The Books Speak

Mad HatterMaybe you’ve heard that here in the US of A we’re having an election eighteen days from now. Will this election bring us somewhat back into the light, or will we sink further into darkness? Probably some of both, just like always. In times of existential crisis, we often turn to literature for wisdom and comfort, so I decided to ask several literary characters for their opinions on the upcoming American election.

Odysseus (The Iliad)
There’s a good reason they always called me “the great teller of tales” and “man of twists and turns”. Only a fool tells the truth when a lie is useful, and I admire any politician who knows this. The more he lies, the more he is a hero. But why are you having an “election” at all? Life is for the rule of the strongest, to take what you want. There is no such thing as cruelty, only winners and losers.

Mad Hatter (Alice in Wonderland)
You’re having an election? Elect me! I’ll give everyone a cookie and a cup of tea. And a mouse. I saw some clouds in the sky. They looked like me. Elect me! I heard angels singing. They were singing about me! I’ll give you a free cap. Don’t you want a cap? Do you want to sing about me?

Joker (Batman comics)
Here’s what most people don’t understand, because they aren’t as smart as me. Everyone is out to get you, so you should do anything you can to get them first. Trick people every chance you get. I should run for Senate, ha! ha! ha! I’d be so good at it! I’d support everything that’s good for me, but I would tell people I was doing things for them. Do what’s good for you, and let everybody else drop dead, ha! ha! ha!

Police Inspector Javert (Les Misérables)
If only I lived in your country instead of France, I would run for your Congress, as I am exactly the sort of person who belongs there. I have an absolute devotion to higher authorities, and I will do whatever I’m told, with no question of right or wrong. There is no such thing as morality, only law, which should be imposed with rigor, and no such stupid idea as “mercy”.

Scrooge McDuck (Donald Duck comics)
Quack quack quack! Hah! I’m the richest person in the world, so I can’t even tell you how much money I have! I have a roomful of money where I go to lie in it sometimes, to think about how wonderful I am for being so rich! Nothing matters but money, and you should do anything—anything—that will get you more, no matter how much you already have! Quack!

Ghost of Christmas Future (A Christmas Carol)
[When I asked for comments from the Ghost of Christmas Future, I didn’t realize it does not speak. So it said nothing, but it led me into the future, to the funeral of a rich, bitter old man, who was loved by no one, and when he died, everyone celebrated.]

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