an Observation (2)
Somewhere in his letters to Atticus, Cicero says something to the effect of:
I would rather fight with Pompey, and lose, than see him victorious.
The death of Pompey signaled the end of the optimate cause, and the beginning of Caesar’s supremacy. Had Pompey won, though, the optimate cause, along with the Republic, would still had failed, shuffled away behind the authority of Gnaeus Magnus. As it happened, Cicero accepted the clemency which Cato rejected; Cicero lived to see the death of the Republic, lived to misjudge the young Octavian, lived long enough to be proscribed. Yet even he was ‘an eloquent man, and one who loved his country.’
We know, however, that love is irrational, a survival mechanism perhaps past its prime.
And we know, too, that people do stupid things in the name of love. The love of one’s country is no exception to this rule.