For Your Consideration….
And so, I offer, once again, my original assessment of Liz Cheney at the time she emerged – turned into a “Character for all seasons” that defines the story.“
[Below is my original piece — minimally edited for clarity — from May 7, 2021]
[NOTE: Sixty years ago, this November, Robert Bolt’s classic A Man for All Seasons, premiered on Broadway (it had been staged in London a year earlier). More than ever before, it is a clarifying mirror, in which we see our own time reflected, sharply focussed, and nakedly revealed. The characters — Thomas Moore, King Henry VIII, Cardinal Wolsey, Thomas Cromwell, Will Roper — all are resurrected in the likes of Cheney, Trump, McConnell, McCarthy, Stefanik, and the rest of the sorry cast of the present-day Republican party.
For the most part, I have restricted the words of this piece to Liz Cheney’s — paired with those of Bolt’s dramatized historical figures (in dialogue form beneath the accompanying pictures) — mainly the words of Moore, King Henry VIII, and Cromwell. At the risk of annoying the reader, I have chosen to remove the character attributions in order, hopefully, to focus more directly on the moral echoes that resound across more than four centuries.] …. Good reading!
“We cannot accept the idea that the election is stolen. It is poison in the blood of our democracy. We cannot whitewash what happened on January 6 or perpetuate Trump’s Big Lie. It is a threat to democracy. What he did on January 6 is a line that cannot be crossed.
“History is watching. Our children are watching. We must be brave enough to defend the fundamental principles that underpin and protect our freedom and our democratic process. I pledge to do so, regardless of the short-term political consequences.”
“I strongly disagree with Joe Biden’s policies, but when the President extends his hand to greet me in the chamber of the United States House of Representatives, I will always respond in a civil, respectful, and dignified manner.
We are not sworn enemies. We are American.”
[Those of us who disagree strongly with
Liz Cheney’s policies and political beliefs
might remind ourselves that
we are not
And, as her fellow Americans we might also do well to recognize the integrity and strength of character she has displayed in the present moment.
I hope that the echoes the reader may find in A Man for All Seasons help achieve that recognition.]