Monday's HOT MIC
Please allow me to be the dumb one among my PJM colleagues who believe that interrupting Julius Caesar protesting the depiction of the assassination of President Trump was wrong.
I not only believe it was the right thing to do, I believe it should be done night after night until the production ends.
This is not a free-speech issue. The theater company staging this play chose to shout "fire" in a crowded theater and therefore has lost all claim to protection under the Constitution. They not only crossed a line -- they obliterated it. Whatever their intent -- and I make no claim to possessing the ability to read the heart and mind of anyone -- the practical effect of their depiction of a sitting president being brutally murdered has real-world consequences that extend far beyond the proscenium.
No doubt the production company knew that the headlines and buzz on social media from murdering Trump would guarantee a huge box office and bring fame to the players -- a move worthy of Shakespeare himself who wasn't above including gore and violence in his plays to sell tickets.
I would ask Charlie if the validity of a protest should be measured by how many hearts and minds are changed or is standing on principle worth the effort? To Michael, who, among other arguments, recommends staging a version of the play truer to Shakespeare's original intent, which was to portray Caesar in heroic terms and his assassins as corrupt, you might find a high school gym somewhere that would be willing to take on such a project. But as a counter protest to Shakespeare in the Park, fuggetaboutit.
To Andrew, who worries that aping the left's tactics is not the best way to fight them in this case, I would ordinarily agree with him. Being a RINO, I am constantly making the argument that claiming that "they do it too, only worse" is stupid and childish.
But this case is unprecedented. It's not every day that incitement to assassinate a president is disguised as entertainment. In these special circumstances, civil disobedience is called for. And as long as the protests are peaceful and the protesters accept their punishment, I have no problem with it.
To Paula, I would say that it is hardly "barbaric" to protest barbarism. And it's interesting you brought up Lincoln and his first inaugural.
I always get a kick out of cable pundits solemnly informing us that politics have never been this divisive or dangerous. What the hell do they think was happening in the country prior to the Civil War? The caning of Senator Sumner didn't happen because of a dispute over a railroad bill. Fist fights broke out on the floor of the House. Several members challenged each other to duels.
People were tarred and feathered for their political beliefs back then. And don't get me started on "Bloody Kansas."
Lincoln uttered those beautiful words -- and then a little more than a month later tried to resupply Fort Sumter knowing exactly how South Carolina would react. Lincoln took the country to war in order to save the Union. He chose a brutal, bloody tactic for a treasured end.
We're not exactly in the end times of the republic. But special circumstances in desperate times require we step outside the normal bounds of accepted behavior in order to make a vitally important point: that the depiction of the assassination of an opposition political figure is immoral, unacceptable, and incredibly dangerous.