Roy Cohn was an unscrupulous lawyer who knew how
to beat the system. As a lawyer, he lit up the town
representing mobsters, prelates and his poster child
client Donald Trump. For 15 years Cohn was Trump’s
lawyer, fixer and political mentor. Cohn’s cousin, journalist
David Marcus, knows everything knowable about him.
He compares and contrasts for Jim Zirin the many parallels
between Trump’s combative tactics in office and the Roy
Cohn he observed in action.
(Taped: 10/21/2019 )
says well we’ve had all these years ofwarfare over religion we’ll stop askingimportant questions and all thesedecades these centuries after theEnlightenment here’s the world we’vereached this is the way I read you youcan correct my reading but let me finishquoting you instead of violent warsthere could be violent video gamesinstead of heroic featsthere could be thrilling amusement parkrides instead of serious thought therecould be intrigues of all sortsin a soap opera it is a world wherepeople spend their lives amusingthemselves to death close quotenow that is a devastating indictment ofmuch of contemporary America correctwell it is I mean I think this has been06:59the trend of modernity now it’s it’s07:02it’s not as though politics has07:04disappeared though it’s it’s often just07:05gets displaced in various ways but but07:08yes I think there is this this07:10incredible degree to which we’ve we’ve07:14we’ve substituted the realities of07:18politics for these sort of increasingly07:20fictionalized worlds and and it’s07:23probably uh that’s probably a very very07:25unhealthy thing there’s sort of a07:27slightly different frame that I’ve often07:29given on this is is that in in the last07:3340 or 50 years there’s been a shift from07:36exteriority which I which you know doing07:41things in the real world to the sort of07:43interior world which is sort of in a way07:46can be thought of this also the shift07:47from politics to entertainment or07:50something like that and and the the from07:54a dr. Phil a the powerful frame I give07:57is you know almost exactly 50 years ago08:00today and you know July of 1969 men08:03reached the moon and three weeks later08:05Woodstock began and with the benefit of08:07hindsight we can say that that’s when08:10you know progress ended and when the08:12hippies took over the country or08:14something like that and then we’ve had08:16we’ve had this incredible shift to08:18interior tea in the decades since then I08:20would include things like the drug08:22counterculture I would include08:24videogames you know maybe a lot of08:27entertainment more generally you know08:30there’s sort of parts of the internet08:31that can be scored both ways but but08:34certainly there all these things where08:36we’ve shifted towards the you know your08:39world of yoga meditation there’s a world08:41of interior culture that sort of and it11:04Rene Girard is in some ways theaddresses an aspect of human nature wellit’s it’s good it’s the very thing thatthe Enlightenment says no no don’t eventhink about such things rightyeah well the Enlightenment alwayswhitewashes violence it’s one of thethere are many things we can’t thinkabout an under Enlightenment reason butone one is certainly violence itself andand if you go to the anthropologicalmyth of the Enlightenment it’s the mythof the social contract so what happenswhen everybody is that everybody’selse’s throat what the Enlightenmentsays is everybody in the middle of thecrisis sits down and has a nice legalchat and draws up a social contract andthat’s maybe maybe that’s the foundingmyth the central lie of theEnlightenment if you will and whatGerrard says something very differentmust have happened and when everybody’sat everybody’s throat the violencedoesn’t just resolve itself and maybe itgets channeled against a a specificscapegoat where the war of all againstall becomes a war can of all against oneand then somehow gets resolved but in ain a very violent way and so I think youknow what what Gerrard and Schmidt orMachiavelli or you know the12:18judeo-christian inspiration all have in12:20common is this idea that human nature is12:22problematic its violent it’s um you know12:25it’s it’s it’s it’s it’s it’s not12:27straightforward at all what what you do
Martha Nussbaum discusses her book, “The Monarchy of Fear” at Politics and Prose on 7/9/18.
One of the country’s leading moral philosophers, Nussbaum cuts through the acrimony of today’s political landscape to analyze the Trump era through one simple truth: that the political is always emotional. Starting there, she shows how globalization has produced feelings of powerlessness that have in turn fed resentment and blame. These have erupted into hostility against immigrants, women, Muslims, people of color, and cultural elites. Drawing on examples from ancient Greece to Hamilton, Nussbaum shows how anger and fear inflame people on both the left and right; by illuminating the powerful role these passions play in public life, she points to ways we can avoid getting caught up in the vitriol that sustains and perpetuates divisive politics.