People of The Republic

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus
Hath told you Caesar was ambitious:
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
And grievously hath Caesar answer’d it.
Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest–
For Brutus is an honourable man;
So are they all, all honourable men–
Come I to speak in Caesar’s funeral.
He was my friend, faithful and just to me:
But Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.
He hath brought many captives home to Rome
Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill:
Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?
When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept:
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.
You all did see that on the Lupercal
I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition?
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And, sure, he is an honourable man.
I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke,
But here I am to speak what I do know.
You all did love him once, not without cause:
What cause withholds you then, to mourn for him?
O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason. Bear with me;
My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar,
And I must pause till it come back to me.

-Marc Antony, from William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar

 

Earlier this week citizens of the great republic known as the United States of America exercised their right to vote and select the leader of this land.  The months leading up to the election were filled with strong rhetoric on both sides.  Now the votes have been cast and a winner has been proclaimed.  It is time for the nation to move forward as it has done for the last 240 years.  But the months of strong rhetoric have taken their toll.

The liberal side of America did not expect the election to turn out as it did.  Isolated from opposing views in their safe spaces and echo chambers, the Americans of the left did not expect anything but a win for their candidate.  And they were wrong.  Instead of accepting failure and disappointment as we all must learn to do in our lives, many took to the streets and began protesting and eventually rioting over what was a fair election.  What may have begun as peaceful protests turned into a mob acting out the very hate they claimed would be trumped by love. 

It is not however only the left that has show its ugly side this election.  The intolerant racists on the right have emerged as well emboldened by the mood set by their party nominee during the campaign.  

What is lost in all the noise is that there is good on both sides.  A collection of bad actors should not be allowed to paint the portrait of either side in a displeasing light.  We must remember the good.  All to often we focus on the bad and it becomes amplified to the point it drowns out the good and eventually buries it and makes us forget it was ever there.

What both sides need to remember is that this election changes nothing.  The world will not end.  Fundamental rights will not be lost.  Racists and misogynists have not been given a blank check to do as they please.  So long as we remember how to come together none of these things will come to pass.  We must not let our feelings divide us further than the establishment has already tried to do.  We must stop calling each other names.  We must stop it with the overreacting.  We must stop being victims.  We must emerge from our safe spaces and echo chambers.  We must go out into the world.  We must leave our comfort zones.  We must learn to shut up and listen to differing views for a change.   Only through discussion and understanding does our collective situation improve.

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