The Burghers of Calais is a statue by Rodin, pictured above, and a story of commitment by actual politicians to the lives and future of those they represented. This commitment brings up some interesting questions about the future of US political elites after the current election.
Around the time that Britain became a hotspot for the Black Plague, King Edward was fighting in the early part of the Hundred Years’ War. Edward was conducting a siege of the French City of Calais that had lasted almost a year. Needless to say, the citizens of Calais were suffering from starvation and disease.
Edward (being a nasty piece of work) demanded that the Burghers (the most prominent citizens) come to him dressed in rags, with nooses around their necks, carrying the keys to the city, ready to be beheaded. Edward said he would spare Calais destruction once the city was open, but would kill the Burghers.
Six of the Burghers met Edward’s demands in order to save their city. At the last moment, Edward pardoned them for reasons that are obscure (many stories have emerged as to how this might have happened).
My question to you as you participate in the 2020 election, no matter who you vote for, or how you vote, is:
What current officeholders or candidates for this election do you think would be willing to give up their lives for those they represent?