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Trump As Caesar: Irresponsible, Nasty, Fun

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Trump As Caesar: Irresponsible, Nasty, Fun

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File:Karl Theodor von Piloty Murder of Caesar 1865.jpg

Reprinted with permission from Creators.

Lend me your ears. You’ll be glad. Today’s subject is the controversial production of “Julius Caesar” in which a Donald Trump-like figure gets assassinated. Given today’s angry political climate, the costuming showed poor taste at the very least. Delta Air Lines and Bank of America withdrew their sponsorship, and who could blame them?

But let’s give a closer look to the Shakespeare play, which just finished a run at New York’s Central Park. Its deeper message apparently flew over the heads of the pro-Trump hecklers and no doubt many in the cheering audience.

“Julius Caesar” does not simplistically celebrate the violent removal of would-be dictators. There are opposing arguments here, both voiced by noble Romans. And the assassins also end up dead.

That’s why few went crazy five years ago when a “Julius Caesar” production at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis chose an actor resembling Barack Obama for the title role. In 2015, Providence’s Trinity Repertory Company cast a woman, suggesting Hillary Clinton as Caesar — without incident. More on that later.

A protester at the Trump-themed production rushed the stage. Her colleague hollered from his seat, “You are all Goebbels,” a reference to the Nazi propaganda minister.

The two disrupters were publicity hounds tied to a right-wing conspiracy factory. Isn’t it cute how professional right-wing liars like to accuse others of being exactly what they are? I will not do them the honor of naming their affiliation.

(Spare me your outrage about leftists shouting down conservative speakers on campus. They’re obnoxious, too.)

The next evening, some Trump fans picketed outside the theater. Fair enough. They have a right to free speech, as does the theater. But in stating their case, they also revealed the self-pity and distorted reality often running through the Trump base.

“People like me, I don’t even know if they’d let me in,” Pauline Pujol said in martyred tones.

I know I’m right about this: A ticket, not proof of voter registration, is all that’s needed for entrance. And the tickets are free to voters and nonvoters of all persuasions.

Pujol carried a sign that read, “Far Left Hates America!” That’s the story many right-wingers keep telling themselves. Ask this woman why any patriot would support a president hindering a probe into a hostile foreign plot to destabilize American democracy. I doubt you would get a coherent answer.

Anyhow, listening to Mark Antony’s funeral oration condemning the assassination might have calmed her. And she could have noted how it all ends badly for Rome.

“We are asked to consider how far citizens may go in removing a destructive leader,” critic Jesse Green wrote in The New York Times, “and we are warned about unforeseen consequences.”

As noted, no one went bananas when Trinity Rep cast a female Caesar at a time when Clinton appeared headed for the Democratic nomination. Director Curt Columbus explained the decision: “Once you claim your identity, people try to tear you down. … The old guard is trying to keep out the newcomers and their struggle to be heard.”

Trump’s most dedicated backers routinely make that case. They complain that their hero is a newcomer whom the old guard is trying to tear down. Alas, that connection can’t be made Twitter-short. And face it; the enduring image of the Central Park production was a guy with an orange comb-over in a business suit being taken out.

I’m not taking bets that either side will sit down and read the play. But that could help any interested parties decide for themselves whether the presentation was unfair, unbalanced and irresponsible or merely, as the critic saw it, “great, nasty fun.”

Follow Froma Harrop on Twitter @FromaHarrop. She can be reached at fharrop@gmail.com. To find out more about Froma Harrop and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at www.creators.com.

 

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Froma Harrop

Froma Harrop’s nationally syndicated column appears in over 150 newspapers. Media Matters ranks her column 20th nationally in total readership and 14th in large newspaper concentration. Harrop has been a guest on PBS, MSNBC, Fox News and the Daily Show with Jon Stewart and is a frequent voice on NPR and talk radio stations in every time zone as well.

A Loeb Award finalist for economic commentary in 2004 and again in 2011, Harrop was also a Scripps Howard Award finalist for commentary in 2010. She has been honored by the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the New England Associated Press News Executives Association has given her five awards.

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11 Comments

  1. johninPCFL June 20, 2017

    ““People like me, I don’t even know if they’d let me in,” Pauline Pujol said in martyred tones.”

    Yep. If you can’t afford a ticket, you can’t get in.

    Reply
    1. dpaano June 20, 2017

      Even if they’re free????

      Reply
      1. dbtheonly June 20, 2017

        Precisely.

        Reply
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      Reply
  2. dbtheonly June 20, 2017

    The RWMO hate machine can be ginned up regardless of cause or reason. The Trumpistas Daily Hate needs only direction.

    Reply
  3. ivory69690@yahoo.com June 21, 2017

    the DUMPSTER’s as Caesar and being of irresponsible nasty fun the NASTY part is a head on point to put down JS like that is sad for one can see the DUMPSTER being worse then him the DUMPSTER clown is more like in the HITLER range As for showed poor taste at the very least. with the DONNY DUMP in mind wouldn’t be as bad poor taste if be it only the end of the play was done then would be of the best and good to great taste to watch the so called leader (being of the DUMPSTER of course ) of him coming to his end being stab and killed by ones of his own party . that’s the part of the play I could never see enough of again and again 🙂 then that play would have a new and great showing

    Reply
  4. ivory69690@yahoo.com June 21, 2017

    the GOP wants to run the country like Hitler dictatorship (one of the DUMPSTER’s favorite hero’s im sure ) The devil in the details, and in their veins the true reason why thy want to hide what thy are putting together on their DUMP DONT CARE healthcare plan is to try to hide the millions that will lose their healthcare plans on the DONT CARE NEW PLAN . with this last loss to put a Democrat in office one has to get tired . knowing the facts one cant fix stupid or brain dead . seem the only time the littlest of life might come into the brain dead is when its too late . when the country and the people are bury by the GOP gang of pinheads party as the country has been in the pass . to follow Sessions or listen to Spencer isn’t too bright then its just the blind leading the blind then being lead by the biggest DUMPSTER of the blind THE DONNY DUMP CLOWN SHOW himself . the whole group gang knows nothing about anything .as for the addicted junky DONNY CLOWN not saying anything about the so called tapes he might or not have that’s just the junky’s way of getting his FIX of ATTENTION

    Reply
  5. ivory69690@yahoo.com June 21, 2017

    another house sit go’s to the GOT and soon there will be so many crying DEMS & REPS about every thing from millions losing their healthcare plans to not getting any of the TAXS breaks that will go only to the 1 & 2 % of the rich greedy ones (that of course the rest of the country will be paying for ) will the cry’s be loud ? im sure thy will be and sad enough both side will be crying more should the brain dead for putting the GOP gang of pinheads in office just to screw them and the rest of the country’s people . for the GOP are equal opportunity screwing when this time comes again (AND IT FOR SURE WILL WITH THE GOP ) so many will say OMG how could this have happen to the country again ? (mostly the brain dead GOP voters will ask that for again you cant fix stupidity ) the Democrat’s will know the how’s and the whys but the REPS will still be so confused (as always )

    Reply
  6. ivory69690@yahoo.com June 21, 2017

    A POST FROM A JOKE >the American people voted for freedom of choice over kissing the government butt…..
    they have seen government fail at everything, the VA medical system being a prime example…..
    and then the disaster of Obamacare…. /// some choice kissing DUMPSTERS butt and eating his BULL CRAP . wake up clown . im sure you will when its too late and then your brain dead head will say WOW HOW DID THIS HAPPEN TO US // and you think that THE DONNY DUMP DONT CARE HEALTHCARE PLAN IS GOING TO WORK ? WHAT A SIMPLE AND TRULY BRAIN DEAD MIND YOU HAVE /// one can set back and complaining about every thing it dose not help seem the country has to be put back in the DIRTY BUSH grave again before thy wake up and see just what the Republican has done to the country and the people AGAIN !!

    Reply
  7. ivory69690@yahoo.com June 21, 2017

    A POST FROM A JOKE >the American people voted for freedom of choice over kissing the government butt…..
    they have seen government fail at everything, the VA medical system being a prime example…..
    and then the disaster of Obamacare…. /// some choice kissing DUMPSTERS butt and eating his BULL CRAP . wake up clown . im sure you will when its too late and then your brain dead head will say WOW HOW DID THIS HAPPEN TO US // and you think that THE DONNY DUMP DONT CARE HEALTHCARE PLAN IS GOING TO WORK ? WHAT A SIMPLE AND TRULY BRAIN DEAD MIND YOU HAVE /// one can set back and complaining about every thing it dose not help seem the country has to be put back in the DIRTY BUSH grave again before thy wake up and see just what the Republican has done to the country and the people AGAIN !!

    Reply
  8. ivory69690@yahoo.com June 21, 2017

    OK OK HERE’S A POST FROM A JOKE >the American people voted for freedom of choice over kissing the government butt…..
    they have seen government fail at everything, the VA medical system being a prime example…..
    and then the disaster of Obamacare…. /// some choice kissing DUMPSTERS butt and eating his BULL CRAP . wake up clown . im sure you will when its too late and then your brain dead head will say WOW HOW DID THIS HAPPEN TO US // and you think that THE DONNY DUMP DONT CARE HEALTHCARE PLAN IS GOING TO WORK ? WHAT A SIMPLE AND TRULY BRAIN DEAD MIND YOU HAVE /// one can set back and complaining about every thing it dose not help seem the country has to be put back in the DIRTY BUSH grave again before thy wake up and see just what the Republican has done to the country and the people AGAIN !!

    Reply

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