I’ve long felt that human beings, in forming their social, cultural and political institutions, must of an unconscious necessity reflect the patterns existent in the natural world around them.
This is the convoluted way by which I explain the otherwise inexplicable levels of political corruption in Louisiana and New Orleans politics. We live in a swamp filled with molds, fungi, alligators, and strange things that mutate and crawl out of moats. Our political institutions are the same way.
Louisiana has the highest per capita number of convictions for political officials in the United States. These are just the ones who get convicted and caught.
This also doesn’t include the number of sycophants, aides, supporters, and other associated hanger-ons that have built up in what amounts to an entire ecosystem of corruption surrounding everything to do with Louisiana politics.
People have tried to explain this for years, based on all levels of partisan political data, sociological analysis, historical roots, and everything else, but it seems to deny any rational analysis. I think the real cause is irrational. There is something, as they say, in the water. It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity. We live in a swamp – strange and funky things brew beneath the surface of the clouded water. Nothing is quite clean.
Even a swamp is cleaned out from time to time, however. A marsh fire occurs in dry season. A hurricane comes. Winter peels back to tangled overgrowth.
We see what was lurking beneath. You can’t hide forever.