I could not bear to watch the Democratic party debates for more than a few minutes. It was a truly embarrassing spectacle for all involved. Nevertheless, I did come away with one impression. Although our Constitution does not allow “titles of nobility”, the candidates were all aristocrats of varying degrees of nobility.
For example, when President Obama uttered his now famous lie, “If you like your medical plan, you can keep it,” it was true as far as most of these candidates were concerned. Members of Congress were supposed to enroll in Obamacare, but they apparently found a way to stay in their old Federal “Cadillac” plan. They profess to be concerned about health care for the people, but they took care of themselves first.
Moreover, news reports indicate that leading candidates Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, and even Socialist Bernie Sanders are millionaires. Biden has just reported that he and his wife had income of over $14 Million since leaving office after the 2016 election. They also used an S-corporation to minimize taxes.
Where is Shakespeare when we need him? It would take someone like him to tell about Kamala, Duchess of California, Elizabeth, Duchess of Massachusetts, Kristen, Duchess of New York, or Amy, Duchess of Minnesota. Their seats in the Senate are so safe that they might as well be considered hereditary.
What about the men? Bernie Sanders, the aged Duke of Vermont, who will apparently hold his position for life, has somehow managed to become a millionaire despite his avowed Socialist and income re-distribution principles. His wife was President of the College of Burlington in Vermont where she pulled down a salary in excess of $500000 each year. How did her salary compare with the pittance that colleges routinely pay to adjunct professors?
Cory Booker, Duke of New Jersey, despite his privilege upbringing still portrays himself as an aggrieved black man. He is also a sacrosanct politician since any criticism of him or his ideas would be immediately portrayed as racist.
Even the lesser nobility have thrown their hats into the ring. There is Bill de Blasio, Earl of New York City, as well as Pete Buttigieg, the young Earl of South Bend, Indiana. Earl de Blasio presides over a city of great income inequality where homelessness goes hand in hand with astronomical housing costs. Buttigieg is well-loved in a South Bend suffering from urban blight, and where students at Notre Dame are strongly advised not to go off campus.
Finally, Joe Biden, the Prince of Wilmington, is a truly Shakespearean character. For years, like Britain’s Prince Charles, he has waited to ascend to the Crown. He might have thought that once he became vice-President under King Barack Obama, his time had finally come. However, Queen Hillary, the wife of former King William, exerted her “divine right” and claimed the Democratic nomination in 2016. Little did she suspect, like Lady Macbeth, that an unforeseen opponent heading a mob of “deplorables” would storm the castle and seize the throne.
Now Prince Joe resembles Julius Caesar. The first debate showed that noble conspirators are planning his political assassination.
Perhaps the candidates should brush up their Shakespeare.