I noticed two anecdotes about the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg, both of which were meant to be complimentary but in fact speak volumes about the petty corruption of our political class and how inured to it we’ve become. The first was told by a friend of his who was at a conference of Jewish philanthropists in Israel with Lautenberg on 9/11. Lautenberg “used his pull as a former senator” to get everyone an early flight back to the U.S. so they could rejoin their families. The second, told by Vice-President Biden at Lautenberg’s funeral, related how Biden was once hustling to make an Amtrak train to Delaware, but was told by Amtrak staff, “don’t worry we’re holding the train for Sen. Lautenberg” (who was a big political supporter of Amtrak).
. . .
How much more I would have admired Lautenberg if his friends could relate that “we begged him to use his clout as a former Senator to get us back to our families, but Frank was adamant that his friends and acquaintances were no more important than anyone else trying to get back home, and that he wouldn’t abuse his status as former senator on our behalf.”
The political class and crony capitalists are the new aristocracy.
Unfortunately, it seems that the future Aldous Huxley predicted in 1932, in Brave New World, is arriving early. Mockery, truculence, and minimalist living are best, then enjoy the decline. However, we do need a Revolving Door Tax (RDT), learn what Members of Congress pay in taxes, and prosecute politicians and staff and their “family and friends” who profit from insider trading.