Monday, November 13, 2006

The Lust for Power

From The Witness, "Foley's Folly and the Republican Lust for Power":

...The real issue behind the Foley scandal -- the one that won't go away now that both the midterm elections and Foley's career are over -- is lust for power taking precedence over all else. Sexual exploitation of pages by congressmen is about men quite literally "getting off" on their power over others as much as it is about other kinds of lust. And as horrendous as it is interpersonally, it is exponentially more destructive when it takes the form of party political machinery cynically exacerbating division and exploiting those most vulnerable to stroke the egos and consolidate the privilege of the most powerful.

The Republican party built its political successes on the backs of the young, the poor, the queer, and others at the margins. They gained power at the expense of the disempowered. May they take to heart one lesson of the midterm elections: that this strategy can and will backfire...

...Many conservative evangelicals blame Foley's personal immorality for the Republican Party's disgrace. The real immorality and true disgrace would be if the Republican Party responds to their defeat by pursuing with renewed vigor policies that scapegoat LGBT people, trample on civil liberties, and abandon children to poverty.

The Republican Party sold its soul to gain the world. It's an excellent illustration of Lord Acton's famous statement that "power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." If Republicans want to stamp out immorality, they must begin by taking responsibility for the myriad ways in which their quest for power took precedence over commitment to principle.
I'm not so naive to think that the Democrats are invulnerable to this same lust for power. However, I do believe that with a new balance of power in place, we may finally bring to an end our President's adventure in Iraq that has cost the lives of at least 50,000 Iraqis and 2,800 Americans.

Hopefully those contemplating future adventures will now have good reasons to consider the cost before using military might to quench their thirst for power.


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