Corralling all the lawyers is a start to solving problems
In his play, “Henry VI,” Shakespeare’s character invokes the often quoted line “let’s kill all the lawyers.” While this line is obviously a symbolic and hyperbolic statement whose real meaning is debated, it does raise the question of Shakespeare’s motivation. Why were lawyers, and not engineers, CPAs, or teachers., etc., used as the object of disdain?
Then, of course, there are all the lawyer jokes much too numerous to repeat here. A quick look at the thousands of lawyers listed in the phone book, considering the relatively small size and high poverty rate of our area, also makes you wonder how they all are able to make a living.
The recent news reports regarding the judge and political operative, both lawyers, being investigated for various alleged crimes only serves to reinforce the stereotype. The media has often referred to those involved in these situations as acting stupid. I take issue with this description and wonder if it isn’t more about arrogance and just maybe the belief that the law exists only for us “little people.” A look at our recent Albany convicted felons and the scheming and outright lying and untruths of one of our current presidential candidates and two past presidents also draws me to this conclusion.
I also wonder if this arrogance is also the cause of our legislative bodies, at all levels, being unable to come together and get things done. I am unsure of the percentage of government officials and politicians that are also lawyers but I’ll bet that it is quite high. Partisan politics has been part of our government since its creation 240 years ago, but it appears, at least to me, that there is something else at work here. Maybe fewer lawyers, less-ambiguous laws and term limits are the answer.