Quid Pro Quo
Teaching Foreign Languages

Donald the Dumb tweeted on January 6, 2018, “Actually, throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart.” In the real world, most everyone else sees him as neither. However, a tutor must have told him what quid pro quo means. Actually, I took Latin in high school and learned dozens of additional Latin phrases: alea iacta est, ad hoc, carpe diem, bona fide, de facto, ad nauseum, i.e, per se, and etc.

Our fake president is practicing quid pro quo.

The reason for this essay is that our White House whiz kid needs to learn another Latin phrase, which came from Shakespeare’s play, Julius Caesar. Caesar’s power went to his head and moved the Roman Republic into a dictatorship. The Roman senators plotted to remove Caesar from office. The parallels today are obvious. The House is moving toward voting for impeachment and the Senate will vote to remove him. Interestingly, the etymology of the term, to impeach, came from Latin also. The Latin word, impetere, means to attack or accuse.

Caesar’s assassination

When a group of sixty senators decided to impetere, they did so with twenty-three knife wounds. According to Shakespeare, Caesar’s last words were “Et tu, Brute.” The translation of that Latin phrase is “You too, Brutus.”

This is a commemorative Roman coin with Brutus’ face on one side and Ides of March on the other side.

The problem with the assassination of Caesar according to Shakespeare is twofold. First, Brutus and Caesar weren’t buddies, which is true historically. Therefore, Caesar wouldn’t have said essentially are you wanting to kill me also. Caesar didn’t have a lot of friends in the senate.

Additionally, the senators wouldn’t have spoken in Latin. Greek was the preferred language of the aristocrats or the politicians. Obviously, everyone also spoke Latin. However, during that time period, Greek was still used among the intelligentsia. Therefore, had Shakespeare been correct about what his dying words were, he wouldn’t have said the name of Brutus. However, he would have said in Greek, “Kai su, teknon,” which means “And you, my child,” which means to someone who might have been his friend, “Are you also going along with the others?”

One of Donald the Dumb’s tutors needs to whisper in his ear, “Your clock is ticking. You aren’t an elected dictator.” Obviously, Trump will object. Nonetheless, his tutor needs to utter in Latin, “Ut per eam.” Trump will become even more furious. This time the whisperer will say it in Greek, “ξεπέρασέ το.” For those who don’t recall their Latin or Greek, the translation means “Get over it.”