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Election Integrity News Blog


Lawyers, the most fundamental defense. Dr. John Eastman explains Shakespeare's: 'The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.'

Updated: May 15

Photo by J.D. Small of J.D. Small Photography,

by Patrice Johnson | May 15, 2024

Last Thursday, Michigan Fair Elections and Stand Up Michigan co-sponsored an event in Lansing, featuring the renowned Attorney John Eastman. The Juris Doctor and Ph.D. has been pilloried for representing a president of the United States. Thank you to the 250-plus patriots who attended. Thank you also to those who would like to view the video of the event here and here.

During his talk Eastman made reference to this quote by a villain, Dick the Butcher, in a Shakespearian play:

The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.

--William Shakespeare, Henry VI, Part II Act IV, Scene II written between 1596 and 1599.

Shakespeare crafted that line about 425 years ago for Dick the Butcher, and the pithy sentence is often used today to disparage the legal profession. But Dick is a bad guy, a junk-yard-dog-vicious murderer. His comment is less joke and more grisly strategy.


Dick and his accomplice, Jack Cade, are planning a coup. In their brutal, aggressive, and anti-intellectual minds, they understand that in order for their coup to succeed, they must eliminate their opponents. To clear the way for their takeover, Dick and Cade kill anyone who can read. They burn every book and document they encounter. They realize they must knee-cap the defenders of justice.

Why? Dick, aptly named the Butcher, understands that the rule of law and its staunch guardians are a weight-bearing pillar to a fair and peaceful society. An ignorant population is easier to control than an educated one where people know their rights.

Shakespeare was representing lawyers as the most fundamental defense against the grossest manifestations of power-hungry overreach wrought by the scum of humanity,” writes the Literary Hub.

Dick and Cade are fictional characters. But Sun Tzu, circa 481 to 221 BC, was real. Not only did the Chinese warrior predate Shakespeare by up to 2,000 years, he documented the deadly reality of the strategy in war. Rule #2 in the Art of War reads,

“Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.”

Mao Zedong turned the Bard’s and Sun Tzu’s words into reality when he ushered in the Chinese communist revolution over a four-year timespan. Between 1945 and 1949, Mao killed, “re-educated,” or sent all the educated intellectuals to labor in the fields. Then for 27 years, Mao continued his crushing reign, creating the new People’s Republic of China and solidifying the Chinese Communist Party’s control of every aspect of society.

During the two-year period between 1960 and 1962, 30 million Chinese starved to death in the largest single famine in recorded human history. The equivalent of all the people in Michigan, multiplied times 3, starved to death, not from droughts or floods or acts of God, but from poor, preventable political decisions.


Today, General Secretary Xi Jinping of the Chinese Communist Party models his Communist regime after Mao.


Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens shared this reading of the Shakespearian line in a 1985 decision:


“As a careful reading of that text will reveal, Shakespeare insightfully realized that disposing of lawyers is a step in the direction of a totalitarian form of government.”



Click here for Gateway Pundit article and transcript of Eastman's speech.


Patrice Johnson, chairs Michigan Fair Elections (MFE) and Pure Integrity Michigan Elections (PIME). A former teacher, Patrice has founded five successful companies and served as senior executive with a Fortune 100 technology company. In 2017, she authored the book, the Fall and Rise of Tyler Johnson, the basis of a PBS documentary film, Finding Tyler. Questions or comments? Contact


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