There was a time when this man was revered to the point of hero worship, by American investors, banks and just about every greedy capitalist that existed in New York, when every stockbroker wanted to be Bernie Madoff. When he spoke, everybody listened. His voice had a tone of calm reassurance and authority.
Bernie Madoff could do no wrong. Until he stole $50 billion from his investrors, that is.
History has repeatedly shown that we are most often hurt by those that we least expect to hurt us. More than 90% of all the cases of child sexual abuse for example are carried out by those whom the victims felt close to.
Lance Armstrong, Bill Cosby, Jerry Sandusky, Jimmy Saville, Larry Nasser…the list goes on and on. It almost feels as if the more you trust someone to do the right thing, the more is the likelihood that that individual is plotting to hurt you.
When we think of evil, the people that spring immediately to mind are Hitler and Stalin (maybe even Rupert Murdoch, Robert and ‘Becka’ Mercer too). They are the in-your-face evil but in some weird way, they are easier to live down. They are the satan you know. You have nailed them down. You are on your guard with them.
But the Bill Cosbys, the Jimmy Savilles and the Bernie Madoffs? They are the evil we did not see – until they emerged, like some macabre password-protected worksheet inside the Excel file of our lives. Since organized religion decrees that God oversees everything, I suppose he is the one who has had the password all along.
Take Bernie Madoff. He had to know that the very first audit by the DTCC (Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation, a regulatory body within the US Government that monitors stock transfers), would reveal his ponzi scheme. Yet he went ahead and stole $50 billion from his investors’ funds and led a lavish, jet-setting lifestyle. He had to have recognized where he was headed – prison at the end of it all. And yet….
Take the husband of the current US Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, billionaire Richard DeVos. He runs Amway, a consumer goods distribution company which is nothing but a thinly disguised ponzi scheme. It is a matter of time, before the Amway empire comes crashing down, obliterating the futures of millions who have invested into it’s promise.
So what do we do now? How do we create an early warning system for fallen angels, in the way “Rusty” Schweickart and his B612 Foundation is working to detect rogue near-earth objects?
Truth is that we cannot. You don’t know if the professor who is being nice to you may be having two red-haired undergrads chained in his basement whom he sexually assaults at will and eventually intends to strangle after he is done. You don’t know because he is nice, knowledgeable, supportive and a terrific teacher.
Which brings us to the ones who as of this moment, in the context of personal virtuosity, could do no wrong – Barack Obama, Dalai Llama, Jeremy Corbyn, Bernie Sanders, Tom Hanks and ………… the one whom we have invested all our trust on at the present moment…… Special Counsel Robert Swan Mueller III.
Oh yes, we are all precariously hanging on for dear life, by a single string that Bob Mueller has around his waist as he tried to negotiate that negative 60-degree incline on the Eiger. It’s a thread that has a name to it – integrity.
We trust Robert Mueller. The world trusts Robert Mueller. The world has trusted Robert Mueller ever since he won his Purple Heart as a Marine and then won a 100-0 vote in the US congress when his term as FBI Director was being extended beyond the statutory 10 years.
Robert Mueller’s personal integrity is so far above and beyond question that even his antagonists – the Trump Swamp – have refrained from any direct criticism of him so far. There is not a single blemish on his long and distinguished record. Robert Mueller is untouchable, impregnable. He is so far beyond our pale that I am sure whatever conclusion he arrives at in the end – even if it exonerates Donald Trump – it will be one that we will go along with
In his on sphere of activity, Bernie Madoff too enjoyed a similar reverence. “Leave all of it with Bernie. He’ll do the right thing,” were the last words one his largest investors spoke in a halting voice to his children who were gathered around his death bed.
That’s right. Leave it all to Bob Mueller. He’ll do the right thing.