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ORGONITES & TARTUFFEITES: Oh, what a tangled, political web we have woven!!!

[Source: Tartuffe by Jean-Baptiste Poquelin Molière (1622-1673); Project Gutenberg EBook #2027; first written and performed in 1664. Oh,déjà vu!]

CLEANTE [brother-in-law of Orgon]
That is the usual strain of all your kind;
They must have every one as blind as they.
They call you atheist [or anti-American] if you have [differing views];
And if you don’t adore their vain grimaces,
You’ve neither faith nor care for sacred [democratic] things.

What! Will you find no difference between
Hypocrisy and genuine [governance]?
And will you treat them both alike, and pay
The self-same honour both to masks and faces
Set artifice beside sincerity,
Confuse the semblance with reality,
Esteem a phantom like a living person,
And counterfeit as good as honest coin?
Men [& women], for the most part, are strange creatures, truly!
You never find them keep the golden mean;
The limits of good sense, too narrow for them,
Must always be passed by, in each direction;
They often spoil the noblest things, because
They go too far, and push them to extremes.

Just so I think there’s naught more odious
Than whited sepulchres of outward unction,
Those barefaced charlatans, those hireling zealots,
Whose sacrilegious, treacherous pretence
Deceives at will, and with impunity
Makes mockery of all that men hold sacred;
Men [& women] who, enslaved to selfish interests,
Make trade and merchandise of [freedom],
And try to purchase influence and office
With false eye-rollings and affected raptures;
Those men [& women], I say, who with uncommon zeal
Seek their own fortunes on the road to heaven[ly prosperity];
Who, skilled in prayer [and profiteering], have always much to ask,
And live at court to preach retirement;
Who reconcile religion with their vices,
Are quick to anger, vengeful, faithless, tricky,
And, to destroy a man [or woman], will have the boldness
To call their private [or public] grudge the cause of heaven;[1]
All the more dangerous, since in their anger
They use against us weapons men revere,
And since they make the world applaud their passion,
And seek to stab us with a sacred sword.
There are too many of this canting kind.
Still, the sincere are easy to distinguish;
And many splendid patterns may be found,
In our own time, before our very eyes.
(Molière’s Tartuffe, Act I, Scene vi)
[1] Or manifest destiny, or true democracy, or patriotism