Politics

The fault is not in our stars…

In his play ‘Julius Caesar’ William Shakespeare has one of his characters say, “The fault… is not in our stars, But in ourselves…” (Julius Caesar, Act I, Scene III, L. 140-141).

The Electoral College, the Supreme Court, and the filibuster have been sited as reasons a political minority have subverted the will of the majority.


The Electoral College allows for a candidate with fewer but strategically placed popular votes to be elected president.
Vacancies on the Supreme Court can be filled by that minority president. Members of the Supreme Court serve lifetime terms. Appointees of a minority president may decide cases for the next thirty years.
The filibuster is a legislative rule that allows a political minority to derail legislation proposed by the majority.

There have been proposals to eliminate the Electoral College, alter the composition of the Supreme Court, and eliminate the filibuster.

Over 74 million people voted for an authoritarian conspiracy theorist for president. Changing our institutions may be temporarily satisfying, but we must address the root cause. Our society needs to find an effective way to counter authoritarian and conspiracy theory impulses.

Today we might modify Shakespeare’s line to say that ‘we may assign blame to our institutions and policies, but ultimately the fault is in ourselves’.

Thanks and a tip of the hat to Wikimedia Commons for the image.

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