann. It is important to note that neither Ron or Rand Paul have been implicated or even accused in this scandal, but this scandal may reach the highest levels of the 2012 Ron Paul campaign.

While morally, I don’t exactly have a problem with political campaigns blantantly paying off politicians and celebrities for their endorsement because to be honest I don’t trust these people to begin with. Having said that though, what somebody in the Paul campaign did is illegal and they should’ve known better.

A part of Ron Paul’s appeal I believe is that even if you disagree with him, you can still respect him. He had that sense of honesty about that he wasn’t a part of the “Gang of 535” on Capitol Hill that generally look out for themselves. This sense of principled honesty and trustworthiness is as valuable of a political appeal as much or even more than Ron Paul’s political positions. This explains, in part, why Ron Paul has such a devoted following and why some of these devoted followers have not followed the more pragmatic Rand Paul.

When I first heard about Sorenson plea deal on Wednesday, I was first shocked. I thought these allegations did not have any merit to them. I thought that it was absurd that a political campaign would actually buy an endorsement because let’s face it, political endorsements don’t mean very much.

I tweeted out the following series of tweets once I was able to get some composure:

Upon further reflection, there is a lesson to be learned here and that lesson goes beyond the public perception of Ron Paul. That politics and the pursuit of political power is inherently evil and corrupting. If people connected with Ron Paul can become so corrupt as to essentially buy a politician to shill for them, imagine how others who don’t have a moral belief in the size and scope can be easily corrupted. This is why government and politics should be as little a part of our lives as possible.

To be clear, I am not urging people to quit working in the political process. Indeed, I am a political commentator and pundit by trade. In fact, the political system is the only way that libertarians and others who believe in limited government will roll back the size and scope of the state. I’m just urging people to not give in to their demons if they have any.

Let me close with a quote by the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche that’s applicable for every political activist:

Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.

Kevin Boyd is a writer at Independent Journal Review and is a contributor at Rare. He also blogs for the R Street Institute. The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer and do not speak for any organization. Follow Kevin on Twitter @kevinboyd1984

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