Nancy Pelosi Plays Lady Macbeth

Around a year before the election Nancy Pelosi made a vaguely disturbing comment, along the lines of, “If we are going to do this thing, we had better be prepared to do it all the way.” It was somewhat unclear, (as it often is with her), what she was referring to, but it had to do with “winning the election”. It now seems possible that the “thing” she was referring to involved winning the election by fraudulent means.

To say the election was fraudulent is a quick way to be banned on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and yet such a fraud is generally accepted by a surprisingly large number of people. Many say the Dominion voting machines were “rigged”. In any case, by hook or by crook, Pelosi “won”.

But, in Shakespeare’s play “Macbeth”, Lady Macbeth also “won”, when she convinced her husband to gain power by murdering Duncan, King of Scotland. She worried her husband had too much of the “milk of human kindness” in him, and bragged that she had no such weakness, no such wimpy tendencies towards mercy, and would even pluck her own baby from her breast and dash its brains out, to gain political power. However, after Duncan was murdered, Lady Macbeth turned out to be less tough than she thought she was. This led to the famous scene where she is either sleepwalking, or just plain off her rocker, attempting to wash hallucinated blood from her hands and muttering, “Out; out damned spot.”

Lady Macbeth is one of the greater examples in literature of a person plagued by a guilty conscience. Shakespeare suggests there is something within the human psyche which reacts powerfully against evil, no matter how persuasive we may consiously be, regarding how evil is to our advantage.

This subconscious reaction is not a mere matter of disappointment, over having a gratified desire turn out to be less fulfilling than imagined beforehand. It is not the mere disappointment one feels after going out on a date with a person who appeared beautiful, but who turned out to be a complete dullard. Rather it is the keen sense one is guilty, one has done wrong, and that there are unpleasant consequences of some sort which one is going to face. One has ingested poison, and the future is not bright. Although one may have “won”, one has won a free trip to hell. Lady Macbeth “won” what she wanted, which was to be Queen of Scotland, but becoming queen was not the heaven she imagined, beforehand.

I wonder if Nancy Pelosi might not be in similar shoes, now that she has “won.” The murder involved was not of a person, a “King Duncan”, but rather of the United States of America, and all it stands for, (if the election was truly fraudulent.) What was “killed” was democracy.

In a sense Nancy may have achieved her life’s aim, if she saw opposing views as something which must be utterly defeated, yet now she may awaken, like Lady Macbeth, to the fact that what she has done is terrible.

For opposing views are not truly an enemy. They are like the other side of a tug-of-war; they keep you from falling down. If you destroy the other side of a tug-of-war your own side falls over. It is like killing the goose that laid the golden egg. What is beautiful about the two-party-system is what beautiful about marriage; to destroy one half of a two-party-system is like thinking you “win” by shooting your spouse.

Debate, when most healthy, results in an increase in understanding on both sides. But such healthy debate becomes impossible when one side resorts to blanket denial. And that is what negating the vote of a majority amounts to: A blanket denial of all the charges which that majority was making.

Nancy Pelosi cannot have worked so long in Washington DC without knowing what healthy debate looks like. Therefore she must also be aware it has recently largely been extinguished. I wonder if she looks down at her own hands, those same hands which tore Trump’s State of the Union speech in half, and mutters, “Out; out damn spot.”