It’s been a week since Eddie Jordan resigned and I still think to myself that perhaps we made a slight difference. There is a saying that speaks of accepting things we cannot change and changing the things we can. You can spend a few hours on any New Orleans street corner and see some things you cannot change and some other things you can. I know that those who openly protested Jordan had a minuscule role in his resignation. Probably even tinier then one teen-age armed robbery suspect. But it still felt like something that we could change. And we did.
Now if only Jordan’s frequent political crony William Jefferson would assist the region in its consistent battle against corruption by doing the same. One may think that a Congressman fighting an indictment may do right by his or her constituents and step down to address the charges without distraction. That way, the still-recovering area could have its needs addressed full time. Jefferson’s decision to stay on speaks volumes to his character, even if the charges are false.
And if Jefferson eventually goes down, perhaps the rumored Federal investigation of Mayor Nagin might kick in to high gear. It was these three men who I have always thought were the largest threats to the recovery of the city. Their arrogance and willingness to deceive entire groups of people in the name of leadership is offensive. With their removals from office, perhaps forward motion might finally be achieved and the city could rid itself of the corruption that has plagued it for decades and forward motion might finally be achieved.
Or actually, perhaps not.
What might occur instead is that they would be replaced with equally corrupt and conniving men or women who, seizing on the attrition of the Jefferson group’s wanning influence, will put on their Beowulf costumes and lead us to a new era of crookedness. Then a few years will go by and they will be the ones terrorizing the mead halls.
Like sharks’ teeth, crooked politicians are easily replaced.
So long as the voters of New Orleans play the role of the Goose That Lays the Golden Eggs, the politicians will continue to manipulate them into doing their bidding. It’s not the the politicians fault really, it’s their enabling electorate.
Pampy Barre and Oliver Thomas can give up as many Una Andersons and Cynthia Willard-Lewises as they please. The future of the city comes in electing able-minded, straight-and-narrow leaders to replace them. With the recent At-Large election as an example, I’m not sure there are any out there who have the competence and willingness to do it. There were those who had the will but not the skill. there were some who had the skill but not the will.
What did Yeats write?
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand.