Philip Levine and Jimmy Morales
MIAMI BEACH MAYOR PHILLIP LEVINE
HIS OWN WORST ENEMY
Editorial by David Arthur Walters
Mayor Philip ‘King’ Levine’s ‘Get it Done’ rush to construction blitzkrieg in South Beach has cost local businesses yet untold millions of dollars, and he could care less about the damages the haste and negligence has done.
Yes, negligence, due to the utter neglect of the clamor raised by outraged victims despite the known vindictiveness of the wealthy mayor, and the mendacity of his henchman, Jimmy ‘Nice Guy’ Morales, the city manager, whom people are learning the hard way to distrust. But do not blame Jimmy. He is not his own man. He is probably just following orders.
Philip has his finger in the dike, sincerely believing he is saving Miami Beach from the Great Flood, beginning with his own Sunset Harbour shopping center, impounding money from other areas to give himself priority, forgetting what the torah reveals about the ultimate reason for such cleansings.
It is his arrogant manner, his way of doing things, carried out by his stooges, that is at issue here. It has been a classic case of “my way or the highway” with this tyrant and his majority court, and, of course, his chancellor. Mr. Morales, a lawyer who breaks his promises, places himself above the law, and hides behind the skirts of his troubleshooters, is ready to pave over the resistance or immure it in concrete. Sometimes they do not even bother to “just say no to naysayers.” They say nothing at all when confronted with sound reasoning.
Mr. Levine associated 35% of the electorate that voted for his opponent in November with a “tiny minority” of “screamers and yellers,” consigning them to more hell until the next election, that being his interpretation of “democracy,” one that reminds us of General Hindenberg’s remark that “democracy” means people vote for their leaders and then get out of their way, as they soon did or were exterminated by Adolf Hitler.
Not that Mr. Levine is a Der Fuehrer. His public works propaganda and control over committees reminds us more of an Il Duce. The difference is in the followers. Capitalists liked them both in the beginning. Fascism, which does not abhor the profit principle as long as it favors the power elite, is the perfection of capitalism in the ultimate incorporation of competition.
Tamerlane (Timur) would approve of Mr. Levine’s tactics. Tamerlane’s propaganda was effective: mounds of his opponents’ skulls were erected at the gates. He abducted architects to design his capital. Anyone who objected to the renovations of his shopping center at Samarkand was beheaded as an infidel. However, he would advise Mr. Levine to listen to negative criticism from at least one small, easily conquerable sect, as he did, instead of shutting everyone up for good.
Again, we are concerned more with the process here than the end. The end may be worthy yet it may no longer be worth having given extreme means. No less than Hume elaborated on its degrees, in ‘On Qualities Useful To Ourselves.’
“No quality, it is allowed, is absolutely either blameworthy or praiseworthy. It is all according to its degree. A due medium, say the Peripatetics, is the characteristic of virtue. But this medium is chiefly determined by utility. A proper celerity, for instance, and dispatch in business, is commendable. When defective, no progress is every made in the execution of any purpose. When excessive, it engages us in precipitate and ill-concerted measures and enterprises: By such reasonings, we fix the proper and commendable mediocrity in all moral and prudential dispositions; and never lose view of the advantages, which result from any character or habit.”
We should have been careful what we wished for when we wished for a strong manager, weak city manager, instead of the weak mayor, strong city manager specified by our city charter. Now we have a de facto strong mayor and his lackey for a city manager.
That he was reelected should give the egotist no cause to gloat, for people worship powerful leaders even against their own best interests. Indeed, studies show that 65% of the populace are “F-Type” (fascistic).
Philip Levine offered no olive branch to his opponents after the election, said nothing about reconciliation, willingness to work with the opposition he associated with “screamers and yellers.” Wherefore this editorial in that vein, resting assured that he will suffer the fate of his fellow tyrants if he does not change his ways.