America mired in a Shakespearean tragedy | AspenTimes.com

America mired in a Shakespearean tragedy

In Stephen Greenblatt’s “Tyrant: Shakespeare On Politics,” his publisher’s introduction says: “Cherished institutions seem fragile, political classes are in disarray, economic misery fuels populist anger, people knowingly accept being lied to, partisan rancor dominates, spectacular indecency rules … unquenchable narcissistic appetites of demagogues, and the cynicism and opportunism of the various enablers and hangers-on, surround them.”

More than 400 years after Shakespeare, present-day America retains its claim to being “one nation under God,” yet three of its chief executives faced impeachment during the past 50 years.

During its most recent proceeding, the current Democrat speaker of the House and a sole Republican member of the Senate spoke and voted against acquittal — such acquittal having failed, leaving the president in office to mirror those conditions presented above by author Greenblatt’s publisher.

Both the current speaker (a devout Roman Catholic) and the sole Republican (a devout Mormon) were careful and alert to remind American citizens of the necessity to maintain church and state separation, all the while making continual appeal to God for wise secular governance.

However, it became alarming to many to witness the words and actions of this president, which suggests perhaps that the New Testament of Holy Scripture commands a prominent place on his “Index of Forbidden Books.”

For in this man’s mind, “vengeance” is his, and the Christian requirement of “forgiveness” is a weak and unmanly failing.

In view of religion, law, and economics currently directing American politics, serious thought ought to be given within America’s colleges and universities toward re-emphasizing a humanities curriculum.

Absent of moral and intellectual virtues (what it means to be human), Americans remain vulnerable to low moral IQ narcissists, as its citizens remain unmindful of Thomas Jefferson’s prophetic admonition: “If the good and able withdraw themselves from society, the venal and ignorant will succeed.”

Art Allard

Aspen


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