Wednesday, February 12, 2020

The Final Solution: Vox Populi

The notion of a senate goes back to Roman times. Senators were classic figures and you can see them in old movies like Spartacus or let’s say Bob Guccione’s Caligula if you’re lasciviously inclined. In I, Claudius, Charles Laughton played the emperor. During the impeachment trial, the American public had a good chance to see the senate in action and it still had the look of a private mostly gentleman’s club. The southern accents of Lindsey Graham, Lamar Alexander and Kentucky’s John Kennedy always stand out and the few women like Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine exude an a regal air, even in the thralls of their tortured wrestling with issues. Senator Cory Booker famously had his "'I am Spartacus' moment" when he threatened to release confidential records during the Brett Kavanaugh hearings. If you were to cast a modern epic in classical dress any of these characters, including the lone Republican dissenter, Mitt Romney, could easily be placed in period costumes. You wouldn’t have to bother with a script. In the current production, the decision was an open and shut case, but the average guy, a member of the plebeian class, looking up at his TV from his barstool, was just a part of the gallery as he always would be. There were dissidents like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren supposedly speaking to his or her interests, but there was no real vox populi. The same charioteers were whipping their horses, nostrils flaring, into a frenzy and power was still a magic and secret thing wielded by the few in whom it still resided. 

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