Turner on politics and ethics is currently hyping an interview with recently arrested Boston City Councilor Chuck Turner on its front page. This is an exceedingly smart move, since the Q-and-A (conducted by former city councilor Tom Keane for a piece in next Sunday's Globe Magazine) has Turner arguing--passionately and at great length--that politics and ethics don't go together:

From an ethical standpoint, I don’t think the vast majority of Congress should be allowed to sit. Ethics should include a commitment to the needs of the people of this country which the Congress has not displayed. Given the fact that all our state governments and the federal government is controlled by money, I think it is hypocritical to talk about ethics when you talk about our political leaders or our business leaders, religious leaders, etc.

Its time for Americans to admit that ethics never have had a significant influence on American politics. If Americans cared about ethical behavior, why did slavery last for two hundred years and neo slavery last for another two hundred? Why does America have the weakest laws in the Western World to protect a working person right to have a fair return on their labor. Why were the Irish treated as animals when they were driven to America by the politics of the English ancestors of the Yankees who treated them as if they were black when they were driven here. I’m surprised Tom. I didn’t think you were in denial of the reality of the moral depravity of this country.

If you're trying to figure out why a smart guy like Turner would put himself in the situation he's in, this is a damn good place to start. (I'd also suggest my 2004 Phoenix profile of the councilor.)

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