from a book review in the WSJ – Corrupting the Body Politic:

The 2016 presidential election presented the mass of American voters with a conundrum: The best argument for voting for Donald Trump was Hillary Clinton, and the best argument for voting for Hillary Clinton was Donald Trump. F.H. Buckley doesn’t discuss Mr. Trump much in “The Republic of Virtue,” but it’s clear which side of the case he found more persuasive. He regards Mr. Trump as deeply flawed but Ms. Clinton as deeply corrupt. There’s a difference. Mr. Buckley, a law professor at George Mason, uses the term “corruption” in its classic sense: the use of governmental power to enrich oneself. By that definition, given the revelations about Ms. Clinton in such books as Peter Schweizer’s “Clinton Cash” (2015), which detailed the ways in which certain extremely wealthy people purchased access to the secretary of state, Ms. Clinton is a fine instance of corruption at its unsavory worst. Her admirers will quickly point to Mr. Trump’s unscrupulous business practices, but the point remains: Ms. Clinton’s sins involved her use of public office. Whatever else Mr. Trump was guilty of—bigotry, villainy—he couldn’t be called “corrupt” in Mr. Buckley’s sense.

“What the United States Constitution has given us,” Mr. Buckley writes, “is a form of government that is particularly susceptible to corruption, in ways the Framers could not have imagined.” That’s bracing stuff. By the 1830s, the author argues, when Andrew Jackson’s administration exploited the spoils of victory and the Framers’ dream of a virtuous republic was moribund, the British Parliament had undertaken the first of three major reforms that virtually obliterated the monarchy’s power of influence and soon made Britain a more virtuous “republic” than America.


next stop Amazon…