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Do Not Be a Fool

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The Spanish were able to conquer the Mexica (Aztecs) due to the smallpox wiping out Tenochtitlan between 1519-21. But in the writings that survived the Spanish conquest, there were guides to the emperors on how to respond during a period of sickness. It seems their response was a bit more advanced than that of the Republican Party.

Do not be a fool. Do not rush your words, do not interrupt or confuse people. Instead find, grasp, arrive at the truth. Make no one weep. Cause no sadness. Injure no one. Do not show rage or frighten folks. Do not create a scandal or speak with vanity. Do not ridicule. For vain words and mockery are no longer your office. Never, of your own will, make yourself less, diminished. Bring no scorn upon the nation, its leadership, the government.

Retract your teeth and claws. Gladden your people. Unite them, humor them, please them. Make your nation happy. Help each find their proper place. That way you’ll be esteemed, renowned. And when our Lord extinguishes you, the old ones will weep and sigh.

Hmmm….that sounds pretty nice. And if the emperor didn’t do this?

May he be made an example of. Let him receive some reprimand, whatever you choose. Perhaps punishment. Disease. Perhaps you’ll let your honor and glory fall to another of your friends, those who weep in sorrow now. For they do exist. They live. You have no want of friends. They are sighing before you, humble. Choose one of them.

Perhaps he [the bad ruler] will experience what the common folk do: suffering, anguish, lack of food and clothing. And perhaps you will give him the greatest punishments: paralysis, blindness, rotting infection.

Or will he instead soon depart this world? Will you bring about his death? Will he get to know our future home, the place with no exits, no smoke holes? Maybe he will meet the Lord of Death, Mictlanteuctli, mother and father of us all.

From your lips to our swords oh mighty lords!

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