SHAKESPEARE’S JULIUS CAESAR & AMERICA’S POLITICAL SYSTEM; TWO PARALLEL UNIVERSES
The proceedings now have been concluded by the U.S. Senate’s Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearings of President Trump’s nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Yet the indelible impression these hearings have left on this writer’s mind parallel those of William Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar and what Shakespeare was attempting to say through the characters in his play about ruthless, indiscriminate power, betrayal and destruction of the Rule of Law as it applies to America.
Shakespeare declares in the first line of the funereal oration speech made by Mark Antony (Act III, scene II) “”Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your ears”. The reaction by this writer to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s confirmation conclusions left him with the same desire to also declare, “Friends, Americans, and democratic, freedom-loving citizens throughout the world, Lend me your ears!”
The parallels that exist between Shakespeare’s play and the mockery that made up the proceedings of those confirmation hearings couldn’t be any clearer. They speak to the impending death in the future of the U.S. Supreme Court’s inability to no longer arrive at fair, balanced impartial rulings on critical civil, human and societal rights issues and interpretations of the U.S. Constitution, beyond the kind of narrowly-skewed ideological renderings by rigid purists that inevitably will lead to the eventual dissolution and death of the U.S. Constitution as it previously has been more liberally construed.
In Shakespeare’s play Marc Antony gives his funereal oratory to the crowd of citizenry on the condition he will not be blamed for Caesar’s death. The death of Caesar’s body could be thought of here as the body of the U.S. Constitution itself into which Trump and the Republican senators in the Senate Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearing have chosen to stab their countless daggers.
Caesar’s murder by Brutus could be likened to Senator Mitch McConnell presided over the Senate hearings, and his refusal to hold off on the confirmation of a new Supreme Court Justice until after the election. McConnell’s hypocritical response appropriately Brutus-like when he contemptuously snarled, with the tacit approval of the other Republican senators in the Senate, “Winners Make the Rules! Losers Go Home!”
Shakespeare has Marc Antony mockingly declare, at one point in the play, to the massed crowds enraged against Caesar’s conspirators, “I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him”. Throughout his speech Marc Antony sarcastically calls the conspirators who killed his friend Caesar honourable men who were only doing what was good for all the people for whom the senators cared so deeply.
Marc Antony reflects on Caesar’s death and all the injustice it implies, declaring “When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept”. Antony, equally overwhelmed with emotion cries out, “My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar. / And I must pause till it come back to me”. Antony does this, knowing that the crowd will soon begin to turn against the conspirators.
When the assembled crowd begs Anthony to read Caesar’s will, it is likened here to the verbal death-bed wish made by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who declared, “My most fervent wish is not to be ‘replaced’ until a new president is installed”. Antony similarly goes on to tell the crowd to have patience who, if he is forced to read the will, will be forced to “wrong the honourable men / whose daggers have stabbed Caesar”. Butt what similar proscriptions did Mitch McConnell or the other Republicans likewise make during their confirmation hearings?
Marc Antony becomes increasingly-more agitated when the crowd calls all the conspirator’s traitors and demands Antony read the will. Antony declines, “I come not, friends, to steal away your hearts”. Instead stressing the conspirator’s fundamental betrayals and the many wounds they have so ruthlessly inflicted on Caesar to which, Antony wishes he could give voice to the crowd that, “they should move /the stones of Rome itself to rise and mutiny”. In closing, Antony can be heard by the crowd to mutter. “Now let it work. Mischief, thou art afoot / Take thou what course thou wilt.”
It should be obvious to anyone who actually watched the televised Senate Confirmations of Judge Amy Coney Barrett the extent to which democracy in America is being threatened in the lead up to the U.S. presidential election, and how, like ancient Rome in the time of Caesar, the dark monies and ruthless power of the corporate world are vigorously playing in the shadows of not only America’s 2020 Election but throughout the world’s failed or failing democracies.
Readers are encouraged to ponder more closely the presentation made by Rhode Island’s Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse during the confirmation hearing to bring into the light who some of these dark forces are. Go to www.YouTube.com and watch his vigorously protests of what ‘Dark Money’ is doing to Democracy in America 🙁https://www.youtube.com/watch?v-KoBoI3Kwjc)’
To learn more about how insidious and diabolically brutal this destructive 2020 electoral process is, read Steve Hanley’s article, “Sheldon Whitehouse Shines A Spot Light on Dark Money” (cleantechnica.com/2020/10/14/Sheldon-whitehouse-shines-a-spot-light-on-dark-money) Pay close attention to Hanley when he documents how the Republicans intend to gift the super-wealthy, with generous tax cuts of some $1.5 trillion dollars, benefiting the likes of: Charles Koch and his Koch Empire; Leonard Leo’s Federalist Society; Carrie Severino’s Judicial Crisis Network, that is a head hunter for up and coming conservative jurists like Amy Coney Barrett, and; dark money deep pockets, like Donors Trust, The Bradley Foundation and Citizens United that fund most, if not all, of the critically important amicus briefs that will ever be hand-picked to come before the U.S. Supreme Court for adjudication.
The Republicans if elected, or once again manage to steal the election as in 2000 and 2016, will also take steps, with the aid of their deep pocket allies in the corporate world, to undertake such anti-democratic actions as: eliminate the concept of the civil jury, a fundamental instrument of genuine democracy, that historically has been contained within the precepts of the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence, but which big corporate interests see as the biggest obstacle beyond the total control they already can exercise through their manipulations of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Adding to this onslaught against the Democratic process in America, Republicans also have on their electoral agenda: filling the empty seat in the U.S. Supreme Court with another female judge who will take a sledgehammer to the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s important body of her life’s work; gut the Affordable Care Act and Green America Plan; reverse the Roe versus Wade decision; seat on the Supreme Court even more judicial assassins of the democratic process like Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, John Roberts, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh; ensure a 6-4 decision on the Supreme Court that will contest and seek to nullify the 2020 election even if the Democrats win with an overwhelming landslide victory; return America to the golden days of the robber barons, and; replace America’s Public School System with tax payer funded private and religious schools that will have the right to hand-select their students with the ability to exclude those teachers and parents who may be same sex parents, LGBTQ (lesbian. gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning sexual orientation) students or controversial ideologically background.
Once the viewer has duly listening to Senator Sheldon Whitehouse’s documented expository of Corporate Dark Money’s Scheme in the election, or read Steve Hanley’s expanded indictment of America’s Political Snake Pit, he or she will never ever be able to think again like the same American, Canadian or Citizen of the World that they were before.
Jerome Irwin is a Canadian-American writer who, for decades, has sought to call world attention to problems of environmental degradation and unsustainability caused by excessive mega-development and host of related environmental-ecological-spiritual issues that exist between the conflicting philosophies of indigenous and non-indigenous peoples. Irwin is the author of the book, “The Wild Gentle Ones; A Turtle Island Odyssey” (www.turtle-island-odyssey.com), a spiritual odyssey among the native peoples of North America that has led to numerous articles pertaining to: Ireland’s Fenian Movement; native peoples Dakota Access Pipeline Resistance Movement; AIPAC, Israel & the U.S. Congress anti-BDS Movement; the historic Battle for Palestine & Siege of Gaza, as well as; the many violations constantly being waged by industrial-corporate-military-propaganda interests against the World’s Collective Soul