Friends, Americans, Countrymen

With apologies to William Shakespeare, who knew more about politics and economics than generally is appreciated, here is a possible eulogy if we’re not very careful.

Friends, Americans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury liberty, not to praise it.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with individual liberty. The noble Obama
Hath told you it was ambitious:
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
And grievously hath it answer’d it.
Here, under leave of Obama and the rest—
For Obama is an honourable man;
So are they all, all honourable men—
Come I to speak in liberty’s funeral.
It was my friend, faithful and just to me:
But Obama says liberty is ambitious;
And Obama is an honourable man.
It hath brought morality home to America
Whose prosperity did the general coffers fill:
Did this in liberty seem ambitious?
When that the poor have cried, liberty wept:
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
Yet Obama says it was ambitious;
And Obama is an honourable man.
You all did see that on the taxing
Men thrice reduced them,
Whence men did thrice prosper: was this ambition?
Yet Obama says “investment” is less ambitious;
And, sure, he is an honourable man.
I speak not to disprove what Obama spoke,
But here I am to speak what I do know.
You all did love liberty once, not without cause:
What cause withholds you then, to mourn for it?
O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason. Bear with me;
My heart is in the coffin there with liberty,
And I must pause till it come back to me.

But yesterday the word of liberty might
Have stood against the world; now lies it there.
And none so poor to do it reverence.
O masters, if I were disposed to stir
Your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage,
I should do Obama wrong, and Reid wrong,
Who, you all know, are honourable men:
I will not do them wrong; I rather choose
To wrong the dead, to wrong myself and you,
Than I will wrong such honourable men.
But here’s a parchment with the seal of liberty;
I found it in its closet, ’tis its will:
Let but the commons hear this testament—
Which, pardon me, I do not mean to read—
And they would go and kiss dead liberty’s wounds
And dip their napkins in its sacred blood,
Yea, beg a hair of it for memory,
And, dying, mention it within their wills,
Bequeathing it as a rich legacy
Unto their issue.

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