(A déjà vu from Juvenal1)
Source at * below
There are many things of ill repute, … —-things that would affix a lasting stain to the brightest of lives,—-which parents themselves point out and hand on to their sons. If the aged father delights in ruinous play, his heir too gambles in his teens, and rattles the selfsame weapons in a tiny dice-box. If a youth has learnt from the hoary gluttony of a spendthrift father to peel truffles, to preserve mushrooms, and to souse beccaficoes in their own juice, none of his relatives need expect better things of him when he grows up. As soon as he has passed his seventh year, before he has cut all his second teeth, though you put a thousand bearded preceptors on his right hand, and as many on his left, he will always long to fare sumptuously, and not fall below the high standard of his cookery.
[So, w]hen [a POTUS] delights in the sound of a cruel flogging, deeming it sweeter than any siren’s song, and being himself a very [tyrant] to his trembling household, is he inculcating gentleness, and leniency to slight faults: does he hold that the bodies and souls of [non-USians] are made of the same stuff and elements as our own; or is he inculcating cruelty, never happy until he has summoned a torturer, and he can brand some one with a hot iron for [being an immigrant, refugee, Mexican, Muslim, journalist, etc.)? What counsel does [a POTUS] give to his [subjects] when he revels in the clanking of a chain, and takes wondrous pleasure in branded [opponents], in prisons and his country bridewell? … no evil example corrupts us so soon and so rapidly as one that has been set at home, since it comes into the mind on high authority. Here and there perhaps a [subject] may decline to follow the bad example: one whose soul [God] has fashioned with kindlier skill and of a finer clay; but the rest are led on by the [POTUS’] steps which they should avoid, and are dragged into the old track of vice which has so long been pointed out to them.
Abstain therefore from things which you must condemn: for this there is at least one all-powerful motive, that our crimes be not copied by our [subjects]. For we are all of us teachable in what is base and wrong; … Let no foul word or sight cross the threshold within which there is a [POTUS]. Away with you, ye hireling damsels! Away with the songs of the night-revelling parasite! If you have any evil deed in mind, you owe the greatest reverence to the young [USians]; disregard not tender years, and let your infant [USians] stand in the way of the sin that you propose. For if some day or other [they] shall do a deed deserving the censor’s wrath, and shall show [themselves] like to you, not in form and face only, but also your child in vice, and following in all your footsteps with sin deeper than your own, you will doubtless rebuke [them] and chide [them] angrily …. But how can you assume the grave brow and the free tone of [a past-POTUS] if you in your old age are doing things worse than [they] did, and your own empty pate has long been needing the windy cupping-glass? …
No human passion has mingled more poison-bowls, none has more often wielded the murderous dagger, than the fierce craving for unbounded wealth. For the man who wants wealth must have it at once; what respect for laws, what fear, what sense of shame is to be found in a miser hurrying to be rich? … it is purple raiment, whatever it be, foreign and unknown to us, that leads to crime and wickedness.” …
Some day you will say, ‘I never taught these things, I never advised them’: no, but you are yourself the cause and origin of your [subjects’] depravity; for whosoever teaches the love of wealth turns his [subjects] into misers by his ill-omened instruction. When he shows [them] how to double [their] patrimony by fraud, he gives [them their] head, and throws a free rein over the car; try to call [them] back, and he cannot stop: [they] will pay no heed to you, [they] will rush on, leaving the turning-post far behind. No man is satisfied with sinning just as far as you permit: so much greater is the license which they allow themselves!2
Why is it that almost everywhere in America, we see the unbridled pursuit, praise, and exhibiting of excess wealth?
Why do we delude ourselves that the appearance of wealth is the same as wealth?
How long this obsessive pursuit of purple raiment3 at the expense of values and Constitutional principles?
1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juvenal ; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satires_(Juvenal)
2. http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/juvenal_satires_14.htm (bold emphasis added)
3. Purple was the color worn by Roman magistrates; it became the imperial color worn by the rulers of the Byzantine Empire and the Holy Roman Empire, and later by Roman Catholic bishops. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purple)
* By unknown renaissance artist (?) – public domain clipart, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4680697
NOTE: Regardless of who has been or could have been elected as POTUS these last six plus decades (Right or Left), the pursuit of purple raiment and shredding of the Constitution have continued unabated.