gettin’ shakesperean on y’all

05Feb08

I’ve been thinking about these two remarkable candidates and I’ve been unable to shake this very haunting line from Julius Caesar. Marc Antony has been asked by Caesar’s murderers to go out and calm the mob gathered outside the Forum. But by employing veiled sarcasm and a brilliant reverse psychology riff that only Shakespeare or Karl Rove could have cooked up, he does the exact opposite and whips the mob into a frenzy to avenge Caesar’s murder.

He ends this most incredibly shit-stirring speech by waving his arm over the murdered emperor’s bloody body and asking…

Here was a Caesar. When comes such another?

Here we have a woman and an African American and both closer to being president than any woman or African American has ever been before. The woman does not stand up there in strict Republican party approved red or blue suits out of the 1980s. The African American isn’t some J.C. Watts Republican party trophy sell out. They are both, I believe, committed, left leaning politicians. Both incredibly talented and attractive candidates and champions of the causes that they believe in.

But I’m thinking about what comes after all this if somehow they cancel each other out and fail to win the presidency this time around. Thus, the line from Shakespeare.

Here was a woman for president. When comes such another? Here was a black man for president. When comes such another?

What bothers me so much… is that I really and truly can’t imagine this happening again in my lifetime. Not like this. If not THIS woman, Hillary Clinton, then who will be the first woman president, and when? If not THIS black man, Barack Obama, then who will be the first black president, and when? I can’t see anyone out there on the horizon on the Democratic side who can and will energize and excite to the extent of rising this far and having a shot.

But I do see something in my crystal ball. The NEXT time a woman or black man gets this close, I promise you the woman will be wearing a blue or red Republican approved suit and the black man will be a an ultra-safe Republican sell out. People will look back on this election year and say, oh a woman was okay, but not THAT woman, and a black man was okay, but not THAT black man.

That’s why I don’t want to see these two canceling each other out. There’s nothing in our political universe right now remotely like them, or this. Two terms of one and two terms of the other? Back to back. Starting here and now. Not down the road many years and with safer more conventional and acceptable, less divisive, less polarizing, female or African American candidates. Whatever happens, whoever comes out on top, these two need to come out of this together, as a team, both names, genders, and races, united on the ticket as one.

That’s the only chance the Democrats have of winning this election and the only chance we’ll have a female or black president who isn’t firmly in the pocket of the Republicans and the right wing.

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