04:01:32 am on
Tuesday 16 Jul 2024

Call Me Spartacus
AJ Robinson

That’s quite a famous line from the movie Spartacus. It comes near the end, of the movie, when the slave army, which Spartacus led, has been defeated in battle. All of slaves are either dead or captured.

All for one and one for all.

The survivors may spare their lives if they point out who among them is Spartacus. He alone shall bear the punishment of crucifixion. When he stands to reveal himself, Antoninus and David, two of his chief lieutenants, stand up at the same time and shout, “I’m Spartacus.” Then another man does so. Then another, and another and so on until all of them are on their feet shouting it out. It’s a moving scene.

There was a time, several months ago, when I thought I was going to have my “I’m Spartacus” moment. It was during the presidential campaign when there was talk of a Muslim registry. To me, a religious registry sounded a lot like what the Nazis did during World War II, rounding up the Jews and other “undesirables.” I didn’t like it.

I’m not the sort of person who uses the term hate very often, but I most definitely hated that idea! I decided that if the day came that my country actually did that, I’d be right there in line with the others. I would register as a Muslim.

Now, I feel compelled to proclaim I have reached my “I’m Spartacus” moment. The context surprised me. Recently, Trump has attacked the Press.

Of course, there’s nothing new in politicians attack the press. Politicians and pundits have accused the media, television and print media, of all manner of high crimes going all the way back to the founding of our nation. I’ve heard it said that a political cartoon from the Colonial Era depicted George Washington on a donkey and a man pulling its reins; the caption read, “Leading an ass to the capitol,”

 I would imagine Washington was not amused. Nixon truly hated the press and members of his administration routinely raked the Washington Post over the coals because of its articles concerning the Watergate break-in and cover up. Obama complained that Fox News was less than balanced in its reporting on his time in office. Thus, there is nothing new about the president lambasting the press.

This time it's different.

Trump is not merely attacking the media. He is saying it is literally the enemy of the American People. Now he’s gone too far.

Think on those words for a moment, “enemy of the American People.” The entire media, an enemy of the people, is that possible. So, where are we to get our true and unvarnished news?

Trump has the answer for that, from him. I see, so Trump is the progenitor of facts, the knower of all things true and accurate. Gee, let me see, where have I heard that before? Well, a lot of dictators and cult leaders spout that kind of nonsense.

Yet, Trump is proclaiming this is true and calling on his minions to believe him. If that’s the case, if that’s what these people truly believe, I have a message for all of them, “I am a member of the media.”

Now sure, I’m no ace reporter. I don’t have articles appearing in the New York Times or some other print media. I’m not the anchor for a nightly news show or even a field reporter for them. No, I just use pen, paper and my computer to write articles. My thoughts and word are here and, occasionally, other websites. Yeah, that’s all I am and I am a member of the news media. Once Trump spoke those words, I became something else, an enemy of his worldview and a member of the resistance.

Come get me.

When the Persians came upon the Three Hundred Spartans, at Thermopylae, they ordered the Spartans to lay down their weapons. Well, to any of Trump’s minions that consider me an enemy of America and want me to lay down my writing “weapons,” my computer, I say what the Spartans said, “Come and get them.”


Combining the gimlet-eye of Philip Roth with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Working, again, as an engineeer, after years out of the field due to 2009 recession and slow recovery, Robinson finds time to write. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true. His teen vampire adventure novel, "Vampire Vendetta," will publish in 2020. Robinson continues to write books, screenplays and teleplays and keeps hoping for that big break.

More by AJ Robinson:
Tell a Friend

Click above to tell a friend about this article.