The House of Cards and Machiavelli

The High Primal and I have been watching Netflix' House of Cards. We are hooked on it. After watching twenty-six episodes I'm convinced that the screenplay was written by Machiavelli, the father of modern politics. Frank Underwood, the central character in the House of Cards, makes "the end justifies the means" his rallying call as he manipulates colleagues and legislation in Congress while maneuvering his way to proprietorship of The Oval Office. Only Machiavelli could have come up with a scenario featuring the outrageous activities of Frank and his wife Claire as they ruthlessly maximize their power and squash their enemies. House of Cards is all about the seamy side of politics complete with raw sex, murder and high stakes shenanigans, all a testimony to Machiavelli's words: "Of mankind we may say in general they are fickle, hypocritical and greedy of gain".

A quote from  "The Prince" fits Frank Underwood perfectly: “The lion cannot protect himself from traps, and the fox cannot defend himself from wolves. One must therefore be a fox to recognize traps, and a lion to frighten wolves.” Frank Underwood is an astute politician to be feared and not to be underestimated. One cannot help but wonder how politics bordering on treason can payoff with "the lion" becoming the 46th President of The United States after devouring the incumbent President he served as Vice-President.

The political corruption, misuse of PACs, blatant power of lobbyists, lascivious sex and violence which are the foundation of Frank Underwood's house of cards beg for a third season. There is a weak link waiting to burst and bring down the house. As Machiavelli wrote: “A man who is used to acting in one way never changes; he must come to ruin when the times, in changing, no longer are in harmony with his ways.” Underwood cannot be allowed to survive  - or can he? If Machiavelli could have  anything to say about the script, the house of cards will turn into a fortress.

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