Our collapsing national identity
By Michael Moriarty
The English language is a waterless ocean, the size of infinity and one, it would seem, that only William Shakespeare could speed through with the combined authority of Poseidon, Mars and Dionysius, the Greek god of theater, among other things.
If you throw in the metaphysical implications of Judeo-Christianity, as they are simultaneously intertwined with the Bard's chillingly adept understanding of pure paganism, i. e. King Lear, well as Harold Bloom has indicated, it would seem that Shakespeare did, indeed, invent the entire human race!
Following my mildly presumptuous tribute to the Athenianesque feminist, Camille Paglia, I was tempted to begin a series of accolades to Sir Winston Churchill, however, the great knight himself advised me to turn my admiring eyes toward William Shakespeare first.
"Michael?! Firsht thingsh firsht!!"
What would the author of roughly two dozen, increasingly profound revelations of the human soul and an impressive parcel of poetry, from sonnets to lengthy verses of love … and love is the most constant theme throughout all of Shakespeare. What would the Bard have done with this fractious, 2008 Democratic primary?
Political love and hate? No on knew it more completely than Shakespeare.
In the end, even political love and hate revolve ultimately around the preeminence of country, nationality, one's own language -- in essence, one's own national identity.
With "globalization", are we, third millennium Americans, losing our national identity?
The expanding ambitions of a William Clinton and his "Global Initiative"? Are they reducing America itself to an increasingly subsidiary role within the former President's "world view"?
Patriotism, without that word itself being "bandied about", is a central theme within all of Shakespeare's tragedies and histories. The true lovers of country vs. the bottomless greed of Richard III or the Macbeths, these distinctions define the very essence of villainy vs. true nobility and can be impeccably defined within the width of a hair, each player falling somewhere on to a list of patriots, traitors or Bardesquely colorful citizens of England, Italy, France, ancient Greece and imperial Rome.
2008 America seen through the eyes of the Bard?
The first question would seem to be: will Barack Obama prove to be a heroic Henry V, an entirely politicized Henry IV, a well-intended but self-pitying Richard II … or a soulfully disfigured and evil Richard III? That's quite a potential range of choices … but when a human being is pressed under the weight of an office as powerful as the Presidency of the United States, the truth always comes out eventually.
And John McCain, who reminds me most of the wise, old English patriot, John of Gaunt, will he, like his Shakespearian counterpart, be forever a chorus to major events and never the principal player?
Both McCain and Obama are embroiled in America's version of Shakespearian royal disputes. Given the history of England's White and Red loyalties, its eventual War of the Roses, a Constitutional Monarchy became, indeed, the "consummation devoutly to be wished".
The American democracy with its divisional distinctions of legislative, executive and judicial, does not always make a change of power quite as dramatic as we see amidst the British Commonwealth countries. However, with Progressives already controlling Congress, the Supreme Court and the Press, a Progressive President, such as Obama, would mean a disturbingly clean-sweep for the pro-abortion, pro-embryonic stem cell research, pro-science, Progressive Democratic party.
If, as I have declared in an earlier editorial, Barack Obama is more Robert E. Lee of the Confederate South than any of Shakespeare's monarchs, then an equivalent of the slave-holding Confederacy, the child-aborting, Progressive Movement would control all of America. It would be the drama of the American Civil War upside down, and American history -- at least morally -- lived backwards.
Whereas the Progressive Clintons had to fight a Republican Congress, Obama might basically have little opposition to any proposals for "Change" in a now Progressively controlled American Establishment. This imbalance of power could give President Obama an inferential right of Kings and, for "reasons of state" make it possible for him to order that draconian actions be taken. With no commensurate power in Congress, the Supreme Court or the Press to oppose him, well, as they say, power corrupts and absolute power leaves us "as flies to wanton boys".
America will have evolved into a truly Shakespearian body politic and, with the atomic bomb in the "King's" back pocket, oh well, either Obama will be a King Henry V or God help America! She will need a Shakespeare or, more importantly, another Abraham Lincoln to wed us again to the original and profoundly unique meaning of America.
Michael Moriarty is a Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actor who starred in the landmark television series Law and Order from 1990 to 1994. His recent film and TV credits include The Yellow Wallpaper, 12 Hours to Live, Santa Baby and Deadly Skies. Moriarty is also running for President of the United States in 2008 as a candidate for the Realists Party. To find out more about Moriarty's presidential campaign, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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