Conning Julius Caesar

Don’t fall for the con.

By now, you’ve all probably heard of the protesters rushing the stage during the Public Theater’s outdoor production of “Julius Caesar,” In New York’s Central Park. The play, itself, has garnered controversy, because the lead character has a certain “Trumpesque” look about him.

The play has previously been put on with an Obama-like lead, and in fact, the play is about the folly of political assassination (not the glorification of it).

Laura Loomer, an alt-right nut, who works for a website called The Rebel rushed the stage last Friday, only to be quickly dragged away, to a chorus of boos.

Fellow alt-right conspiracy theorist and Trump loyalist, Jack Posobiec, was along for the ride, to video the planned mayhem. He conveniently waited for Loomer to be taken away, then timed his own protest, accordingly.

https://twitter.com/JackPosobiec/status/875884114280423428

I could make some really pointed remarks about the First Amendment, and how “our side” have always been the champions of free speech, but then, the alt-right aren’t really “our side.”

No, rather than point out the amazing resemblance between what Loomer and Posobiec did, to what leftists are doing all over American college campuses these days, I think I’ll talk about motivations, because motivation matters.

Loomer was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and trespassing. In pretty much any district in the United States, those are relatively minor offenses – more nuisances, than offenses, really.

Loomer had barely been dragged from the stage before the hashtag campaign, #FreeLaura began making the rounds on social media. Posobiec pushed it out, along with the newly registered website, FreeLaura.com, to the alt-right masses, and it caught hold.

Then came the plea for help with Loomer’s legal fees. This awesome freedom fighter and warrior against community theater productions she and her cohorts don’t understand needed $25,000 to keep fighting the good fight.

That would be $25,000 for what could, at most, amount to a $1,000 fine.

It doesn’t stop there.

The website, FreeLaura.com was apparently registered several hours BEFORE Loomer rushed the stage in Central Park.

Talking heads for the right have long decried the “paid protesters” that seemed to permeate the process throughout the recent election season. They are right to do so. There is no doubt that some of those who have shown up at rallies or town hall events, professionally printed signs in hand, were not spontaneous, concerned citizens.

Coming from North Carolina, I know for a fact that liberal groups bussed in protesters from outside the state to make life uncomfortable for our Republican lawmakers.

That being said, we lose the right to be indignant over the actions of the left when there are those who claim to be members of the political right doing the exact same things.

What Loomer and Posobiec have done appears to be even worse.

They’re not just protesting a play, with a plot or theme they don’t grasp. They appear to be actively trying to prey on the fevered mindset of their base, conjuring up visions of leftist propaganda, with ill intent, in order to fleece their followers and enrich themselves.

For reasons such as this, actual conservatives would rather gnaw off a limb than be connected to the alt-right, in any forum.

Rebel Shakespeare

On some level I can sympathize.  It’s New York, it’s a Friday night, and all you want to do is go soak up some culture in a city that’s full of it.  Hamilton is out of the question because ticket prices would cover a big chunk of the national debt, and even if you could afford it the waiting list is so long you’ll be getting in to see it roundabouts the same time Captain Kirk is assuming command of the starship Enterprise.  So what’s a poor schlub to do?

Of course!  Shakespeare in the Park!  It’s hip.  It’s free.  And as a bonus, they’re putting on a production of Julius Caesar where Donald Trump gets killed!  In most of the country that sounds kind of icky, but here in the Big Apple it’s date night.

So there you are, holding your best girl’s hand (she voted for Hillary, but really wanted Bernie Sanders), both of your hearts pounding as you anticipate that moment when the blade plunges deep into the Great Orange Menace, at long last raising the respectability of assassination porn out of the ghetto of Fifty Shades fan fiction and into the mainstream. . .and that’s when some protester jumps up on stage and ruins the whole damn thing:

Sorry, honey.  Maybe there’s an off-off-off Broadway revival of The Vagina Monologues we can check out instead.

If you’re curious, that’s Laura Loomer from Rebel Media acting like an 80’s era pre-teen Color Me Badd superfan trying to scuttle a New Kids on the Block concert.  A fellow prankster named Jack Posobiec joined in the fun from the audience, yelling charmers such as, “The blood of Steve Scalise is on your hands!” and “Goebbels would be proud!”

Nearby, another attendee reportedly said, “Why’s he talking about gerbils?  I just came here to see Trump get axed.”

Okay, I made that last one up–but frankly, it wouldn’t surprise me if it really happened.  Noted conservatives, meanwhile, have weighed in with their own opinions about Loomer’s protest tactics.  Andrew Klavan posted one of the more eloquent reactions I’ve seen:

While Ben Shapiro, who is in danger of turning into a curmudgeon before his time, had this to say:

 

Sigh.  It’s a good thing Ben wasn’t the president of the Deltas in Animal House, otherwise Otter’s suggestion of a really futile and stupid gesture being done on somebody’s part might never have come to pass.

As for Laura Loomer, while her stunt could be considered stupid–and with the crowd of New Yorkers that booed her off the stage, it was most certainly futile–that doesn’t mean there isn’t some value to what she did.  For one thing, the theater company, as a matter of good taste, could have decided to lay off depicting the assassination of a Republican president in the wake of the attempted assassination of Republican congressmen–but they chose to carry on like nothing happened.  Loomer reminded them of that in a rather splashy way.  Also, progressive agitators have been using these kind of tactics to squelch the right for years–and have tossed in some head-busting violence to boot.  Rushing the stage may have wrecked the play for most of the people there, but at least none of them ended up in the hospital–unlike Allison Stanger, when she committed the offense of inviting Charles Murray to speak at Middlebury College.

The leftist crowd watching Julius Caesar Friday night probably cheers that sort of thing when their radicals engage in it.  They just don’t care for it too much when they get a taste of their own vitriol.

Pax Trumpanius

The similarities between Gaius Julius Caesar and Donald Trump are remarkable.

Julius Caesar wanted to “make Rome great again.”

Julius was born into money (which if you weren’t in ancient Rome you were nothing more than fodder). In ancient Rome, there was little difference between money and actual politics; Trump’s family stayed clear of politics for the most part, until Donald came along.

In any case, Julius ascended to the Roman Senate by virtue of leading troops in war and public acts of bravery. He ran for consul (sort of like a hyper-mayor), and survived a dirty campaign. He survived by making good deals and taking populist positions (like giving public land to the poor).

It didn’t end well for poor Julius, who was assassinated after the Senate plied him with honors and flattery. Then they claimed Julius was leading a cult of his own personality, with Marc Antony as his high priest. Then they killed him.

The Roman Republic died with Julius, and his successor, Augustus Caesar, was the first real emperor. Ironically, Augustus ushered in Rome’s “golden age” of Pax Romana, the Peace of Rome (through military means, mostly).

The key to Julius was his populist bent and need for public adoration. He placed this above the need for Rome to maintain a democracy, or for the messy defects that go along with principled citizen rule. He only wanted to make great deals, conquer Gaul (who was eating Rome’s lunch before Julius), and bed Cleopatra because she was a beautiful Nubian.

Men do not change much in 2,000 years. Human nature and DNA haven’t really altered the human race to the point where basic drives, ego and self-fulfillment are fundamentally different for Donald than they were for Julius.

The public’s drive for bread and circuses (which would come much later for Rome) was also about the same as it is today. The populist shift which elevated Julius Caesar is really comparable to the one elevating Donald Trump in many ways.

However, one thing is different. Technology has made the world much smaller today than it was in Caesar’s day. News and time pass much faster and people’s wishes are fulfilled or denied in much less than a month, a year, or a decade. Julius Caesar transformed Rome in his lifetime from a Republic to an Empire. Donald Trump might do it in four years, should he be elected.

I’ve written before that I thought Donald Trump was a Constitutionalist. I believe at his core he is, but he doesn’t understand enough about what it takes to preserve the document he believes in. He wants to make America great, and understands what it takes to make Donald Trump great, but those two goals are mutually incompatible.

Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, and the fruit of our soft, populist, gimme-now culture that produced Barack Obama (a very angry man), will lead to the same results as happened in Rome. Should the unthinkable happen and we end up with President Trump, get ready for Pax Trumpanius.