Joe Biden and the Problem of Corruption in U.S. Politics

“While Democrats pursue the impeachment of President Donald Trump for pressuring foreign countries to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden, they are left making an argument that is at once true and electorally and ethically compromising: What Trump did — and continues to do — was an impeachable abuse of power, and it should be considered separately from the question of what Hunter Biden did.

The problem for Democrats is that a review of Hunter Biden’s career shows clearly that he, along with Joe Biden’s brother James, has been trading on their family name for decades, cashing in on the implication — and sometimes the explicit argument — that giving money to a member of Joe Biden’s family wins the favor of Joe Biden.”

—Ryan Grim, “Joe Biden’s Family Has Been Cashing in on His Career for Decades. Democrats Need to Acknowledge That.” The Intercept. October 9, 2019.

Trump is corrupt and terrible. But, let’s also acknowledge that this is a problem in U.S. politics that crosses parties and exists at every level of government.

This is What Democracy Looks Like

“The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee warned political strategists and vendors Thursday night that if they support candidates mounting primary challenges against incumbent House Democrats, the party will cut them off from business…

…To apply to become a preferred vendor in the 2020 cycle, firms must agree to a set of standards that includes agreeing not to work with anyone challenging an incumbent.”

—Abelard Lacey, “House Democratic Leadership Warns It Will Cut Off Any Firms That Challenge Incumbents.” The Intercept. March 22, 2019.

Everything wrong with American “democracy” in a nutshell. If you aren’t part of the establishment, expect to be cut off from money, expertise, and other resources necessary to win elections.

Don’t worry. Establishment Democrats will bring all the necessary changes you need.

This is why electoral politics is largely a fool’s game. By all means, vote. But, if you think voting brings progress, however defined, you are deluding yourself.