Two Despicables Who Saw the Light
Colson and Cohen

In my introduction to Bob Woodward’s section on my articles’ index page, I morphed together two unlikely people to explain Woodward’s Fear: Trump in the White House. George Santayana wrote, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” In a slightly less erudite manner, Yogi Berra said, “It's like déjà vu all over again.” Donald the Dumb, our fake president, is the incarnation of Tricky Dicky. Additionally, as with Nixon, the investigation and Congressional oversight moved at a very slow pace. Nonetheless, we are nearing a resolution of the Mueller investigation much to the concern of Donald the Dumb.

However, this essay isn’t about Donald the Dumb, the new normal. It is about Michael Cohen, the former personal attorney to Trump from 2006-2018 and Chuck Colson, the Special Counsel to Nixon from 1969-1973. Colson was Nixon’s hatchet man while Cohen was Trump’s fixer. Additionally, Colson said, “I’d walk over my own grandmother to re-elect Richard Nixon.” Cohen said that he’d “take a bullet” for Trump.

Regardless, Colson went to jail and did his time, and Cohen is about to go to prison and do his time.



The parallels between Colson and Cohen are obvious. The central issue is that neither read Santayana nor listened to Berra’s warning of impending doom. Nonetheless, that is merely the backstory. What intrigues me is that both saw the light in the midst of the darkness that they both helped to create. Even after years of dishonesty, they finally saw the light.

The light

The fact that Colson and Cohen acted, in some manner to atone for their actions, needs to be seen by America. It is obvious that Donald the Dumb sees how Cohen is attempting to get right with the truth. He calls Cohen a liar and threatens Cohen concerning his father.

Nearly a half century ago, I wrote to Chuck Colson about Mike Wallace’s interview with him on 60 Minutes. In my letter, I mentioned the way that the Prodigal Son’s older brother responded negatively to his brother’s conversion. After all, he had been the perfect son while the Prodigal Son had squandered money on prostitutes.

A couple of weeks later, I received a letter from Colson. I see his letter everyday in my office in my home. To the left of Colson’s letter, I framed a letter from Cory Aquino. I had written to her about the People Power Revolution in the Philippians in 1986 when Aquino replaced Marcos as the president. On the right of Colson’s letter, there are a couple of articles that I wrote for some newspapers. Under Colson’s letter is a picture of Ti Ti who is one of my three granddaughters in Myanmar, which I took on my first trip five years ago. Below Ti Ti is a picture of the Lady, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

This is a photo of Colson’s letter.

Not everyone in America thought that Colson had seen the light. Nonetheless, he did. A year after his letter, he started the Prison Fellowship. In 1979, he started the Prison Fellowship International, which works in 120 countries to improve prison reform.

If there was a phrase that rattled Colson, it is was a phrase, which has a present-day ring to it, “Lock ‘em and leave ‘em.” Colson didn’t want to warehouse people; he wanted to help them.

I will write Cohen a letter and enclose a link to this essay. I’d bet that I hear from him about his transformation.