Saturday, November 22, 2014

Ted Cruz, Cicero, and Treason

On November 20, the senator from Canada and now Texas, held forth on the floor of the U.S. Senate, using a speech from the Roman philosopher, Cicero, to denounce President Obama.

First of all, it would be nice if this clown in a senate suit would get about the business of the Senate and work on bills and programs which might benefit the country.  That is not what Mr. Cruz is about, however.  Mr. Cruz believes God has called him to do whatever is necessary to bring down Mr. Obama.  If that includes misrepresentation and outright lies, well, that's OK because Mr. Cruz is about the deity's business.

Jesse Weiner, a classics professor, takes Mr. Cruz to task in a recent article in "The Atlantic" magazine.

Cruz, says Professor Weiner, "dangerously misused Cicero."  In 63 BCE, Cicero gave a speech to the Roman Senate called "Against Catiline."  Catiline was an enemy of Cicero and had "conspired to murder Cicero and attempt a coup d'etat."  Cicero learned of this conspiracy and informed the Senate after which Catiline went into exile to die.

In a strangely demagogic manner, typical though of Cruz's orations, the senator took Cicero's speech and as Professor Weiner notes, "replaced many of Cicero's words and phrases" in order to adapt the speech to his purposes.  That is not exactly "Hoyle."

A huge problem for people who really care about this country is "that the senator not only accused the president of overstepping the constitutional bounds of his authority (a legally dubious claim), but also challenges the legitimacy of the Obama presidency, accuses the president of treason, and perhaps even advocates for his violent punishment."

Ironically, as Professor Weiner notes, "...from the position of Cicero, Cruz presents himself as a decidedly undemocratic oligarch."  That is not surprising, of course, as we have concluded that the oligarchs are currently undermining our system in a determined takeover which is well underway.

So when "Cruz explicitly accuses the president of being 'openly desirous to destroy the Constitution and this Republic,'" again essentially accusing Obama of high treason, what is his purpose?  This is, says the professor, "dangerous rhetoric."  By using such words, is Cruz actually trying to foment a revolution, a coup, a violent attack on the president of the United States?

Ironically, it would appear we haven't come very far in 2 millennia.  I'm waiting to hear if any one of the other senators will rise to denounce this tacky turkey from Texas.

Do you think, if we offered the Canadians a significant bribe, they would take Mr. Cruz back?

You can read Professor Weiner's article in its entirety here.


Professor Chaos said...

People seem to think Ted Cruz is just another huckster looking to cash in on wingnut welfare. I think he's a true believer in the scariest sense. His father says that from the age of 4 or 5 he has been telling little Ted that God has a special purpose for him and that he has been given special gifts from God, etc.

Cruz is not stupid. He's very smart. But he's a sociopath with delusions of grandeur who must never be allowed anywhere near the White House.

William Kendall said...

We don't want the pile of excrement back. We've got enough in the way of vile politicos up here. Can we arrange for him to go on a one way trip to Mars?

If he's not the worst of the GOP's current crop, he's certainly in the top five. What a prick.

Bob Poris said...

I agree with the professor. Cruz has learned much from the propaganda experts that took over Germany and too many other dictatorships. The last elections sent back the very people that refused to govern.

Perhaps we should change our elections to an open auction and let the richest man or corporation to rule us if they wil allow us to buy stock

Bob Poris said...

If he runs as a Republican, he could win though. The label is all that matters it seems.

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