Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Indispensable Tragic Dramatics and the Obama Presidency

From Anthony W. Hager at

Any debate centered on the greatest tragedy writer in literary history will invariably include William Shakespeare.  Tragic theatrical literature is as integral to the Elizabethan Englishman's legacy as stately political analysis is to Thomas Jefferson's.  However, while tragedy is a favored tool of adept playwrights, it's downright indispensable for political tyrants.

Playwrights benefit from weaving suspense into their scenes.  Tyrants benefit from weaving dependence into the law.  Of course, the playwright's and the tyrant's motives are as different as night and day.  But their base tactic is analogous.  Tragedy creates empathy, and empathy captivates an audience. The scene plays frequently on today's political stage.  Emotional stories generate compassion among a sympathetic but uncritical audience…

British statesman Edmund Burke said, "The people never give up their liberties, but under some delusion."  Tragedy, or its perception, is the most effective delusion available to political tyrants.  Tragedy, often of the tyrant's own making, dissolves personal responsibility and undermines liberty, resulting in a population becoming more dependent on the State to meet its basic needs…

Liberty necessarily declines when personal sovereignty submits to political rhetoric.  Yet an increasing number of Americans are submitting to political tyrants who promise more of an increasingly insolvent bureaucracy.  We are active players in an epic political tragedy -- one Shakespeare himself couldn't have written better.

Read it all here…

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