The psalmist warned us: “Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of a man, in whom there is no help.”
This little bit of immortal knowledge from three millennia in the past is likely to be of assist at present as we search to perceive the fall of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The psalm makes use of the phrase “princes” to refer to the human authority figures who function our earthly leaders. We are suggested not to put our religion in them, as a result of it is silly to put your religion in something however the divine — “the God of Jacob . . . who keeps faith forever.”
A prince’s time, the psalmist tells us, is simply as momentary as ours: “When his breath departs, he returns to his earth. On that very day, his plans perish.” As we have now seen this week, the prince’s plans could perish owing to his departure from the governor’s mansion, as effectively.
Cuomo grew to become one of many “princes” folks had chosen not solely to belief, but to place on a pedestal. This, regardless of a practically four-decade profession throughout which he’d made it surpassingly clear that he was about as reliable because the scorpion who convinces the frog to give him a journey throughout the pond.
His report because the state’s chief government is undeniably combined. For he succeeded in breaking by the paralytic establishment within the Empire State and getting the brand new Tappan Zee Bridge and the brand new LaGuardia Airport constructed. The similar may be mentioned of the Second Avenue Subway and the Moynihan Train Hall.
But there was additionally the corruption he winked at or implicitly oversaw. Recall that his right-hand man Joseph Percoco is still in prison for taking bribes, and we have now but to absolutely perceive the maneuverings that led to the weird waste of an astonishing quantity of taxpayer cash within the so-called Buffalo Billion scandal. And he openly shut down the very investigation into Albany’s soiled politics he himself had ordered when investigators began sniffing too shut to his dogpile.
It isn’t simply the mortality of princes that ought to make us cautious of placing them on pedestal. It is the actual fact as mortal males, they’re susceptible to deep human weaknesses: greed, self-importance, lust, together with the lust for domination.
And but we are able to’t assist ourselves. We need to imagine that the folks we elect — and even, as within the case of the psalmist’s time and far of the planet even now, the strongmen who rule by drive alone — are made of higher stuff. And so we regularly impute to them ethical strengths they don’t have, just because we’re so hungry to have somebody to imagine in.
That was the place Cuomo got here in. COVID was terrifying, and he gave excellent news conferences, the place he talked about every thing that was being accomplished in New York to tackle the pandemic.
The proven fact that lots of the insurance policies he trumpeted turned out to be pointless or silly or flawed — we didn’t want tens of hundreds of ventilators, and we didn’t want the Javits Center or Central Park as subject hospitals — didn’t matter.
An adoring press ignored, too, the barbarous horrors of the insurance policies he put in place however didn’t trumpet: sending aged COVID sufferers again to nursing houses, the place the virus unfold and killed by the hundreds.
He was a hero, as a result of liberals wanted a hero. And they particularly wanted a hero, as a result of they had been so caught up in their very own wrought-up melodrama by which COVID appeared to be an emanation spreading from the Orange Monster of their nightmares within the Oval Office.
They elevated Cuomo as a result of they wanted an anti-Trump. The liberal scorn for the hero-worship of President Donald Trump on the proper was and stays all-consuming. But it didn’t forestall liberals from falling prey to precisely the identical idolatrous situation.
Remember the elevation of Robert Mueller, the supposed Trump-slayer. Remember the deranged enthusiasm for porn-actress shyster-defender Michael Avenatti, thought perhaps to be presidential caliber for 2020, now on his means to jail for extortion.
Leaders disappoint. They all the time do. Even the best have clay toes. The psalmist’s counsel is everlasting. And our lack of ability to comply with it is additionally everlasting, alas.