As we watch the damage that Pat McCrory is inflicting on North Carolina, we can remember better men. We can remember a better political archetype and raise our sights. There is the Cincinnatus figure who serves out of duty when he'd rather be doing something else. In the legendary case of Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus (who died ca. 438 B.C.) that something else was farming which he twice abandoned out of duty to serve. Can we not find such persons today to serve? Perhaps wanting a political office should in itself be disqualifying. Perhaps at Judgment Day all good politicians will speak as I imagine Cincinnatus speaking at his Judgment Day:
Cincinnatus' Final Sonnet
No man alive's too good to work the land
To feed and clothe himself. A man is not
Entitled to be kept. (Each such demand
Collapses on itself. Each man who's got
Such right gives it to others so he goes
In circles on himself--no substance in
Such foolishness.) Thus when the Romans chose
Me as commander charging me to win
The battle with the Aequi, I agreed.
The whole included me. The victory done,
I went back to the farm--no crown to cede
Where none could be. Though now a shade, I shun
Conceit no less. Still not above a plow,
Had I land here I would be farming now.
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