“If a district attorney wanted, a grand jury would indict a ham sandwich.”
—Atributed to former New York Judge Sol Wachtler.
Just a few hours ago a dear friend suggested that I travel to the US and he even offered to pay for the plane ticket. This is serious, the Buenos Aires-Washington-Buenos Aires airfare is not cheap!
My first reaction was one of deep appreciation for my friend’s kind offer. After a more profound examination I realized that I have developed what we could call a US-phobia. After spending three decades in the US, making many friends and lately a few enemies who do not like what I write in this blog, I discovered a reluctance to return north.
Enemies are out there, no matter how much love my readers may feel for my musings … this blog is a mere blip in cyberspace but still for some is a constant source of irritation. Oh, well!
This was one of those days. A beautiful autumn day in Buenos Aires that allowed me to take a stroll to my favorite café to enjoy their “special menu” consisting of a chicken dish, potatoes, a drink, dessert and delicious coffee for a mere six bucks. Not bad.
But the afternoon was not so nice. The assault on my poor sister’s pension continues. The “intelligence” agents reading this blog could put their considerable power to the service of that poor lady. I know the creeps trying to skewer her. Someone could take a look at the blatant way the poor thing is being robbed by those who should be caring for her.
* * *
While all these things occupied my mind, a court in New York indicted a former President of the United States on a number of weak charges. I can’t care less for the obvious political aim of such legal tricks. What I really lament is the evident change in the way justice is administered in the country. See, in any of the so called ‘banana republics’ the justice system is a lackey of those in power. Sometimes, those in power are the ones with more rifles, ammunition, tanks, etc. and judges dispense ‘justice’ with a gun pointing to their heads.
In my family we are acquainted with that. My paternal grandfather, the Hon. Alberto Caso Rosendi was ignominiously expelled from his court, where he was the legally appointed Justice of the Peace (Judge). The local gendarmerie was charged with doing the rotten deed. The orders came from the de facto pro-fascist government of Buenos Aires. Poor grandpa never totally recovered from that. His “error” was to administer justice fairly. If the native man before him was right, he ruled in his favor. The same went for poor immigrants, widows, orphans, dispossessed and of course the powerful. If the powerful were in the right they also received a favorable ruling. In short, the man was doing his job fair and square. It was not his fault if some of his rulings rubbed powerful folks the wrong way.
The abuse endured by Donald Trump in court this morning reminded me of my grandpa who died when I was barely a baby. He died of ‘general debilitation’ which is the medical term used by some doctors when the patient dies of sadness. Grandpa was a smart man and he could see where his country was going. That big and generous country (which he had defended as a soldier and as a police officer) was becoming small, morally small. The old gravitas of his generation was being gradually replaced by the vulgarity of a new and immoral ruling class. The old “duty, valor, motherland” dictum of his youth was replaced by an expression too vulgar to repeat here. When those men of his generation died we were left orphaned. It was as if the country itself had perished. I felt that exactly when Ronald Reagan died and the Bushiad started.
That is how I feel about the US today. I know the US well. It has never been a bed of roses but one could trust in some degree of public fairness, a modicum of decency. The American Presidency and Donald Trump with all his foibles, with all his defects and miseries seemed to stand tall in the midst of midgets today. I may not agree with the way Donald Trump does things but even if he was my enemy, I would not hurt the country to take advantage of my enemy’s mistakes. The country has been shooting its own foot long enough. I thought the same way when they dragged Bill Clinton through the sad “Monica affair” many years ago. That was not good for the country. What good came out of that?
Today the country became much smaller and sadly, I think this is only the beginning.