Attention, US Senators and Representatives: “When majesty falls to folly. Reserve thy state.”

shakespeare

Let it fall rather, though the fork invade
The region of my heart. Be Kent unmannerly
When Lear is mad. What wouldst thou do, old man?
Think’st thou that duty shall have dread to speak
When power to flattery bows? To plainness honor’s bound
When majesty falls to folly. Reserve thy state.

When William Shakespeare wrote those words in 1606 of Kent confronting King Lear, he could not have foreseen Congressional Republicans’ obsequiousness toward Donald Trump some 400 years later. In fact, Jamestown colony was founded in 1607 making it unlikely that he could have foreseen anything resembling the birth, evolution, and devolution of the American political system.

Maybe foreseeing future is not the point. Maybe what makes Shakespeare’s work so timeless is that it speaks to a human condition unbounded by generation or geography. In the 15th century, Shakespeare wrote about a King in the 8th century BCE whose madness facilitated his acceptance of flattery over reason. Sound familiar?

The parallels to today are apparent. Despite the lack of a professional diagnosis of mental illness, it’s hard to imagine that any observer of Donald Trump could honestly argue the man does not have some sort of mental impairment or personality disorder. At a minimum, we know his narcissism drives him to make decisions based on flattery far more often than on logic or reason.

It was clear to Kent that Lear’s madness was already becoming manifest and his decisions and actions were being driven by flattery and not reason. Kent chose to confront the king and not be complicit in his actions.

Congressional republicans are in a similar situation. It is hard to imagine any of them truly thinking Trump’s actions are rational and good for the country. And yet, they are largely silent allowing the king to fall to folly.

Now that Senator John McCain is no longer with us, who among the 293 Republicans in the legislative branch will heed the words of the Bard?

To plainness honor’s bound
When majesty falls to folly. Reserve thy state.

Advertisements

One thought on “Attention, US Senators and Representatives: “When majesty falls to folly. Reserve thy state.”

  1. History does repeat itself? Or mental illness has not been “cured” in these passing centuries? Either way, many are bowing down…..

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s