The magnificent tragedian Aeschylus penned his plays with a view toward the political climate. Perhaps the most arduous of readings is “Prometheus Bound” – which is a favorite of The Last English Prince. The prose is exhilarating and the theme robust. But for today, “Seven Against Thebes” provides a cautionary tale.
(Scene: Thebes. The Prince Eteocles confronts a crowd of Thebans….)
“For if we win success, the God is the cause, but if – may it not chance so – there is disaster – ….”
The opening scene is set in Thebes as Prince Eteocles addresses the “citizens of Cadmus”. After the death of Oedipus, his sons Eteocles and Polynices entered into a power-sharing agreement. They would share the throne, in alternating fashion. When Eteocles time in office had expired he refused to cede authority to his brother. Polynices was exiled. Hence, the looming threat of war.
Passionate in his anger, Polynices went to Argos where he raised an army with seven men of rank to lead the troops. They were confronted at the seven gates of Thebes by an equal number of defenders. Confrontation between the royal princes at the seventh gate resulted in the reigning prince passing through the gate to remind his brother of the curse of their father: the brothers would divide the kingdom with the sword.
The next act shows the bodies of the brothers brought onto the stage. This play ends with a cliff-hanger which finds continuation of the story in Sophocles equally epic masterpiece, Antigone.
“A Review of Various Actions by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice in Advance of the 2016 Election” can be found on the link:
The Last English Prince has not yet tackled the report. It will require several trays of snacks and an array of drinks. So there is the disclosure. smile
But having read what is available on-line and chatted up by media pundits, my opinion is based on a topic which is near to my heart – the value of taking an oath of office. And while Strzok and Page sounds like a real estate firm, the identified agents and those merely noted as agents with numerical designation seemed engaged in tampering with the real estate of the Republic.
They may not represent “Seven Against Thebes” but they do represent the underbelly of an agency which has in single-handed manner eroded the public trust for the institution.
It was calamitous of course. The power-sharing arrangement between the Executive Branch and Houses of Congress had been rocking along in predictable manner for quite some time. We “voted” and the rest was left to the wizardry of the power-brokers inside the Beltway. It was when George W. entered his second term that many began to understand the erosive nature of the political winds which shaped our nation.
Jeb Bush was to be “our man” – a man who looked in need of a taxidermy consult because he had lost all animation. The man was fifty-shades-of-beige – but pliable for political exploitation.
Hillary Clinton was meant to be our “lady” – a nice plug-in to follow our “first black American President”. Unfortunately, the lady was fifty-shades-of-noir (regarding criminal instincts).
But then Donald Trump took the nation by storm. The oath-takers convened in Thebes. Instead of success, they have been confronted with disaster.
The fatal character flaw is thus: The one who takes the oath does not own the Republic. Rather, the Republic owns the men and women who take the oath. The Republic does not serve our political desires and need. The oath-taker subjugates both need and political whim to the will of the state.
There is no greater need in a true Republic than that of unimpeded political process which allows voters to cast a vote for the President and consequently live with the results of the same. Humility is the requirement for those who take an oath. And this humility should be the bedrock for all who wield an official shield.
Eteocles and Polynices met their deaths at the Seventh Gate. It is a cautionary tale for those who take an oath and handle it in such tawdry manner. The Seventh Gate has been opened. The bodies will be displayed. And our nation will not fracture. The State of our Union will remain strong.