College Admissions Essay: The Need for a Higher Power in Politics

838 Words4 Pages
A president cheats on his wife, then lies about it. A speaker of the House makes thousands of dollars in an illegal book deal. Both political parties are caught trying to sneak campaign contributions under the table... Every time we open the morning paper, another scandal has been exposed, another political savior has fallen to earth, another mess has to be mopped up. With each exposé, the state of American politics seems to have sunk to an all-new low.

Yet somehow we always remain optimistic. Each time another leader's misdeed is unearthed, we sigh, punish the offending politician, and hope for the best, believing that his behavior will be an anomaly, and that our system will march onward. But if these ethical lapses are simply apparitions, just blips on our collective moral radar screen, why do they occur with such regularity? Shouldn't the country be able to discover leaders immune to such failures?

Instead, those placed in power repeat the errors of their predecessors, sometimes in even more serious ways. We seem to have a knack for choosing new leaders with the same fatal flaws as the old ones. Are these leaders being corrupted by a morally bankrupt system, or is the pool of candidates for public service so shallow that all we can find are bottom feeders? The answer to all these questions is quite simple yet, at the same time, difficult for many to accept. For the root of the problem is this: Political leaders, like all men, have a basic propensity towards evil. In theological circles, this concept is known as "inherent sin nature," but it doesn't matter how you put it - men are basically selfish, greedy, lecherous, nasty little fellows.

This corrupt personality is nothing new. It was well diagnosed long ago by no less a mind than that of Plato. "How charming people are!" he wrote in his Republic, "Always doctoring, increasing and complicating their disorders, fancying they will be cured by some nostrum which somebody advises them to try, never getting better, but always growing worse. ... Are they not as good as a play, trying their hand at legislation, and imagining that by reforms they will make an end to the dishonesties and rascalities of mankind - not knowing that in reality they are cutting away at the head of a hydra?"

Power, then, does not create man's nasty character.

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