Sunday, March 06, 2016

Where fools and knaves tread on us - the Presidential election and the fall of the Roman Republic

I'm fascinated with the ancient Roman Republic, particularly the events around its decline and transformation into a centralized empire.  It's the story of a supremely powerful and fabulously wealthy Republic that was torn apart when ambitious men realized that the State had become so powerful that they literally could not afford to lose to their rivals.  We're getting that type of rhetoric and intensity in this year's election for the Presidency, or as I like to call it:  The Eagle Throne.

So let's review the candidates from a Roman perspective. As of today there are four likely candidates for President of the United states.  They are in descending order of age:

A septuagenarian socialist gadfly supported by overpaid government employees with lifetime employment, academics in state subsidized garden spots like Berkeley, Boulder and Ann Arbor and a certain type of white liberal who live in areas of the country little touched by the 'diversity' that they promote for everyone but themselves. He's the Gracchus brothers who to get power promised to loot the state on behalf of their supporters. And to be stopped they had to be killed.

Two elderly centimillionaires who have lived privileged lives of comfort and legal immunity ever since they left Yale Law.  Notoriously, the first time they entered the White House they claimed to be a co-presidency.  This time around it's quite apparent that they must be co-Presidents because the female member of the team is clearly suffering from mental exhaustion and possibly dementia.  Her appearances are described as 'wooden', 'going through the motions' interspersed with 'deranged'. This lack of mental acuity explains why she used a clearly illegal mail server and when questioned argued (after she had to have been carefully briefed by her handlers to the contrary) that the server was 'secure' because the closet she had it in was protected by the Secret Service.  Her Husband, who clearly intends to be the power behind the Eagle Throne in what is increasingly looking like a reprise of late Woodrow Wilson (all they need is a milquetoast Veep to play ball) will enter office having sold upwards of $250 to $500 million of indulgences to the world's most powerful and ugly people. The Clintons enter this phase of the contest knowing they must win because 1. Their investors will not tolerate their failure.  2. They need the politico-legal immunity that being President or likely to be President has bought them what with Hillary's national security crimes and Bill's dalliances on convicted underage sex criminal Jeffery Epstein's Lolita Express. There are simply too many bodies half buried and no one will buy the Chelsea for President gambit.  Their age and long separation from real world accountability will make them a modern day Marius in his dotage: entitled, self indulgent, corrupt and a word: dangerous.

Another rich entitled, elderly charlatan and long time associate and frequent donor to the Clintons whose crude language and anti-immigrant rhetoric obscure his otherwise impeccable Clinton-Crony political credentials. Like the Clintons he's a notorious if much less artful (or perhaps just not protected by a complaisant press) liar, he's done many, many unethical things with many half buried bodies that stink to high heaven.  The Clintons figure that if they can't get in they definitely want their Good Friend Donald to win because they can hold each other hostage with the debris from their decades of immoral and criminal activities. If he gets in he'll play Sulla the thuggish dictator to their dementia and perversion overwhelmed Marius.

A brilliant forty something of Latino heritage who doesn't pander to "La Raza". He has no bodies buried, no scandals and leads an exemplary family life. He is promoting a traditional Reaganite foreign and domestic policy agenda.  He is hated and feared above all the others by the power elite in Washington DC because they know he means it.  He's the spitting image of the self righteous and inflexible Cato the Younger whose highly principled, self righteous and ham handed political machinations led to Julius Caesar's coup and the collapse of the Republic.

All of these candidates are fighting to replace the man who has presided over the longest period of stagnation in American history. His vigorous leadership has achieved the most precipitous declines in liberty, economic competitiveness, labor force participation and now for the first time: life expectancy ever recorded. Author of a string of notoriously corrupt initiatives in healthcare, 'clean' energy, banking and IRS intimidation, he is proudly promoting the results of a 'recovery' that has increased the poverty rate.  This child of privileged African elites and white radicals who got into office by claiming the mantle of African American victimhood is held in contempt by most foreign leaders who recognize that his foreign policy of rewarding our enemies, punishing our friends and otherwise standing paralyzed is the product of his uncomprehending and delusional radical worldview. Who is he in our Roman story? He is the combination of every shallow, vain, incompetent, impotent Consul to sit as magistrate over the Republic in the years of its collapse.

Now if you'll recall your history of the late Roman Republic you'll note that starting with Marius there were repeated bouts of political violence and civil war until some 50 years later an exhausted Rome fell into the arms of Octavian who would become Rome's first Emperor: Caesar Augustus. I get the real feeling that we are in the early stages of a modern version of this tragedy.  Except our weapons can kill by the millions.

This is why I think it rather irrational to support and sustain an immense, continental scale centralized state ruled in effect by a single executive through unfireable lifetime apparatchiks that are largley unconstrained by a squabbling legislature and cowed judiciary.  I am much more comfortable with most power being devolved to the states or the people.  They might do stupid or cruel things but not all at once.  The problem with strong men and women is that they're strong even when they're pandering, demented, corrupt or self righteous.  The Federal Statists have gotten the form of government they've always wanted.  I give them the joy of it.

Now.  For God's sake, will someone please stop them before it's too late.

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