I have a few other thoughts I want to share. They are inspired by Samuel Adams' quote, which I'll repost as it should have a second, third or fourth reading.
“Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt. He therefore is the truest friend to the liberty of his country who tries most to promote its virtue, and who, so far as his power and influence extend, will not suffer a man to be chosen into any office of power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man. We must not conclude merely upon a man's haranguing upon liberty, and using the charming sound, that he is fit to be trusted with the liberties of his country. It is not unfrequent to hear men declaim loudly upon liberty, who, if we may judge by the whole tenor of their actions, mean nothing else by it but their own liberty, — to oppress without control or the restraint of laws all who are poorer or weaker than themselves. It is not, I say, unfrequent to see such instances, though at the same time I esteem it a justice due to my country to say that it is not without shining examples of the contrary kind; — examples of men of a distinguished attachment to this same liberty I have been describing; whom no hopes could draw, no terrors could drive, from steadily pursuing, in their sphere, the true interests of their country; whose fidelity has been tried in the nicest and tenderest manner, and has been ever firm and unshaken.
The sum of all is, if we would most truly enjoy this gift of Heaven, let us become a virtuous people.”
― Samuel Adams, 1749
I wanted to dispel a fallacious notion which is stuck in the minds of many. The idea that corruption exists only at the top. Now Samuel Adams recognized that this is not so as he specifically mentioned "a people" rather than only mentioning the ruling class. It has been my observation, as I am not an elite and so spend my time with the common folk such as myself, that the corruption we face - not only in the U.S. but throughout the world - is not merely at the top but is rampant throughout the entire strata of society. Not thorough but rampant, as there are a great deal of virtuous souls inhabiting every corner of the globe.
I want to make clear, too, that what I define as corruption is not merely restrained to the usual and common "evil" doings of men. Rather, it is corrupt ideas which are, to me, the true source of any abhorrent act. And my definition of a corrupt idea is an idea that is not representative of true reality and therefore has no basis. Men becoming women and women becoming men would be one of the better examples I can come up with to illustrate a corrupt idea.
Now another quote is fitting here. Also from one of America's founding fathers.
“The government you elect is the government you deserve.”
― Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson expressed a truism which holds that government is a mere reflection of it's people. It is not the other way around.
For those of us seeking solutions to our myriad of problems I aver that fixing it all only at "the top" will not work in the long run. The source of our troubles comes from within ourselves. There is no "fix", per se, for that. No policy solution. Nor can we rely on laws to be the solution - as we've had them throughout history and they have not yet brought us to anything resembling an ideal world. Morality cannot be legislated. It comes from within. And it is from within where our true solutions lie. We've a lot to learn. Or perhaps to remember would be more accurate.
Food for thought.
It’s a regular occurrence for religious people in positions of power, it happens regularly in Thailand, reports of monks misbehaving is a regular story on here, it is even more prevalent in the Catholic Church, the abuse the priests have committed is legendary now, and then you have the imams of Islam with their twisted sermons preaching hate to the rest of the world. Religion is a man made ideology for people who need a crutch to help them get through life and the people who lead their flocks in one way or another just abuse their followers.