The Price of Power: How Corruption Defines DC

JV Torres
3 min readFeb 21, 2022

In the current state of world affairs, it’s easy for people to rally behind a politician who makes big promises and says all the right phrases. Perhaps behind that blind trust in politicians is some underlying cowardice that places the responsibility of “fighting the good fight” on some ubiquitous person backed by a group with an apparent cause. Like buying a lottery ticket in hopes your random numbers will result in riches. In all honesty, you have better chances of reaching your dreams with a lottery ticket.

Politicians are not leaders. They’re representatives. They don’t “fight” for anything. They make moves, deals, negotiate and sometimes play real-life chess with other politicians to gain more power and influence for themselves. So, this begs the question: Who do these people really represent? Because their way of “business as usual” is not what a true leader does. A true leader, as articulated by Sherry Dew, “True leaders understand that leadership is not about them but about those they serve. It is not about exalting themselves but about lifting others up.”

When you dissect what our so-called leaders in Washington have been doing for decades, it simply does not pass the smell test. Congress is full of millionaires — and many didn’t enter the Washington political scene as such. But somewhere along the way, they miraculously had that winning lottery ticket and violà, like magic, they become super rich. And everything else stays the same. So, what did their constituents truly vote for?

Look at the chart I screenshot from Wikipedia. It shows the net worth of some currently seated in congress. 14 out of the top 20 are Republican. Surprised?

Now, take a look at what people in congress earn for their seats.

But those are the “big shots.” Corruption is not unique to the big wigs in Washington — and it isn’t always just about money. In 2019, a Federal employee was busted taking kickbacks and sexual favors from welfare recipients in exchange for $1.5 million in fraudulent claims. Former DC council chairman, Kwame Brown, embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars meant for a Children’s program to line his pockets and was subsequently arrested for the fraud. John Durham’s report alludes that the Hillary Clinton campaign spied on candidate Donald Trump in 2016 and even while he was President.

And the list goes on and on.

How long will Americans allow themselves to be duped by these political animals in DC? How many more stories of corruption have to be published before the masses wake up from this fantasy that politicians actually care about the population?

NBC used to air a segment on their nightly news show called “The Fleecing of America,” where stories of government sloppiness leads to tax payer money being misused or overused. However, curiously, the show is no longer part of the NBC news format. Even the least cynical person in our midst has to wonder why.

Americans have long been willfully blind to the mishaps and corruption of the U.S. government. It just seems the bubble has either popped or is in the process of popping. The era of endless corruption is approaching a brick wall at 200 mph. Even if one is strapped in, the impact will be devastating for everyone. And those politicians that got rich in the process (the ones that haven’t died of old age) will not be at the frontline fighting anything (except maybe the gate at the international terminal to get the hell out of here). That much one can count on from their “leaders in Washington.” They are rich, power-hungry ghouls that will run and hide like cowards when the shit hits the fan. The rest of America will have no choice but to rely on the true leaders among us. Assuming, of course, that there are still some left when their number is called.

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JV Torres

Freelance Writer, Author, Filmmaker, Researcher, Creator of the Audio Drama “The Rise of King Asilas” and author of "The Ouroboros."