(watch about the first 1:20 of this clip)
When looking for great political minds of the modern era upon which to base your counter-intuitive theories, surely the name on the top of everybody’s list is Eddie Murphy. Morton Blackwell, William F. Buckley Jr., I guess… but definitely Eddie Murphy.
The above throwaway scene is from an almost equally throwaway movie, The Distinguished Gentleman. It’s about a small-time con man who decides to become a congressman when he figures out that being a corruptible elected official is the ultimate scam. Call it the Anti-Mr. Smith Goes To Washington.
The theme of this little scene is that politics is so awash in money that whatever you vote on an issue, there’s somebody’s pile of money to be had.
Here’s the question…
What if politics is so awash in money that whatever you vote on an issue, there’s somebody’s pile of money to be had?
Assume we’re discussing a legislative issue with some degree of controversy and weight. Not a resolution to honor the Miami Heat… something legitimately sticky like one of the issues mentioned in this clip, like sugar subsidies. What if there’s so much money in the system that whatever position you take, you can line your pockets?
Does this not free a legislator to take that money and still vote his or her conscience, vote what he thinks his constituents would want, or what would best serve them?
Indeed, what sway would a lobbyist hold in this environment where the money becomes omnipresent?
“You know that $100,000 we gave your retirement fund after that last bill? Well if you don’t support us on this bill you can forget about another check.”
“Oh no! Where will I get money now? Oh that’s right… EVERYWHERE ELSE. kthanxbye!”
Is it a completely flawless theory? Perhaps not.
But in light of what I’ve dubbed the theory of Mutually Assured Corruption… move over Machiavelli. the great political philosopher, Eddie Murphy, needs the room for a new special friend he’s picked up. (allegedly)