If Plato had ever met Roy Cohn he would have fled.
The Greek philosopher who believed the eyes were windows into the soul would have asked Cohn to pull the shades, since what he could see through the windows was appalling.
Cohn, by the way, could almost justify Plato’s “face-ism,” because not just his heavy-lidded eyes but his whole physiognomy advertised corruption. Probably the ugliest guy I ever met.
Cohn first came to public notice as the brains behind the alcoholic stumblebum, Sen. Joe McCarthy (R-WI) as he pursued his “witch hunt,” for mostly-imagined Communists in the Federal Government.
From that, Cohn moved down to become Donald Trump’s mentor and consigliere. Actually he was probably a redundant supplement to the Donald’s dad Fred Trump as an inculcator into the morality of “the Mob.”
When Roy and Don appeared together it was impossible to say who was in worse company.
Who would want to be Roy Cohn when he grew up? The answer is the Indictee of the Day, Roger Stone, who, unfortunately, fulfilled both destinies: he did grow up and he did become as ridiculously loathsome a creature as Cohn.
The self-styled “dirty-trickster” actually has the original “Tricky Dick,” Nixon tattooed on his back, but he began his political career, he says, campaigning in grade school for John F. Kennedy, smearing Nixon by telling his classmates, the Republican favored extending the school week to Saturdays.
It was Barry Goldwater’s Conscience of a Conservative, Stone says, that turned him into a right-wing Republican, but my guess is “conscience” had nothing to do with it, because Stone’s politics have been defined by unfettered use of innuendo, distortion and outright falsehood in support of the politicians he liked: Nixon, Reagan, and Trump.
His first position of political power (after little more than a year as a scullion in the Nixon White House) was the presidency of the Young Republicans. His campaign for that job was managed by another young GOP scumbag, Paul Manafort, his fellow-in-indictment and soon, God willing, his fellow inmate.
Like Manafort, Stone’s most marketable skill was rubbing-up rich reactionaries until their purses burst with campaign coin. And like Manafort, he had no problem getting just as wallet-tight with rich or influential agents of faux-Left Russian communism, if suited his or his political employers’ purposes.
The short Oxford Dictionary definition of “collusion” is this: “Secret or illegal cooperation or conspiracy, especially in order to cheat or deceive others.”
Leaving aside legal expansions on that concept, one can say of Stone, and Cohn and Manafort and their shared protégé Trump, that their lives of constant collusion could lead to at least a 3-way collision — Aat the doorway to the prison mess hall.
For this, I pray.