Remember Leona Helmsley, “Only the little people pay taxes”? Remind you of Donald Trump about to barge into the White House in flamboyant disregard of laws and ethics? It’s not only mobsters who believe the US Constitution and IRS code are irrelevant to them.
Soon one of the most despicable men in American history will be sworn in as President. His cabinet choices are sharpening their pick-axes for the departments they are to dismember. None of these people show a thimbleful of awe for their fellow Americans. Helmsleys who live above common morality and disdain the huddled masses — those in crowded housing projects and those functionaries living in small apartments. Or big apartments. But not big enough to make them players.
Meanwhile members of the Senate and House of Representatives are beavering away to invalidate ethical checks and balances on their own behavior. Why?
Vladimir Putin is a known evil-ist. The KGB formed him — you think he can hang that on a shoe rack and march on without it? We grownups in our 50s, 60s, 70s — we have been made by circumstances and by our choices. By our practices.
People practice piano, baseball, juggling. At the same time they practice values and feelings. Use it or lose it, right? Respect is a complex feeling you must learn to feel. Then remind yourself to validate again in your actions. And again — as surely as your hand must learn to feel a C chord spread, your self must learn to feel compassion.
Putin’s shoe rack again. Look at the figures hoping to be Mr Trump’s Cabinet members. In their decades have they learned to practice empathy, compassion. fairness? Because they can no more learn the habits of compassion than Putin at his age.
I fear that these men and women are well-practiced in greed and contempt for me and you.