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Sun Oct 4, 2020, 12:09 PM

St. Thomas Aquinas on Tyrannicide: "one who liberates his country by . . ."

Since Harmodius and Aristogeiton killed Hipparchus of Athens in 514, a minister of the last Peisistratid tyrant Hippias, there has been a long and deep philosophical and theological tradition of supporting the death of a tyrant to advance democracy. In fact it was the killing of Hipparchus that led to a golden age of Athenian Democracy.

St. Thomas Aquinas gave a vibrant defense of Tyrannicide in his commentary on "Sentences" and praises the Christian who "liberates his country by killing a tyrant".

As you can imagine the Theological calculus of Tyrannicide is both complicated and very simple. German Theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer is widely accepted in Christendom as a saintly martyr for actively organizing an dying in an assassination attempt of Adolf Hitler.

It gets complicated when you move from mass murdering Tyrants to consider who in the leadership circle should be considered a target. It is also complicated by the record that Tyrannicide often doesn't deliver the result that was intended. Instead of delivering a country from tyranny it frequently intensifies it.

Fascinating to watch Democrats suffer with the calculus of Donald Trump's suffering. Is it right to cheer the suffering from a man who has been a non stop generator of suffering from his campaign for President that was based on such gems as organizing a modern lynch mob to execute 5 innocent teenagers known as the "Central Park 5"?

Republicans would not face the dilemma that Democrats at DU and else where face in this moral crossroads. Donald Trump would be doing cartwheels on the White House lawn if Vice President had Covid 19. If Senator Harris had it they would be quoting scripture evoking evidence of a providential action.

For Democrats compassion is our central organizing value. We can and do have conflicting spheres of interest but at the core of our complex Venn diagram is compassion. It is informs our principle on true equality, climate change, health care, regardless of what policies each Democratic faction advocates for a particular policy.

Democrats have compassion. Republicans give lip service to "thoughts and prayers".

So the cheering of Trump's suffering and the dark humor of morbidity possibilities appear to run counter to our core values. It is not, it is a cathartic response, an emotional release that in 4 weeks the country and the world is likely to step away from a despotic ass who embraces nihilism to advance shameless self promotion even it it were to draw the country into war, even nuclear war. It is only natural to look forward to that transition with glee.

So turning to the question of Tyrannicide based on Theological or Moral grounds I embrace it and wish that I had been with Bonhoeffer or had taken out Pol Pot.

In our circumstance we should understand that Trump is not the Tyrant.

Trumpism is the tyrant and is what must be killed.


Here is where Tyrannicide gets tough. While there are hardcore racist evil doers that are beyond the pale among the 40 million in his base there are also tens of millions who are just low information people who have been trapped in a con.

Here is how we kill Trumpism. When you have a relative or friend or a work colleague that may now question their allegiance in Trump, embrace them. Don't gloat and refrain from reminding them that you told them so.

Target one or two people and don't fact check every thing they are saying but find an "off ramp" where they can depart from the highway of hate. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s great gift to the country was creating an off ramp for millions of people on the edges of bigotry so that they could take the burden off.

So to kill Trumpism, the terrible Tyrant of our time, we need a 20 point landslide. We need to build off ramps for those that we know that might be weakening.

Ironically history often gives us an icon at an iconic moment. Joe Biden may not be the greatest example of Democratic Political Leadership of our generation but he is the Iconic symbol of Democratic compassion.

Yesterday I had the chance to do an act of Tyrannicide. I was meeting an elderly client who voted for Trump and was a Republican all of her life. Politics hadn't come out but as I was leaving she thanked me for visiting her and wearing a mask and said, "be safe".

I said I am very careful and she said I wish the President was careful and she was rather disappointed that he was careless. I asked her if I could play a 2 minute video and I showed her the video of Brayden Harrington, Biden's friend who stutters.

She teared up and thanked me for showing her such an uplifting message during such a dark time and a little act of Tyrannicide diminished a little bit of Trumpism.

All we have to do is to talk to people the way Joe Biden does and we will vanquish Trumpism as a viable political national strategy, like the "Know Nothing Party" that pre shadowed it forever. It is the Tyrannicide we can all participate in.



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Reply St. Thomas Aquinas on Tyrannicide: "one who liberates his country by . . ." (Original post)
grantcart Oct 2020 OP
Wicked Blue Oct 2020 #1
grantcart Oct 2020 #2
Qutzupalotl Oct 2020 #3
grantcart Oct 2020 #4
Qutzupalotl Oct 2020 #6
Hekate Oct 2020 #5
Hekate Oct 2020 #7
grantcart Oct 2020 #9
dalton99a Oct 2020 #8

Response to grantcart (Original post)

Sun Oct 4, 2020, 12:15 PM

1. Thank you for your post

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Response to Wicked Blue (Reply #1)

Sun Oct 4, 2020, 12:47 PM

2. thank you

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Response to grantcart (Original post)

Sun Oct 4, 2020, 12:50 PM

3. Thus ever to tyrants

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Response to Qutzupalotl (Reply #3)

Sun Oct 4, 2020, 01:32 PM

4. Interesting, was not aware. Who is represented here?

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Response to grantcart (Reply #4)

Sun Oct 4, 2020, 03:10 PM

6. Virtue, holding a spear and a sheathed dagger.

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Response to grantcart (Original post)

Sun Oct 4, 2020, 01:51 PM

5. KnR

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Response to grantcart (Original post)

Sun Oct 4, 2020, 04:13 PM

7. Deserves another kick

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Response to Hekate (Reply #7)

Sun Oct 4, 2020, 04:41 PM

9. Thanks working so can't respond in a timely fashion.

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Response to grantcart (Original post)

Sun Oct 4, 2020, 04:15 PM

8. Kick

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