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Knowing History Helps Us
Combat Corruption and Show Integrity

May 20, 2018
by William P. Meyers

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"I know of no way to judge the future but by the past." — Patrick Henry

We must know history to learn from it.

We are confronted with a complex and volatile international situation and an arduous task of promoting reform, development, and progress here at home. We must draw upon our history of clean government. We must acknowledge when we have allowed corruption to seep into our fine tradition, so that we can recognize it and combat it before it can pervert our society.

To improve conduct in our party and government we need to continue the successful practices our party has long accumulated in these United States of America. We should also learn from the historic experiences, good and bad, of other nations.

America has a history of political corruption, but it also has clean government culture that predates our sacred Declaration of Independence, which declared a break with the corrupt practices of the past even as it made a break with the British Empire.

Government institutions are of fundamental and long-lasting importance to the American people. The solution to the problem of corruption is to improve the system that checks and oversees the exercise of power; grant oversight powers to the people; and make the exercise of power more transparent and institutionalized. We can prevent corrption by establishing a fully effective system for combatting it. We need to work harder to ensure the draconian enforcement of the anti-corruption laws. We should analyze proven cases thoroughly. We must focus reforms on areas prone to corruption, improve our institutions and systems, close loopholes, and eliminate any breeding grounds for curruption.

A clean system can quickly be corrupted when offials are elected or appointed who put their private needs above those of the public good. Even in good times we must tirelessly combat corruption, and always remain vigilant against it. When the supports for a house fill with termites, the house collapses. When the girders of a bridge rust through, it falls. We must care for our institutions with diligence, less they deteriorate and collapse.

We must be tough, crack down on corruption, and investigate all allegations of corruption. We must catch this rot in its earliest stages, before it grows into a beast that consumes government, business, and society. In this way, we will effectively protect the rights and interests of the public. We will see to it that our public officials remain honest and upright, that the government remains clean, and that political integrity is upheld.

[Note: the above is an experimental speech. It is Americanized and shortened from a speech by Xi Jinping (but probably written by an unnamed speech writer) given in Chinese on April 19, 2013. It is a good usable speech, but it is also an example of using generalizations while avoiding addressing specifics. It's a variation on the type of speech sometimes known as the Sun Will Rise (if I'm Elected) speech.]

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