The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – Don Quixote Goes to Washington

Jeff Cumberbatch - Columnist, Barbados Advocate

Jeff Cumberbatch – Columnist, Barbados Advocate

“In short, his wits being quite gone, he hit upon the strangest notion that every madman in this world hit upon, and that was that he fancied it was right and requisite, as well for the support of his own honour as for the service of his country, that he should make a knight-errant of himself, roaming the world over in full armour and on horseback in quest of adventures, and putting in practice himself all that he had read of as being the usual practices of knights-errant; righting every kind of wrong, and exposing himself to peril and danger from which, in the issue, he was to reap eternal renown and fame. Already the poor man saw himself crowned by the might of his arm Emperor of Trebizond at least; and so, led away by the intense enjoyment he found in these pleasant fancies, he set himself forthwith to put his scheme into execution…” –Don QuixoteMiguel de Cervantes

As many others, including apparently the majority of the voters in the United States, I do not care much for the politics of the current president of the United States, Mr Donald Trump. Having myself survived exposure to the nightmare scenario of his Electoral College triumph last November, nothing he has done since persuades me that he is not the narcissistic, temperamental misogynist that he projected himself to be during the campaign to citizens of the United States who, albeit, by fortuitous electoral distribution and for their various personal reasons, did not care enough about these flaws and so elected him to the high office of POTUS, as it is so charmingly referred to.

Most of my readers will be familiar with the epithet “quixotic”. It describes, according to one source, behaviour that is foolishly impractical especially in the pursuit of ideals and marked by rash, lofty, romantic ideas. The word derives from the character created in 1605 by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra in his novel, “The History of the valorous and wittie (sic) Knight Errant Don Quixote of La Mancha”, to give its full title. There has been a number of musical and film adaptations since, including the 1992 “Man of La Mancha”, featuring the popular hit, “To dream the impossible dream”.

Constraints of space do not permit a fuller discussion today of the adventures of the title character, but the epigraph above offers some information as to the anatomy of his pursuits.

The connection that I seek to make between Don Quixote and Mr Trump lies in the erratic, nay, quixotic nature of the behaviour of each of these individuals. For instance, perhaps the best known escapade of Don Quixote is tilting at windmills, an expression that has found its way into the lexicon as a metaphor for inutility and one that is ideally likened to Mr Trump’s attempts to exclude Mexicans and some Muslims so that America will be “great” again, whatever that coded expression might mean.

“At this point they came in sight of thirty or forty windmills that there are on a plain, and as soon as Don Quixote saw them he said to his squire, “Fortune is arranging matters for us better than we could have shaped our desires ourselves, for look there, friend Sancho Panza, where thirty or more monstrous giants present themselves, all of whom I mean to engage in battle and slay, and with whose spoils we shall begin to make our fortunes; for this is righteous warfare, and it is God’s good service to sweep so evil a breed from off the face of the earth.”

“What giants?” said Sancho Panza.

“Those thou seest there,” answered his master, “with the long arms, and some have them nearly two leagues long.”

“Look, your worship,” said Sancho; “what we see there are not giants but windmills, and what seem to be their arms are the sails that turned by the wind make the millstone go.”

“It is easy to see,” replied Don Quixote, “that thou art not used to this business of adventures; those are giants; and if thou art afraid, away with thee out of this and betake thyself to prayer while I engage them in fierce and unequal combat.”

The analogy is satisfied even further whether we consider Sancho Panza to be Mr Mike Pence, the Vice-President, Ms Kellyanne Conway with her “alternative facts”, or Mr Steve Bannon with his antediluvian views on difference and press freedom; and Mr Trump’s choice weapons of war not to be the lance and shield but his penchant for executive orders and late-night-to-early-morning tweets.

None of this is to ignore the fact that for some unarticulated reasons perhaps best known to them, there are those who support Mr Trump. I will not hazard a guess as to their reasons, although I am prepared to concede that they are certainly entitled to their opinions.

Nonetheless, his obsession with being perceived as the smartest and the most popular incumbent ever, as well as his seemingly facile ignorance of the basic principles of US constitutionalism that he swore to uphold less than a month ago, together with his propensity to speak in superlatives all mark him out as nothing less than…quixotic.

Indeed, Mr Trump’s relationship with matters legal so far has been less than auspicious. First, he chose to dismiss, as was his prerogative, the substantive Attorney General for demurring to a patently discriminatory embargo on certain individuals, even as his proposed replacement awaits Senate confirmation, thus leaving a gap in the governance architecture that would be constitutionally repugnant in most other jurisdictions. Second, he nominates a predictable replacement for Justice Scalia on the Supreme Court; one who, unsurprisingly, comes mouthing the same tired conservative claptrap about the Constitution having a settled meaning, as if time has stood still since the time of Jefferson and the others in the 18th century.

This jurisprudential perception is indeed instructive in the current context, for the original Constitutional text in the US regarded certain individuals, definable by a common characteristic, as being less than whole human beings. Too besides, it is at least passing strange that this so–called “right” meaning seems always to accord with conservative points of view, while those opinions that endorse such progressive values as the autonomy of women and others to guard their privacy are considered matters of regrettable and unconstitutional judicial activism.

The following piece is apposite:

Almost immediately after, Don Quixote runs into some merchants whom he challenges to admit that his lady, Dulcinea, is the most beautiful damsel in the world. Not sure where the situation is leading, they address him as “Sir Knight” but anger him by some facetious comments regarding Dulcinea’s beauty. On hearing these remarks, Don Quixote charges but unfortunately Rocinante slips and our knight ends up beaten by a muleteer. What might be construed as a setback for Don Quixote is easily explained: it was Rocinante’s fault.  But equally important (to him) is the fact that the merchants addressed Don Quixote in chivalric terms.

Advertisements

Tags:

388 Comments on “The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – Don Quixote Goes to Washington”

  1. pieceuhderockyeahright February 10, 2017 at 5:14 AM #

    @ Chad99999

    You said and I quote “….Trump should stage a security incident to blow up this decision…”

    You mean more…you mean more for surely the staged senseless shootings prior to the election last year were text book contrived social disorder and chaos straight from the movies that Trunk is watching.

    These are simpleton strategies for a simple people, the Americans much like Bajans are simple and are unconcerned with the warwe are fighting between Fumbles and Mugabe.

    Six of one and half dozen of the other, sad

    And the outcome so predictable…

    Like

  2. Well Well & Consequences February 10, 2017 at 5:24 AM #

    http://www.independent.co.uk/indy100/article/ethicists-donald-trump-sued-tweets-ivanka-clothing-line-nordstrom-7570746

    A lawsuit would help significantly in any impeachment process going forward.

    Chadsterthetrumppimp….it’s been months now I have pegged you as lowlife and fraud, you have no right being in the US and your work permit should not be renewed, if that is not a lie too, most importantly, if the illiterate one gets anyone so stupid asvto agree to stage any bombings in the US to kill innocent people to frame middle eastern people….let’s just say I hope you are the first to get caughtbup in it and blown to help into little pieces.., younare a useless, ill informed piece of shit.

    That criminal deviousness has already played, it cant work twice successfully, but as things stand…there is no one currently intellectually capable of that type of devious intelligence, particularly the illiterate one…he aint bright enough, they cannot even find anyone willing to risk their freedom or integrity to be an efficient and competent press secretary, two people turned down the job, they do not want to be associated…no intelligent person is willing to go to prison for or with the illiterate, one exactly where all of this headed……..they cannot even get an overseas raid right.

    As well educated that you claim to be Chadster, why dont you volunteer to be a suicide bomber in the US for the illiterate….ya cant be that well educated or loyal if ya cant.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/donald-trump-communications-director-white-house-spin-doctor-reince-priebus-a7571786.html

    Like

  3. Well Well & Consequences February 10, 2017 at 5:45 AM #

    “Trunk did this wrong.

    He could have achieved the objective desired BUT he and his henchmen are not braniacs but de ole man ent here to advise nobody about dese tings dem or not Humpty Dumpty would loss he pick.”

    The illiterate one first tried to delete the judicial government and when that did not work he tried to bypass the constitution…..now he will have to face the judicial government head on….or back off…..the justices will see a civil war in the making, that is what the judicial government exists for…to prevent any such occurrences by an illiterate president…keeping him in check. To save face, but in the process will succeed in getting himself impeached…he will have to suspend the constitution to get around those judges….the constitution does not support mass deportations.., there are already processes in place fir orderly deportations. Full stop.

    Chadsterthetrumppimp. ..I had to fix the errors because you must able to read it clearly.

    Chadsterthetrumppimp….it’s been months now I have pegged you as lowlife and fraud, you have no right being in the US and your work permit should not be renewed, if that is not a lie too, most importantly, if the illiterate one gets anyone so stupid as to agree to stage any bombings in the US to kill innocent people to frame middle eastern people….let’s just say I hope you are the first to get caught up in it and blown to hell into tiny little pieces.., you are a useless, ill informed piece of shit.

    Like

  4. are-we-there-yet February 10, 2017 at 8:21 AM #

    Meanwhile back in Bim the “Cahill lookalike” del Mastro solar scam resurfaces – Elections must be near and some people trying to get a golden umbrella.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Caswell Franklyn February 10, 2017 at 8:31 AM #

    AWTY

    Don’t be so naïve. You think that they are waiting until this late hour to secure their golden umbrella. Anyone who was set on bribe taking and other forms of corruption would have done so already. Anything they get now would just be icing on the stolen cake.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Zoe February 10, 2017 at 11:32 AM #

    Let us really hear and read some of the facts regarding Trumps travel ban, and what Obama DID in a similiar regard, and NO one said a word against Obama!!

    ‘Stealth Invasion’ author: Here’s why left’s ‘frothing at mouth’ over Trump order
    Hohmann: Anti-Christian, U.N. agendas both in play in immigration protests
    anti-trump_immigration_protest

    Protests erupted across America last weekend after President Trump signed an executive order temporarily barring immigrants from seven terror-producing nations as well as all refugees.

    Veteran WND reporter and news editor Leo Hohmann said the word “meltdown” doesn’t even begin to describe the reaction of Trump critics.

    “I have never seen the left so enraged and aroused and just out there causing chaos and havoc in any way they can,” Hohmann told host Susan Knowles in a an interview on “Stand for Truth Radio.” “They’re just frothing at the mouth about these new executive orders coming out of the White House.”

    But Hohmann, author of the new book “Stealth Invasion: Muslim Conquest Through Immigration and the Resettlement Jihad,” pointed out that what Trump did is very similar to what President Obama did in 2011 when he froze the processing of Iraqi refugees for six months because of terrorism fears.

    Likewise, President George W. Bush paused the resettlement of refugees from several countries in the aftermath of 9/11.

    In fact, each of the last five presidents at some point exercised their right to suspend the entry of certain individual aliens or classes of aliens, according to a recent report from the Congressional Research Service.

    “There is nothing – nothing – radical about what President Trump has done, and yet you see the left just seething with hatred and just foaming at the mouth, just coming unglued,” Hohmann said.

    He said the left’s determination to label Trump’s action a “Muslim ban” shows no respect for the facts: Citizens from the majority of the world’s Muslim countries, including places like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Indonesia, are still allowed to enter the United States. What’s more, a recent Rasmussen poll found most American voters support Trump’s temporary ban on individuals from terrorist-producing countries.

    Knowles warned her audience not to fall for left-wing propaganda.

    “When you see something on TV or on Periscope in regard to these protests that are going on, just know in reality this is a very small number as compared to everybody in the United States,” she cautioned. “We have to stop falling for those traps, and those Saul Alinsky traps, Leo, like the #MuslimBan. Those are hashtags that Saul Alinsky would be proud of because it just keeps the propaganda going.”

    America is headed down a suicidal path – but it’s a subtle invasion, and not many Americans understand the full extent of the problem. Get all the details in Leo Hohmann’s brand new book “Stealth Invasion: Muslim Conquest Through Immigration and Resettlement Jihad,” available now in hard copy or e-book at the WND Superstore.

    Hohmann noted Obama engaged in something close to a Syrian Christian ban during his presidency, as less than 1 percent of Syrian refugees admitted were Christian despite the fact that Christians face persecution in Syria. But the left never protested the relative lack of Christian refugees; they saved all their vitriol for Trump’s so-called “Muslim ban.”

    Hohmann isn’t even willing to say all the protesters have good intentions.

    “I don’t even know if I can write them off as gullible and stupid,” he said. “I believe a lot of them are part of this agenda, this America-hating, Christian-hating, Jewish-hating agenda. So they may not be Islamic themselves, but they share a lot of the same values that come straight out of the Quran, which [include] anti-Semitism and anti-Christianity.”

    He conceded there are many “useful idiots” among the anti-Trump protesters, but they serve the agenda nonetheless.

    “The people who are organizing the useful idiots, in my opinion, know darn well what they’re doing, and they’re using Islam as a battering ram against Western civilization and Christianity, which they have always hated and always wanted to destroy,” he said.

    However, the contempt for Trump is not just evidence of a pro-Islam agenda. Hohmann also believes leftist and globalist elites, such as George Soros, are getting nervous because Trump is refusing to play by their rules.

    “For the first time in 30-something years we’ve got a president who wants to run the country and run Washington like an actual American instead of a member of the United Nations,” Hohmann said.

    He pointed out the U.N. 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development essentially affirms the right of any impoverished person in a Third World country to migrate to a wealthier country and receive a warm welcome, complete with “affordable” benefits. In fact, the U.N. has made international migration a key part of its 2030 agenda.

    “What the U.N. is really after is a massive global redistribution of wealth plan, and they accomplish this basically through two methods,” Hohmann said. “And these are the exact same methods that Trump has hit upon: it’s trade and immigration.”

    He said the U.N. plans to redistribute wealth from the First World to the Third World partly through secretive trade deals that globalist presidents like Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama willingly signed onto. These deals have the effect of outsourcing jobs from the U.S. to various Third World countries.

    “And then, as if that wasn’t bad enough, the jobs that are left in this country have more competition suddenly involved in getting those jobs because we’re going to invite the world, the Third World, into our country to compete for the crumbs that are left after we complete the unfair trade deals!” Hohmann said.

    America is headed down a suicidal path – but it’s a subtle invasion, and not many Americans understand the full extent of the problem. Get all the details in Leo Hohmann’s brand new book “Stealth Invasion: Muslim Conquest Through Immigration and Resettlement Jihad,” available now in hard copy or e-book at the WND Superstore.

    Like

  7. Vincent Haynes February 10, 2017 at 12:02 PM #

    Still ‘paranoid’ after all these years – CNNPolitics.com – CNN.com
    http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/04/politics/paranoid-style-politics-hofstadter/
    Nov 5, 2012 – In a famous 1964 essay, “The Paranoid Style in American Politics,” historian … Paranoia isn’t on the fringe anymore, like it was in Hofstadter’s day. … whether it concerns the “Zionist media,” blame for 9/11 or a belief that Israel …

    Like

  8. Vincent Haynes February 10, 2017 at 12:04 PM #

    Americans Are More Worried About Terrorism Than They Were Right …
    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/…/american…september-11/499004/
    Sep 8, 2016 – Americans Are More Worried About Terrorism Than They Were After 9/11 … According to Pew’s latest figures, 40 percent of Americans now believe the …. President Obama’s efforts to allay this paranoia—including numerous …

    Like

  9. Vincent Haynes February 10, 2017 at 12:12 PM #

    List of flood myths – Wikipedia
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_flood_myths
    The flood myths or deluge myths are, taken collectively, myths of a great flood. These accounts depict global flooding, usually sent by a deity or deities to destroy civilization as an act of divine retribution.
    ‎Sumerian creation myth · ‎Gilgamesh flood myth · ‎Noah in Islam

    Like

  10. Colonel Buggy February 10, 2017 at 10:52 PM #

    British Prime Minister Harold Wilson was absolutely right, when he said a week in politics is a long time. For Trump a month could be a life time.

    Like

  11. are-we-there-yet February 10, 2017 at 11:12 PM #

    The game is afoot. The Trump pack of Russian cards is falling down.

    Flynn is now on the ropes, then the other Russian enablers will follow, then Trump will bring it down.

    All gine tru de edders.

    Like

  12. nineofnine February 10, 2017 at 11:13 PM #

    What’s wrong in taking steps to defend/protect your country, lets not forget that BUSH ground ALL flights in and out of he US, no one in, no one out….for a period of time….was it justifiable? ALTHOUGH, a Saudi family/flight was allowed out. ummm…..

    Like

  13. Alvin Cummins February 13, 2017 at 10:03 AM #

    Nine o,
    The word Oklahoma, should remind people like you that country has nothing to do with terrorism. That bomber was home born, home grown, and entirely American. He was not a Muslim, and just hated the government. Trump’s attempt to isolate the U.S. will not prevent home grown terrorists.

    Like

Join in the discussion, you never know how expressing your view may make a difference.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: