“I will abstain from Love and Love’s delights; And take no pleasure though my lord invites
And sleep a vestal all alone at nights; And live a stranger to all nuptial rites
I will abjure the very name of Love; So help me Zeus, and all the Powers above.” – from Aristophanes, Lysistrata, 411 B.C.
“Aristophanes…is so frank, so fearless, so completely without shame, one ends by feeling that indecency is just a part of life and a part with specially humorous possibilities…The plainest and clearest words speak everything out unabashed. Life looks a coarse and vulgar thing, lived at the level of nature’s primitive needs, but it never looks a foul and rotten thing. Degeneracy plays no part…It is impossible for us today to make a coherent whole out of Aristophanes’ Athens…But if ever a day comes when our intelligentsia is made up of our star football players we shall be on the way to understanding the Athenians—as Aristophanes saw them.” – Edith Hamilton, The Greek Way, 1930, 1956
“…if there is any sane path forward for something resembling a conservative governing philosophy in America – and I’m not sure there is – it must start with honesty and accountability…There is nothing strange or unexpected about Donald Trump…the logical conclusion of what the Republican Party became over the last fifty or so years, a natural product of the seeds of race, self-deception, and anger that became the essence of the Republican Party…Hold Donald Trump up to the mirror and that bulging, grotesque orange face IS today’s Republican Party.” – Stuart Stevens, It Was All A Lie: How the Republican Party Became Donald Trump, 2020
“Nikki Haley, who once calculated that the best path to political prominence in the GOP was to remove the Confederate flag from the South Carolina Capitol…has now figured out that basic decency is the road to irrelevance…Haley has probably set some sort of record for flushing her own dignity down the toilet in record time. She’s sensing the mood of the Republican base. It’s ugly, so she’s diving in.” – Mona Charen, Bismarck Tribune, 7/6/21
“It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces; but let us judge not that we be not judged…Fondly do we hope—fervently do we pray—that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue, until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s (250) years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash, shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said (3000) years ago, so still it must be said ‘the judgements of the Lord, are true and righteous altogether.’” – Abraham Lincoln, 2nd Inaugural, March 4, 1865
“When the white man turns tyrant, it is his own freedom that he destroys.” – George Orwell, 1935
“We may live in our tradition, be haunted by it as Southerners are: but we are not our tradition; we are individual and alive…For the Negroes, like the Jews, have the curious bitter advantage—and how often they have wished they could lose it—of having suffered an historic injustice so long that the noblest individuals among them can finally take in the whole of their situation precisely because they know it is the human situation, and so in some sense cannot be remedied.” – Alfred Kazin, “Faulkner in His Fury,” 1951
“White men will not truly be free and equal, until and unless women and people of color are equally free.” – Chicago Dog, 2021
A female history colleague of mine recently expressed amazement at the 2020 Presidential election results of winner Joe Biden, winning over white men in the crucial States of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania from loser Donald Trump, who had ridden those same voters to victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016. Since my colleague has children and has been through divorce, as have I, I was surprised that the answer was not obvious to her. In 2018, women nationwide, and especially white women in the suburbs, had powered the Democrats to victory in the House, and would do so again in both the House and the Senate in 2020, as well as in the Presidential race, along with their suddenly enlightened male partners. It seems clear that, quietly, but effectively, the women in these key voting areas went on a sex strike in Fall, 2020: “no nookie if your brain plays hooky and votes for Donald Trump a second time, honey!”
While I am in no doubt that I am correct in this, I have no way of doing the kind of research for factual proof without subjecting myself to comparison with the former Sexual Predator-in-Chief and pathetic imitators like Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL). Therefore, I called on my KGB animal experts on human behavior for corroboration of my theory.
High Plains Reader: Hello dear friends! I see you have brought along just the expert I need to explain the power that women have over men, when it comes to playing political “hard ball(s).”
Lysistrata: As a border collie my specialty is sheep, but most men are no different. Women have withheld sex from men they would sleep with since that game began, but its use in politics has seemed futile. Aristophanes, in one of his comedies (Lysistrata), proposed Greek women trying it to stop the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC) but, he demonstrated on stage that it wouldn’t work out well, due in part to female horniness, but mostly to vast numbers of really stupid men, bent on killing off one another at a genocidal rate. Today, however, women have more power in corporate boardrooms, and in the corridors of legislative, executive and judicial branches around the U.S.A., to go along with their traditional power in the bedroom.
Lena: Aristophanes was just kidding 2500 years ago, but it’s no longer a joke to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), and FOX’s boy/man TV Anchor, Tucker Carlson; afraid for their manhood in high, as well as, low places.
HPR: Judging from the 20th and 21st Centuries, men in crucial decision-making positions haven’t changed much since 5th Century BC, so how do you account for family men, respectful of women, like Joe Biden, and Barack Obama making it to the U.S. Presidency?
Chicago Dog: Mostly exhaustion on the part of civilized men around the world, realizing that their children, as well as their spouses, are withholding their love and affection, as long as they insist on holding a monopoly on power in politics, business, science and the arts. White men in the suburbs of Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Georgia and Arizona, are no exception.
Putin: There has also been an especially dramatic development in the high leadership of corporate America and the U.S. Armed Forces, made obvious only in 2020 and 2021.
Lena: Such changes have been notable in Europe for quite a while, but without the U.S. stepping up, the fate of democracy, which is dependent on freedom and equality for all sexes and all colors and ethnicities, was still in a downward spiral. Now there is more hope.
HPR: But resistance to this change in the direction of equity is so ferocious and still widespread. Look at the behavior of former Governor Nikki Haley (R-SC). She should know better.
Rasputin: She does know better, but Haley is siding, not with so-called Conservatives in the Republican Party, but with the real power brokers, Reactionaries who have dominated the GOP for 50 years, using race bating and misogyny to “divide and rule,” the country, just like the Romans did to the Greeks thousands of years ago, and the British Empire did the world over in recent centuries.
Mr. Swamp Fox: Conservatives, like Senators Mitt Romney (R-UT) and the late John McCain (R-AZ) resisted what they thought of as “change for change’s sake”, but were willing to accept Liberal changes that made sense to them. Above all, they respected decency and decorum, and expected ‘regular order’ in the Senate and House of Representatives. This civility is now gone — thanks to rabid Reactionaries of the Tea Party movement replacing Conservatives in Congress.
Schickelgruber: “Tea Party” and “Legislative Terrorists” Josh Hawley (R-MO), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Ted Cruz (R-KY) in the Senate; Jim Jordan (R-OH), Mo Brooks (R-AL), and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) in the House, are just a few storm troopers and SS men away from full blown Nazism, with a “Trump Won” banner as their new, subliminal swastika.
Lysistrata: The Peloponnesian War featured Sparta, an overt, oligarchic, Slave society opposed to an imperial expansion of Athens, a covert slave society with half of its inhabitants in that condition, nevertheless proclaiming “democracy” as the form of government most suited for the Greek world. The Athenians were willing to kill all of the men of the free city-state of Melos, and sell their women and children into slavery, when those citizens resisted siding either with them or with Sparta. And so, according to the exiled Athenian Fleet Commander and Historian, Thucydides, they did.
Jim Crow XIV: That sounds an awful lot like (President) Woodrow Wilson’s Jim Crow America trying to make the world safe for U.S. democracy in 1919, and later, in the Cold War, engaged against Vladimir Putin’s GULAG ridden Soviet Union.
Kim Dog Un: There are major differences, but it’s the similarities that blow your mind.
Omar Khayyam: Middle East folks still can’t figure out whether Americans and NATO forces have been engaged in places like Iraq and Afghanistan in a war “against terror” or “for oil.”
Chicago Dog: With American Reactionaries it’s always about maintaining economic power through cheating on their taxes, and holding onto political power to protect that scam by cheating on the U.S. Constitution. The trillion dollars that a simple IRS audit could claw back into the U.S. Treasury, would pay for most of President Biden’s two infrastructure initiatives. In the past ten years, McConnell and his Tea Party allies have whittled down the budget of the IRS, so that tax cops can’t “stop and frisk” the ill-gotten gains of modern-day bank robbers and horse thieves. Moscow Mitch will blow up the U.S. Constitution rather than give up those sweet tax breaks, unless, of course, “nervous nellies” in his own Republican Caucus see carnage facing their reelection efforts in 2022 due to his shenanigans.
Señor Perro: Normally the crucial “Capon Caucus” among Republican legislators (men like North Dakota’s Senator John Hoeven and Congressman Kelly Armstrong), lacking cajones, would be impervious to any Lysistrata strategy directed against them specifically. However, their constituents, Trump voters among them, grow weary of Republican leadership opposed to shovel ready jobs, just to save a few more millions for billionaires. President Biden’s Executive Order of July 9th, ending 72 anti-competitive practices dear to Republican stony hearts, is a major blow to their pretense of caring about ordinary Americans. If Biden gets infrastructure bills with only Democratic votes; Republicans are in for a world of hurt in the 2022 elections. It won’t matter how many black voters are thrown in jail by Texas Trumpeter, Attorney General Ken Paxton; Paxton’s echoes of the George Floyd horror are now visible to white voters who, if not capable of contrition, are, at least, vulnerable to public shaming by a main stream media no longer silent. Paxton is himself under indictment for fraud, a fitting tribute to his qualifications to serve the fraudulent President the U.S. endured from January, 2017 to January, 2021. Paxton must think William Barr is still U.S. Attorney General, not Merrick Garland — and that pigs fly.
Lena: This is where determined women like Senator Liz Warren (D-MA) and Congresswoman Katie Porter (D-CA) come in, along with liberated white men, who never needed “bedroom blackmail” to make them do the right thing and back up women and people of color. They are organizing all over the country just like in 2020, to back up President Joe and First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden, and Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman, Doug Emhoff.
Lysistrata: But just to make sure, women are going to the bathroom at bars and restaurants and ballparks all over the country; in pairs: not this time for commiserating about the foibles of men, but to do something about them – a plan of action, preceded by a recitation together of,
The Lysistrata Manifesto, 2021………………………………………….Headless Horsewoman
The message to our spouses is quite clear:
“Capitulation to race hate is vile
And will deprive you of our love a-while;
Until you learn to drop Trump’s phony fear
Reject Republican mass hate! Or then,
You will regret your sad and lonely nights
Replaced by baleful stares, ill words, and fights
You cannot win, when women reject men
McCarthy, Mitch, and FOX are not your friends;
They pitch race hate, misogyny. Their game
Is one you men must put back on the shelves
Of history. It’s time to stop such ends;
And play with Joe, Chuck, Nancy; Just the same
Old tune of hope; Or—with your sordid selves.”