Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Can We Trust Our Politicians Anymore?

Last month, the United States Attorney’s office of the Eastern District of New York announced that the office was officially charging New York Republican Congressman George Santos with charges of wire fraud, identity theft, false statements and credit card fraud in an Oct. 10 press release. This follows nearly nine months after Santos was under fire in the media for allegedly fabricating his background in order to receive political and financial gain. Some of his most shocking lies include: founding an animal charity, his grandmother being a victim of the Holocaust and his mother dying on 9/11. 

Santos’ antics have led to strife with colleagues as well. During the February State of the Union address, Sen. Mitt Romney, R-UT, told Santos, “You don’t belong here.”

This, unfortunately, is not the first time that a politician has been under fire for dishonesty or behavior unbecoming of a public servant. The definition of a public servant is in the name, one who serves the public. But, in all actuality, they have a record of serving themselves above all.  

Georgia Republican Representative and Donald Trump enthusiast Marjorie Taylor Greene caused shockwaves in 2019 when she publicly called the Parkland school shooting a “hoax”, resulting in the families of Parkland victims demanding her resignation. To add to the debacle, later that same year Greene was filmed trailing Parkland survivor David Hogg near the United States Capitol Building. During the interaction, Greene accuses Hogg of using kids to attack the Second Amendment. Meanwhile, Greene established her campaign on pro-gun fundamental values and it’s fair to say she would be the last person to benefit from the “red-flag” gun laws Hogg went to Washington to support.

Greene also caught national media attention earlier in the year during President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address. Greene called the president a liar in response to Biden accusing Republicans of having a desire to cut Medicare and Social Security.

There was a time in United States history when being a politician was an esteemed honor. The people who held these positions were up to standards, they cared for the people in their districts and rarely falsified their backgrounds. Oh how the times have changed, since by 2020 public trust in the government had plummeted—the Pew Research Center reported that fewer than two in 10 Americans say they actually trust the federal government.

You begin to ponder why public conceptions surrounding politicians have changed. Well, lately it seems like anyone can make it on the floor in the District of Columbia. 

Colorado Republican Congresswoman Lauren Boebert gained national attention in 2021 for being a controversial candidate due to her background and personal life. Boebert caught heat in the media when it was revealed that her husband was arrested for exposing himself in a bowling alley. Additional public outrage followed when it was discovered that Boebert received her GED a few months short of winning her congressional seat. Many began to speculate the impact she would have on her congressional district. Making it as a congresswoman as a teen mom and highschool dropout, many depicted the congresswoman as the epitome of the American dream. 

That would suffice if she didn’t also dedicate her spare time to QAnon conspiracy theories on the taxpayer’s dollar. QAnon, in simple terms, is a far-right political movement that believes the world is controlled by the “deep state,” the deep state being satan-worshiping pedophiles. They believe that former president Donald Trump is the only person capable of destroying the “deep state.”  This far right movement is rooted in baseless conspiracies. 

Some of Boebert’s most alarming QAnon-stemmed tweets include blaming China for fentanyl overdoses in the United States, blaming President Biden for school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic and claiming the 19th Amendment does not exist.

Santos, Greene and Boebert are not the first politicians to be caught in the midst of public outrage surrounding controversy, and considering our current political climate, they won’t be the last. What sets them apart from other politicians is these people stay engulfed in scandal while other groups have their scandals, never to be heard from again.

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Naja Johnson, News Editor

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