In his column on the fall from grace of former House Speaker Jim Black, N&O columnist Rob Christensen points to the influence of "big money" in the political landscape as the primary reason for Black’s downfall. “Black’s fall is almost Shakespearean," writes Christensen, "an elderly man trying to cling to power and, perhaps, hold on to his youth. But the story is about more than just human frailties. It is also a tale about how the big-money political culture has changed Raleigh.”
But is the money in politics to blame or is Jim Black, himself, to blame? Many are tempted every day to do something unethical or immoral but choose another path. Just because the cake is set before you doesn’t mean you have to grab a fork and take a big bite.
Let’s not lose focus on what really happened. The chiropractors didn’t come to him with the bribe — Jim Black sought out and solicited the money from them. He was the corrupting agent, not the money of others influencing him. So before we go out and blame the ever-mighty dollar for all the world’s problems, let’s put the blame squarely on Jim Black — a now convicted and sentenced corrupt politician who used his office for personal gain.
(Note: when government is small and stays out of business and markets, there are fewer opportunities for corruption and interest-seeking to begin with.)