How would you compare the politics of Gilded Age with present-day politics?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The main aspect of Gilded Age politics that people focus on today is the corruption that seemed to be prevalent in the political system.  This was a time when presidential administrations were wracked with scandals like the Credit Mobilier scandal.  It was said that big businesses like the railroads "owned" US Senators.  The government, it seemed, was run for the benefit of big businesses.

The question then is whether politics today are like this.  Of course, there are many who would argue that government does work only for the rich.  However, the government today (inefficient and riddled with problems though it is) is much more transparent and honest than it was in those days.  There have been presidential scandals, of course, but nothing along the lines of the scandals of the Gilded Age.  Senators cannot possibly be bought in the same way they once could since any such overt bribery would quickly be brought to light by the media.

So, while we have many justified complaints about our government today, it is nowhere near as corrupt as the government was during the Gilded Age.

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