They’re doing another of these unwatchable, un-unwatchable presidential debates tonight (though the first two were neither presidential nor were they debates. Discuss). And it made me think of the first lines of Titus Andronicus, wherein the sons of the recently deceased emperor
bicker debate about who should be in charge now. The older one, Saturninus, starts it off with this appeal, if that’s the word I’m looking for:
Noble Patricians, Patrons of my right,
Defend the justice of my Cause with Armes.
And Countrey-men, my loving Followers,
Pleade my Successive Title with your Swords.
…which sounds way too familiar when one reflects that we’re operating under a different system.
Other brother Bassianus comes in with a little more reasoned approach, actually suggesting thought instead of bloodshed, or at least before bloodshed (emphasis mine):
Romanes, Friends, Followers,
Favourers of my Right:
And suffer not Dishonour to approach
Th’ Imperiall Seate: to Vertue consecrate,
To Justice, Continence, and Nobility:
But let Desert in pure Election shine;
And Romanes, fight for Freedome in your Choice.
He dies in a pit the next morning.
Fortunately, we live not in some oppressive Roman nor archaic Elizabethan era, but in a truly enlightened time.
If anyone needs me, I’ll be the one sobbing quietly under the kitchen table.