(York Daily Record – William A. Faron) “Corruption is a crime against humanity.” Like a cancer that weakens the body, corruption robs a society of its vital assets in order to benefit a select few at the expense of the majority.
In the article “15 States Most Corrupt in America for 2017,” Eric Schaal says about Pennsylvania: “Call this state the home of gerrymandering, bribery, and other corruption. The Keystone State suffers from a tradition of corruption, especially in the capital. Governor Tom Wolf, who took the helm in 2015, has tried to clean up this mess, only to be handcuffed by the legislature.”
Harvard University Center for Ethics lists corruption on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being extremely common. Harvard separates the Executive and Legislative branches giving Pennsylvania Executive branch a 2.5 and Legislative branch a 4 for Very Common for corruption.
The Democratic and Republican candidates for Pennsylvania Governor are both from York County. My questions to them are: If elected, will you pledge to make it your priority for the Keystone State to be in the top six least corrupt states by the end of your term? Will you change our (F) failing grade which has the added statement of “an entrenched culture of malfeasance” on the Center for Public Integrity website, to one of their highest ratings?
We can’t make America great again if we live in a nation divided. We can’t survive as a nation if we continue to lose our moral values. Today we have facts, post facts and alternative facts topped off with high profile reports on corruption and unethical behavior. Public trust in government remains near historic lows. Only 18 percent of Americans today say they can trust the government in Washington to do what is right.
As a people we need to return to the principles spoken of by our founding fathers; we need to live those character ethics of honesty, integrity, humility, fidelity and the Golden Rule which sociologists have discovered are universal values emulated by all societies, but not practiced by all.
A Gallup poll found that 75% of Americans consider themselves Christians. So statistically it is safe to say that a majority of our elected leaders might be professing Christians who, if they are practicing Christians, should be mirroring those character ethics. So, where have all the Christians gone?
As a person of faith I say let us get serious, pull together, not into our political parties, but as people who desire to live in a state and nation where those character ethics are viable.
Pennsylvania is called “The Keystone State” because it was the middle colony of the original 13 colonies, and because Pennsylvania has held a key position in the economic, social, and political development of the United States. During this election period we not only have an opportunity to help stop corruption in the commonwealth, but by doing so to be an example nationally. Pennsylvania would become a beacon on the hill and a light to the nation.