The people that once bestowed commands, consulships, legions, and all else, now concerns itself no more, and longs eagerly for just two things – bread and circuses!
– Decimus Iunius Iuvenalis (Juvenal) 55 – 127 AD
Last month when I was looking at the Republican & Democratic conventions I remembered a quote from the ancient Roman satirist Juvenal which is shown above. Juvenal lived in the late first early second century AD. He lamented on the passing of the Roman Republic which had ended a century earlier and was now was becoming a distant memory to Roman Citizens. The Roman constitution was now a footnote in history and the once great Roman Senate which had great representatives such as Cato and Cicero had now become nothing but a figurehead at the mercy of the ever growing power of the emperors.
Juvenal wrote scathing satire on the state of citizenry of the Roman Empire. He realized that they no longer took the duties of citizenship seriously as they did a century ago under the republic. They had become spectators of their country pacified by the Imperial Government. The Emperors largess was doled out to them in the form of free food distribution, chariot races, violent gladiatorial and other contests. He wrote that Roman citizens under the Republic which had: “once bestowed commands, consulships, legions, and all else, now meddle no more and longs eagerly for just two things — bread and circuses.”
The spectacle of the conventions I saw seemed nothing more than long political commercials for both parties. No debate on various issues were even allowed as evidenced by the embarrassing voice vote on supporting Jerusalem as the capital of Israeland including the word God in the DNC party platform. The GOP also did not tolerate deviation from the “Script” of party unity with not allowing Representative Ron Paul’s name into nomination by quickly changing its convention rules at the last minute. Neither convention tackled the great issues of the day.
The Democratic convention did not mention the growing debt bomb which has the real possibility of destroying our children s future. They pandered to the well-publicized
“gender-gap” and assertion of the GOP’s plan for a “war on woman” with a little help with their friends in the main stream media. To the DNC all women want is for the public at large to pay for their birth control and to payroll their killing of their unborn children if they so choose.
The GOP’s message was simple and utterly moronic elect us and we will manage the intrusive Federal Government better than the other party. The Neo-Cons still want to give our borrowed largess to foreign nations who in many cases despise us, and only trim the budget around the edges as not to offend any constituency. The progressive disease that has long affected the Democratic Party has taken route in the GOP under the guise Neo-Conservatism.
Progressives in both parties are cynically counting on citizens being distracted by our modern day “Bread & Circuses”. If we don’t change things soon the “prophecy” contained
in the famous quote attributed to Alexander Fraser Tytler will come true that a republic cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover they can vote themselves largesse out of the public treasury. He then went on to say the majority of the citizens will always vote to themselves more largess out of their treasury. This he wrote leads to an economic crisis then a dictatorship.
Have we as a people become as Juvenal observed of his in the first Century countrymen and lost the ability to govern themselves so distracted by today’s means of mindless self-gratification?
I will not attempt to tell my readership who to vote for in this election. I will only convey my opinion what I intend to do in the voting booth. I pray that Barack Obama will not be re-elected. I believe he is misguided in his socialistic philosophy and I do believe whetherhe admits it or not believes in the constitution he took an oath to protect. He does not believe in its precepts of limited government, states’ rights and sovereignty of the individual. I think his re-election will be disastrous for our republic; I also pray I am incorrect with that accretion.
I also cannot vote for the Republican Candidate Mitt Romney. In his heart I believe he isa progressive neo-conservative. He believes like many in his party he can tame the beast of a “Post Constitutional” Federal Government. I do believe he will do less harm then if our current president is reelected which might buy us some time to wake up as a nation and return to a constitutional government.
I plan to vote for Former New Mexican Governor Gary Johnson the Libertarian Party candidate. He believes in limiting the power of the Federal Government and returning powers usurped back to the states and the people.
Part of my decision my dear readers to vote for Gary Johnson I admit is a cop-out. I realize in my home state of New Jersey current polls show the President ahead by ten points or more over Romney. If the polls were close in my state I would have to reevaluate this decision. A strong Johnson showing in uncontested states might send a message to Mitt Romney if he is victorious and persuade him to follow a more constitutional course in his governance, as for Mr. Obama I have no such hope.
Let us say a prayer that that God will show us the way.
Just my opinion D.B.