Solutions not found in big government

Freedom New Mexico

Political corruption remains a perennial concern for the voting public, and with good reason.

Still, this particular brand of dishonesty has something in common with other human failings: People tend to see it clearly in others but not so clearly in themselves.

We all know the images associated with ethically challenged elected officials: sumptuous meals on a lobbyist’s dime, questionable campaign donations and so forth.

They give rise to anger and cynicism — again, justifiably so. In a country founded in part on the rule of law, such behavior goes against the grain in a very fundamental way. And by the same token, the idea of constituents selling out should leave us feeling equally appalled.

We’re not saying that voters are corrupt in the way that dishonest politicians and unethical lobbyists are corrupt. It’s just that now and then the public faces the temptation to support a policy that offers a supposedly easy way out of a difficult situation.

Government can promise simple solutions on virtually anything.

• Health care: tax the wealthy, soak the insurance companies and somehow medical procedures will become “free” for everyone.

• Public safety: treat more citizens as potential lawbreakers, with or without proof, and somehow society will feel more secure.

In some ways, it seems like bribery. These so-called solutions tempt us to look the other way — away from integrity, fairness and respect for basic rights — while a fast one gets pulled.

Our advice: Hold yourself and your elected representatives to high standards.

Don’t sell your vote for an idea that lets the government take an even bigger role in redistributing our property and our freedoms.