Mandeville LA – Americans have come to expect their political leaders to promise them paradise then
deliver them into Hades yet when one follows through on this claim their reward is a punishment more severe than most criminal offenders receive, why? To answer this question let’s look at the most recent political pied-piper to deliver fire and brimstone: Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin. Nagin was convicted on 20 counts of “corruption, wire fraud and tax evasion” and sentenced to ten years in a federal pen, even though Federal judge Ginger Berrigan conceded he was “not the ring- leader”. That is a claim that falls on deaf ears as an online poll shows that by a 2-1 margin WhoDats think Nagin got “off light”.
An old adage states that “Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing”. It is debatable whether Nagin was a “good man” but he certainly fulfilled his role to do “nothing” and that’s the real point here. Nagin could have delivered some of that utopia I spoke of earlier by publicly lopping the political heads off the actual conspirators, but that would have required an earnest commitment to civic virtue, an ingredient in the American political system that has vanished like dinosaurs. This trait is mostly missing in our private affairs as well.
Now to answer the question I posed earlier, WHY are political crimes treated so harshly? Because when little Robbie robs the Time Saver his neighbors are sure he “is still a good kid” while “Big-Shot-Ray” of the political class has been permanently written off as “born-crooked.” That says a lot about the once vaunted “American System” that chooses its political class from the same neighborhood the car-jackers come from. Maybe if we return to elevated moral expectations for the former, we’ll have a lot less of the latter?
Mike Church is a New Orleans native and a radio host appearing daily on the SiriusXM Patriot Channel. He is an author and editor of “Patrick Henry-American Statesman” and is the writer and director of 7 Docudramas on American history including “The Spirit of ‘76” and the recently released “Times That try Men’s Souls-Washington’s Crossing”.