Power and the pursuit of power is something most of us don’t understand. We lack the irrational element thatdrives a senator tospend every waking hour in pursuit of enough campaign contributions so the message can be optimally distorted. That sheds all the light that most of us need to see, but when Hilary Clinton was ultimately confronted with the end of her presidential aspirations, her reaction revealed this disorder in its truest form.The opportunity to dissect was also completely missed by those of us who are supposed bring understanding to the world.
She was certainly plastered for pulling out that absurd statement about RFK’s assassination. That said, the realization of defeat left her momentarily naked and desperation had her reaching for something that could some how save her personal cause.
Unfortunately, as she revealed what’s at the core of pursuing power, the media simply let it go and all was quickly forgotten. We may have George Washington himself to thank for this. He is probably the only national leader in history to walk away from power. Of course, don’t be mistaken, his apparent reluctance to accept power throughout his career was the manner in which he gained power.
Nonetheless, America’s leaders would go on to learn that it’s better to walk out than to be carried out. In Hilary Clinton’s case, she followed suit and strutted into a pretty good gig as Secretary of State.
But the consolation prize is definitely not a remedy. Furthermore,a momentary lapse does not really offer enough insight to explain why a person would subject themselves to a life where almost everything said and done is a lie.
In a sense, that’s not such a big price to pay so let’s travel back to old England when losing didn’t set you up with a cushy cable news job or raking in the dough on K-Street.The Wars of the Roses had quite a lot at stake as the houses of York and Lancaster jockeyed for power.
Edward IV staked his claim and one Earl of Warwick was a big part of putting him there. Known in history as the “Kingmaker,”Richard Neville’s fortunes rose with Edward to literally the level of co-king. But over time, power slowly eroded as others gained favor of the king.
Regardless, as I watch the Showtime’sThe Tudors, life at court – regardless of kingly favor – wasn’t so bad. Wine, Women and Song leaves our Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n Roll in the dust.
Even with the likely over dramatization of the series, it’s probably safe to assume that it wasn’t only “good to be the king,” but one urge mattered most to Warwick. He took up arms against Edward, threw his support behind Henry VI and eventually succumbed to his diagnostic affliction on the battlefield.
Either way,though, it would seem that murdering your brother’s sons to hold the throne is the most blatant example of acting out in behalf of this illness. But there’s more to the story than Richard III, and his actions are really a function of survival rather than a symptom of this irrational disorder. The Death of Edward IV left England in a succession crisis between the King’s Brother, Richard and his oldest son, who was too young to take the throne.
As was standard, Richard III assumed control until his nephew came of age. An uncertain situation in any case, but the other villain that history has left relatively unscathed is Edward IV’s wife – the mother of the boys.Elizabeth Wydville, was a commoner who hit the jackpot and married a king. To the horror of the court, she was the original version of white trash and definitely had the illness.
As queen, she was able to displace much of court with family members.The battle lines were drawn. With the king alive, it amounted tonothing more than grumbling but his death initiated the collision that left the young princes in the middle.
With Elizabeth in France at the time of Edward’s death, the princes ended up in the custody of Richard. The enmity enraged, each side squared off. Ultimately,as long as the princes remained alive, they remained a symbol for supportersto rally around and when the situation eventually played itself out, Richard III acted on the Kill or be Killed conundrum.
In hindsight, his decision turned out to be a mistake. Unpopular from top to bottom, it directly led to his death and downfall. Still,the entire scenario might not have emerged had Elizabeth been content to live a charmed life on the throne with her king. And to further demonstrate, there’s strong indications that Elizabeth was ready to marry her daughter off to Richard so as to earn her way back into the fold. Fate would intervene and Richard would be resigned to historical judgment.
This all makes Hilary Clinton seem sensible but just because we are much more subtle today, doesn’t mean anything has chaged. I have no solution other than to always recognize this illness for what it is and concede that it will never go away.