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The Party Line is dedicated to examining regional issues and policies through the figures who give shape to them. These are critical, complex, and even downright confusing times we live in. There’s a lot to navigate nationally and in the Carolinas; whether it’s elections, debates on gay marriage, public school closings, or tax incentives for economic development. The Party Line’s goal is to offer a provocative, intelligent look at the issues and players behind the action; a view that ultimately offers the necessary insight for Carolina voters to hold public servants more accountable.

Invoking Inspiration From Shakespeare This Election Season

Michael Bitzer
Michael Bitzer

With the start of school, some Shakespearean snippets on the silly season we are all suffering through in politics:

Now is the summer of voters’ discontent,
Made glorious by these sons of Trump and Sanders;
And all the clouds that lour’d upon the houses of Bush and Clinton,
In the deep bosom of polls buried.

Now are Donald’s brows bound with victorious leads;
Hillary’s bruised favorables hung up for monuments;
Her stern e-mail alarums changed to merry meetings with the press,
Her dreadful responses against delighted crowds for Bernie.

Grim-visaged fundraisers hath smooth'd Jeb’s wrinkled front;
Yet now, instead of mounting barded steeds as the front runner
To fright the souls of sixteen adversaries,
He capers nimbly in a conservative’s chamber
To the lascivious rejection of Common Core.

To be, or not to be Libertarian.
That is the campaign question for Rand.
Whether ’tis nobler in the party’s mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of Lindsey’s outrageous foreign policies,
Or to take arms against a sea of Christie’s warrantless searches,
And by opposing, end them.

Alas, poor Christie! I knew him well:
a fellow of infinite popularity, of most excellent truth saying.
Yet he hath borne the scars of not running four years ago;
and now, how abhorred in the minds of true conversatives he is!

And as Hillary Cleopatra would sayeth:
O Server, what a wounding shame is this,
That thou emails here to visit me,
Doing the honour of thy emptiness,
To one so meek, that mine own staffer should
Wipe clean the sum of my messages!

Yet all the world’s a stage, and all the Democrats and Socialists merely players.
They have their exits and entrances;
And one man, in his time, plays many parts.
But shall the voters, who feel the Bern and yet loose the nomination, say,
If you prick us, do we not bleed?
If you tickle us, do we not laugh?
If you do not court us, will we show up next November?

Friends, New Hampshirites, countrymen: lend me your ears at town halls!
For I come to bury Lindsey, Bobby, and the Ricks, not to praise their poll numbers.

But soft! What winter light through yonder Midwestern state breaks!
It is the caucus, and Iowa is the sun!
Arise, fair voter, and kill the envious candidates below five percent
Who are already sick and pale within both parties.

For the fault, dear voter, lies not within the candidates,
but in ourselves.
For this is the very midsummer madness,
and we have all seen better political days.

(Perhaps, the blogger doth protest too much, methinks.)

Dr. Michael Bitzer is an associate professor of politics and history at Catawba College, where he also serves as the 2011-2012 Swink Professor for Excellence in Classroom Teaching and the chair of the department of history & politics. A native South Carolinian, he holds graduate degrees in both history and political science from Clemson University and The University of Georgiaââ