No, They Are Not All Corrupt

From the day the U.S. Congress first convened on March 4, 1789, until today, 12,343 individuals have served as Representatives and Senators.  Of these, 397 have been accused of misconduct.

That means that at least 97 percent of all of our Congress men and women did not take bribes, did not violate campaign finance laws, did not have ethics violations, did not engage in sexual misconduct, and were not accused of any other crimes.  The percentage of good politicians might be higher – not all accusations were proven true.  Of the 397 who were accused, only 221 resulted in some formal action by the government.  

Even if you want to believe that 397 is a low number, that the reality is four times higher, and all accused were guilty, that means that 87 percent of our Congress men and women conducted themselves well.

So, no, they are not all corrupt. No, they don’t all behave like swamp creatures.

On the other hand, the numbers above do validate the presence of at least some swamp creatures.  The fact is that, while misconduct is rare, it has been steadily rising from the 1970s onward.   See the figure below.

In this context, it is really important for any patriots, regardless of affiliation, to never ever excuse misconduct on the false assertion that “they all do it.”  They don’t, and we should be working together to keep the number of swamp creatures in Washington as low as we can.

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