A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet
Panem et Circenses
"In modern usage, the phrase "Bread and Circuses" is taken to describe a populace that no longer values civic virtues and the public life. To many across the political spectrum, left and right, it connotes a supposed triviality and frivolity that characterized the Roman Republic prior to its decline into the autocratic monarchy characteristic of the later Roman Empire's transformation about 44 B.C."
"Roman politicians devised a plan in 140 B.C.E. to win the votes of these new citizens: giving out cheap food and entertainment, "bread and circuses", would be the most effective way to rise to power." SOURCE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bread_and_circuses
If the above strikes you as being frighteningly like America today, in my opinion, you would be correct to be concerned and yes, even frightened.
How else does one explain the Obama Administration's exponential increase in welfare and food stamp rolls in America. How else does one explain the sudden presidential executive order awarding certain illegal aliens the right to remain in the US and even provides a pathway to citizenship.
This is NOT NEW! It's bread and circuses. Obama ain't from Rome but he sure as heck IS from Chicago (or, at least, he SAYS he is!) and -- all things considered -- the pols from Chicago could teach the ancient Roman pols a thing or two about manipulating the voters to win an election or to stay in office -- once they secure it in the first place. The Romans were no slackers when it came to stealing elections.
I have often thought that America in decline parallels ancient Rome in decline.
It is striking, at least to me, how accurate those in politics are who assess the electorate's intellect. It infuriates me that the political left, especially, tends to see the ENTIRE electorate as dumb and stupid, wandering mindlessly, and just waiting to be told what to do.
Then, we have a couple of elections, as in 2008 and again in 2010, and the results prove the left was absolutely correct in that assessment!
The democrats played the American electorate in 2008 and 2010, as if it were a Stradivarius. And they are still trying to do it. But now -- the violin is out of tune.
One of the advantages, or disadvantages, of a long life is that one lives long enough to see history repeat itself -- over and over and over again. Sometimes ad nauseum. It never fails to surprise and disgust me at how easily fooled the general public is when politicians run a con game on the electorate with great success time and again.
See -- nothing much changes in politics. Names, faces, dates change -- but the tried and true tactics never change -- because the American voter is basically dumb as as a fence post insofar as knowing how our republic is SUPPOSED to work.
Explaining that the US has a constitution is, for them, some sort of ethereal concept that has no equal in their consciousness. Oh, they've heard about it, seen snapshots of the parchment page on TV, heard quotes from it, but -- they've never actually read it. And they, sure as heck, have never studied it.
Dear reader, in a constitutional republic, such as America, that is a death wish! And America has just the people currently in charge of the government to insure a very nice funeral for a free America.
Four and a half years into Obama's administration of the country and Americans of all political leanings are learning that the constitution is an afterthought for Obama, a speed bump, a temporary impediment to be overcome with whatever means necessary.
If you like Obama's governing by fiat, or executive order, then you should be happy with the cloudburst of decrees from the man who would be king of America.
See -- the left not only THINKS you're dumb -- they KNOW you are dumb, and they KNOW, beyond doubt, that THEY are far superior to you in intellect and, by some celestial right, it is THEY who should be caring for you, as one would a simple-minded child. For the political left THAT is the NATURAL ORDER OF THINGS. They believe that Providence would have commanded it so, had God had all the facts. (Yeah. There are a few on the left who actually believe in the existence of a god.... gender neutral, of course.)
So far as the bread and circuses for America is concerned, my deepest concern is that it is working. Obama gives them "free stuff" like welfare, or food stamps, and a free phone. Like the free cheese giveaway with people lining up down, and around, city blocks to get a hand-out of a huge block of cheese -- I am sorely afraid the beneficiaries of the bread and circuses actually believe, like the cheese, that it is free. And the few who DO understand that you and I (the taxpayers) are paying for all that "free" government largesse don't give a damn. The left is counting on that.
The taxpayers of the United States paid for that "FREE" cheese. EVERYONE will have to pay for the "free" bread and circuses. The currency to be used in this exchange is freedom. Just freedom. That's all.
In the end, bread and circuses did not save Rome -- and it will not save the United States. It will, however, hasten our demise. Just as the Roman Empire eventually broke up into numerous countries, the United States will certainly do the same.
If you are sick and tired of being played for a fool then you have roughly sixteen months to pay attention to both sides of the argument and decide which side is playing to the lowest common denominator amongst us and which side actually thinks you are not a simpleton and that you have the ability to think for yourself.
Mr. Obama has already told you that you had nothing to do with making this country great. Government did it -- not you. He made a mistake. He accidentally revealed what he and the left actually believe.
The bells tolling America's death knell are growing louder. Many are now of the opinion that is too late to rescue and restore America to her once great glory.
There is an old expression that says: "It must be dark before you can see the stars." Well, it IS dark in America and yes, we CAN see the stars of freedom and liberty piercing the shadows cast by socialism and Marxism. If America resets her compass, takes a new bearing, and maintains her heading toward those stars, we will find our way through this present darkness into a new day with all the promise afforded us by all the Americans who went before us and dared to build that "Shining City on a Hill."
These do not have to be America's last days. But they WILL be if we don't rescue her from the hands of those who have stated their intentions of "fundamentally changing" her into something she was never, ever, supposed to be.
© J. D. Longstreet