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The Pretense of a Republic

In reading of ancient Rome, I find the shared reign of Diocletian and Maximian which brought transformative change to the traditions of Roman government.

The passage transcribed below struck me as pertinent upon reading it last night, but doubly so now that the latest outrage against the Constitution and the rule of law has been revealed. I speak of the purported attempt by our princeps magnificus to defy decisions in Congress, the Supreme Court and the Federal Elections Commission. So far, the outrage is only known through a leaked draft of an executive order. Said EO is making the rounds of bureaucrats and, according to Labor Union Report, is also being vetted for its ability to withstand legal challenge.

Do you wonder, as I do, why this White House would bother to check the legality of this Order? Why would they, when this White House and this Department of Justice, under the sagacious and virtuous leadership of Eric Holder, have blatantly defied the court ruling on lifting the drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico? Not to mention the legal protections AG Holder steadfastly championed in the Philadelphia voter intimidation case (not). But examples of Holder’s perfidy are legion.

It seems our princeps magnificus has a disdain for the First Amendment to the Constitution. You know, the very first amendment listed among those ten amendments—the ones known as the Bill of Rights–which are revered and enshrined in the United States Constitution? Indeed, princeps magnificus is living up to Kenny’s correct assessment of him as our Dictator in Training Pants â„¢.

In short the princeps-Dictator-slash-magnificus-Training Pants intends to force the officers and directors of government contractors at the federal level, to disclose their political contributions. If you thought that the defeat of the DISCLOSE Act meant it had gone to the dustbin of history, well, guess again. Details are given of this extra-constitutional power grab here, and here, where the full draft of the EO is included.

Pretense of a republic – sound familiar? It does if you’re a political junkie. And if you read history, even at the dilletante level like I do, the parallels between the here and now and the long ago are gob-smackingly stark. I know you, dear readers, will make your own value judgments and draw your own comparisons, so I will refrain from adding my own to this transcript from The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. I, other than a few clarifying remarks. If you are rushed and/or already familiar with the history, just read the bolded portions.

Or, you could just skip the reading altogether and start researching the location of the next meeting of your local Republican Party. Some places you can visit to learn important facts and how-to are here, here and here.

Now on to the original inspiration for this dispatch.

Conscript Fathers of the Roman senate are stuck in the past, and cling to their power and prerogatives:

The dislike expressed by Diocletian towards Rome and Roman freedom was not the effect of momentary caprice, but the result of the most artful policy. The crafty prince had framed a new system of Imperial government, which was afterwards completed by the family of Constantine; and as the image of the old constitution was religiously preserved in the senate, he resolved to deprive [the senate] of its small remains of power and consideration. We may recollect, about eight years before the elevation of Diocletian, the transient greatness and the ambitious hopes of the Roman senate. As long as that enthusiasm prevailed, many of the nobles imprudently displayed their zeal in the cause of freedom; and after the successors of Probus had withdrawn their countenance from the republican party, the senators were unable to disguise their impotent resentment.

The description of the (most likely violent) means through which Diocletian, through his fiercer co-emperor, Maximian, put the kibosh on these senatorial pretensions to legislative power, is here deleted. Use your imagination, in other words.

Diocletian, like his predecessor Augustus, talked like a Republican but ruled like an Obama.

But the most fatal though secret wound which the senate received from the hands of Diocletian and Maximian was inflicted by the inevitable operation of their absence [from the capitol, Rome]. As long as the emperors resided at Rome, that assembly might be oppressed, but it could scarcely be neglected. The successors of Augustus exercised the power of dictating whatever laws their wisdom or caprice might suggest; but those laws were ratified by the sanction of the senate. The model of ancient freedom was preserved in its deliberations and decrees; and wise princes, who respected the prejudices of the Roman people, were in some measure obliged to assume the language and behaviour suitable to the general [of the armies of the republic] and first magistrate [supreme executive, priest, lawgiver and judge]. In the armies and in the provinces they displayed the dignity of monarchs; and when they fixed their residence at a distance from the capitol, they forever laid aside the dissimulation which Augustus had recommended to his successors.

[Caesar Augustus, the first emperor of the Roman Empire, restored the surface forms of the Roman Republic but, in actuality, retained autocratic power.]

In the exercise of the legislative as well as the executive power, the sovereign advised with his ministers, instead of consulting the great council of the nation. The name of the senate was mentioned with honour till the last period of the empire; the vanity of its members was still flattered with honorary distinctions; but the assembly which had so long been the source, and so long the instrument of power, was respectfully suffered to sink into oblivion. The senate of Rome, losing all connection with the Imperial court, and the actual constitution, was left a venerable but useless monument of antiquity on the Capitoline hill.

[Insert appropriate redacted Latin phrase here.]

In the era of deem and pass, rule by czar, bureaucratic fiat, and one executive edict after another, it behooves us to beware not only the Ides of March, but the march of socialism/Marxism/collectivism that is stealing the future from our children and grandchildren. I don’t think we will make it to the next phase—that where the degradation is so complete that we no longer read, no longer know God, and are no longer American in any recognizable sense. Such is my faith.

For further inspiration and the best way to survive going forward, read this kind lady’s experiences, and take her heartfelt advice. Get into the real ballgame of politics, as Cold Warrior says.

redneck hippie
Kansas native, reformed treehugger. Restore the republic, revive traditional America. Redneck hippie. Blogger since 2007--Accept no substitutes. twitter: @redneckhip

24 COMMENTS

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24 COMMENTS

  1. The parallels are unmistakable, RH, still no one in power will allow themselves to believe it. Keep on this track, and compile a continuing narrative, just for “I told you so” purposes, if no other. The evidence is mounting.

    What is less written in Gibbon because so little of it was recorded is how easy the Roman people moved right on over into even a deeper tyranny.

    This is the modern history we will have to write, that we will not go out with a whimper

    • My hero, Mark Levin, has been stating we have already passed the “soft tyranny” marker. Now that we are here, the coming attractions don’t look too promising. Not sure about a series, Vassar, but since I’m only about 1/10th through the history, there may be further ruminations. One thing I feel confident of, is that our military will not be corrupted as the legions were, repeal of DADT and the machinations of Holder notwithstanding.

      • RH liked the piece but….

        I disagree about the military. In fact I think DADT, with its accompanying sensitivity training, is meant to drive out the best and true patriots.
        The military is increasingly becoming a social program. A cheap quick way to get a degree or daycare or a quick retirement.

        Add in endless foreign wars with no clear national interest and see how many patriots simply don’t stop by the recruiting office.

        First, I want to be clear I am not denigrating any of the folks serving currently. I know many active duty and activated Guardsmen and think the world of them. I also know from them that morale is low in large part because they don’t believe in the mission or find it to be incomprehensible. Believe the contrary rah rah MSM/Obama polling if you like. Believe the polling among members that showed support for the repeal of DADT in all but the Marines, if you want. I have not met a single soldier who supports DADT.

        One of the problems we have as Americans is being blinded by a pride in the accomplishments of our forefathers.

        We, our generation(s), have accomplished little but we think the heavy lifting done by our forefathers has somehow made us immune to the lessons of history.

        150 years ago the teaching profession was by and large made up of folks earning little but dedicated servants of parents and students. But the social engineers went to work and within a few short generations we have arrived at a time when the average teacher supports the union leadership (they vote for them) which means education is the last thing on their minds. Instead it is, “What benefits can I get? How can I profit from this?” And, (ab)using the students as political props, when not destroying their minds or perhaps as a part of that process, as we saw in WI and whenever they want a raise or an added break time in their contract.

        h/t VB for highlighting Rand’s “The Comprachicos.”

        Can’t happen in the military? When we already have political generals implementing political goals like DADT, politically correct RoE’s and even sending soldiers into dangerous situations without ammo? Patriotism is one thing but who will join when the military becomes all about what I get from it instead of what I put into it? When doing good things, like Allen West, means getting drummed out? I don’t think it will mean a shortage of recruits just of MEN. Men of patriotism, men of God, men who are defending their family back home. Instead it will become a benefits program with the recipients smart enough to know who butters their bread. Even welfare recipients are that smart.

        Do we think Roman soldiers didn’t have patriotism, love of God(s) or love of family?

        If the Roman Army was corruptible why not our military?
        The US Military is an institution that houses a body of people. Right now that body is by and large the salt of the earth. But the enemy isn’t stupid. If you can’t corrupt the people, you get different people. DADT and other policies are designed to change the membership, to make corruptible at some future date what they have thus far been unable to corrupt.

        • Rogue, I find nothing in this on which I can disagree. We may differ on the surrounding circumstances and the pace of the dilution that will occur if we don’t get hold of the rot. Some of these things are reversible with the right CinC, I think.

          The Roman model is the extreme example of money and power corrupting absolutely. Our Constitution put in safeguards by requiring civilian control. I see the civilian that is in control as a major driver of the loss of morale and effective leadership .We do see a downward spiral in the uses and the manner in which the troops are being put in harms way. The problem did not start with Obama or Bush.

          I will just add here that the troops are an elite subsection of American society. It is reported in multiple venues

          As one Army official put it, “only 25 percent of the American population is qualified to serve in the Army, and out of those it’s an even higher cut to be an intelligence analyst.”

          in reference to the Manning Wikileaks fiasco.

          So, considering that 75% of our young people do not pass muster to enter the armed services, what happens when that 25% who do are no longer motivated. There is the rub.

          Thanks for your points and for making me take off my rose-colored glasses.

          • You make a good point. If only 25% qualify then what should be a warning sign to us all is any relaxing of “standards” that broadens the field of potential recruits. Particularly in areas that lower the quality of personnel.
            Things like lowering fitness standards,
            offering explicitly citizenship-for-service (i don’t necessarily oppose this but imagine an army of largely third world immigrants with little or no understanding of our system of government in the hands of a would be dictator),
            forgiveness of a broader range of criminal convictions,
            setting aside negative psychological profiles, etc.

  2. red, I haven’t had a chance to read Gibbons, but very much appreciate your pointing out the similarities. Downright scary. Something else to throw into the mix as regards these parallel paths; Rome also began to suffer from the effects of low birth rates, to the extreme that the government was paying women to have children. Their affluence and casual lifestyle seemed to have taken a toll on the concept of family and the more important aspects of life. I see the same thing happening in today’s western societies. American isn’t far behind…

    Great research and writing, red.

    • Gibbons is a long slog, but it refreshes me and enables me to read the day-to-day horrors on Drudge. From the historical perspective, all of these disruptions and shocks become mere symptoms of the underlying fact that America is in decline.

      The only question is what are we going to do about it.

        • Glad you like it, nessa. Your knowledge of history never ceases to amaze me. As far as Spartacus, if we get one, he’ll no doubt be wearing a green eyeshade and swinging a hatchet at the entitlements. We’d be much better off if our chains weren’t made of velvet; or, in the case of our debt crisis, of yellow bellies.

  3. I pray we are not “doomed to repeat” this history, and most days I remain hopeful…then something happens like the Standard and Poles annoncement and I find myself having to stifle the almost uncontrollable urge to grab people who are talking about “American Idol” (or “American Idle”, as we term it at my house) by the shoulders and shake them til their teeth rattle, while shouting, “Can’t you SEE what’s happening!?”

    And yet,on Facebook just the other night a friend of mine posted, apropos of nothing in particular, “Does it feel to anybody else like we are living through the final days of Rome?” And I realize that some folks are paying attention.

    This is good stuff, Red. Keep it up. If folks don’t read for themselves, you can read for them and point out what they are missing. And it is much more likely to be positively received than shoulder-shaking. 🙂

      • Thanks, Kimberly. I appreciate your encouragement. I linked to your grassroots dispatch. Also, I didn’t know if you had seen it, but it also resides in the “precinct activism” category. That way people can still find it once it scrolls off the page. Keep up the good activism and the writing, too. You and the other citizen volunteers are making a real difference.

  4. You know, this is the best discussion I’ve seen at UP so far, or for that matter, over at girl’s town, I haven’t seen a drop of egoism projected yet. I’m in Kimberly’s camp about the likelihood of repeating Rome, mainly because the Founders knew these same lessons as well. This is why they came up with a bicameral legislature, daring and unique to say the least. Also, messy.

    Secondly, to contradict a minor point of Rogues, about DADT diluting the military being able to recruit the most patriotic of Americans, I think the military is the font of patriotic training in the US today, more than public schools and universities, or culture.

    In time, as in Rome, they can betray that legacy, but so far I don’t think so. Both Clinton and Obama have tried to load the military with toadies, but from LTC on down, I think they are still the professional corps of patriotism in America.

    The military is still the joker in Obama’s deck, and the ace in ours.

    • “I think the military is the font of patriotic training in the US today, more than public schools and universities, or culture.”
      Agreed on this point.

      But I think to get them in the door there has to be a spark. That spark can be a military family, a parade or a 9/11. The military can then take that spark and make a flame. I would even agree that more than one person has signed up for the college money and been converted/educated while in service.
      But generally, no spark, no flame.

      If patriots, the ones who don’t need a parade to make them enlist, begin to see the US Military as something other than a satisfactory way to sacrificially serve their country, their percentage of in-uniform numbers will decline. As that happens a tipping point will be reached where the patriots are outnumbered by the social program participants.

      Look at the Poison Ivy League schools, Harvard, Princeton, Yale or Penn State, all started as Godly institutions with a Godly mission. One day they looked around and realized the majority of their tenured professors were not godly men, and neither were they anymore Godly institutions. Most are embarrassed of their roots.

      I am not saying it has to go that way with the military just that there is nothing about America that is so unique that it can’t happen. And worse, current signs are pointing to just that end. The trend line is all wrong.

      Who appoints the command structure at West Point, Annapolis or Colorado Springs? The Clinton, Obama toadies or the LTC on down?

      You wouldn’t happen to be going to DC on Monday are you?

      • Poison ivy schools, LOL, brilliant! Never heard that one before.

        I now know why super rich DC connected elites are allowed to leach off the left’s policies, to concentrate wealth. A few will be easy to control when the time comes. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

        • Yes, a few are easier to control or organize. A command and control economy cannot function without a command structure. We are building that command structure. Of course a C&C economy cannot out perform a free economy but the control factor is their overarching requirement.

          In a similar vein, Pilgrim has writing extensively on expanding the numbers in the US House. Currently set by law at 435 it could be constitutionally expanded to about 8000. A chaotic rabble? Yes. But an uncontrollable chaotic rabble that would be elected by groups of people small enough to actually know their congressman.
          He sold me.

          On the Poison Ivy topic I think we have reached a point where we need to consider the possibility that anybody graduating from these little socialist madrassas is UNFIT for public office.

    • The important thing to me is the need to see that the cream continues to rise to the top, both politically and militarily. America needs these best and brightest heroes, and it behooves us to work like the dickens to ensure that we perpetuate a home culture they can be proud of when they come back.

      And in the political realm, we must get involved so that people don’t lose hope that their efforts make a difference.

      I am an optimist, too, but the symptoms of decay are everywhere. I am most moved, like you, when there is talk of the big picture–the success or failure of the American experiment. Now many or most are aware that the fight isn’t about agencies, programs, taxing, spending and borrowing. It is about the scope and role of government in our lives. Will we continue to be a Christian nation and a melting pot that accepts all religions, or will racial intolerance and religious fanatacism tear our fabric asunder. Will small minds and greedy poseurs take all away that has been purchased so dearly. Do we have the heart for the fight, and can our institutions weather what is coming toward us at breakneck speed.

      I reach for the brakes and the Bible both at the same time because I feel events are moving out of control. But yeah, the military are one of the bright spots that I see. I would never compare what is going on now with the Roman model. If I were to do that, Obama would have been detritus a couple of years ago. Strange what a couple of millenium will do to civilize the process of a change in power.

        • Your comments about lowering standards are realistic. Forgive the lefty source, but I had heard elsewhere that due to the lessening of recruits, the lowering had started.

          How did the Islamist extremist psychiatrist get by with clearly being a nut roll. But especially,

          offering explicitly citizenship-for-service (i don’t necessarily oppose this but imagine an army of largely third world immigrants with little or no understanding of our system of government in the hands of a would be dictator),

          is right out of Gibbons. The Roman armies became so spoiled and effete that it necessitated the hiring of the cream of the barbarian hordes as mercenaries. But again, if we get the wackos away from the reigns of power, this too, shall pass. I’d venture to say that enlisting a small number of illegals is not harmful. But as we know, the autocracy cannot perpetuate itself without mass importation of the poor and ignorant. What better way to avoid having to reinstitute the draft than by bribing foreigners with citizenship to get them to join the Libyan beatdown.

          • I think 2%, 3% maybe 5% of the armed forces recruits being in the citizenship for service category would be fine if scattered throughout the various divisions and services. But 10% or 20% of such concentrated in only a few divisions would become rather ominous.

            On your other point, unfortunately the wackos cannot long be removed from the vicinity of power. They are drawn as a moth to flame but it is we who get burned.

            Better Jefferson’s admonition regarding “bind them down with the chains of the constitution.”

            Currently the constitution, as amended, has proven inadequate to the task.

    • It’s online as part of the Gutenberg project in Googlebooks. You can search the document with the online tools, but you can’t copy/paste. So enterprising spirits who wish to compare contrast one of the tyrants’ overreach with Bambi’s stylings, can use this ever-applicable resource.

      We don’t have the luxury to sit by as our society crumbles to the sound of rap and attacks on the innocent and unborn. Remember those shows, “scared straight?” Hopefully we are all scared enough that we will collectively get busy and organize in the real ballgame, and work within the GOP in greater numbers than ever before..

  5. Wow, great discussion. I continue to be impressed by the level of knowledge here, especially history. Something I pretty much discounted as water under the bridge in my youth. Whooops. I somehow had the scales fall from my eyes during life’s experience and real world lessons to arrive at a similar place though.

    Here’s to doing what we can to not have to reinvent the wheel and relearn history’s lessons for the umpteenth time.

  1. The parallels are unmistakable, RH, still no one in power will allow themselves to believe it. Keep on this track, and compile a continuing narrative, just for “I told you so” purposes, if no other. The evidence is mounting.

    What is less written in Gibbon because so little of it was recorded is how easy the Roman people moved right on over into even a deeper tyranny.

    This is the modern history we will have to write, that we will not go out with a whimper

    • My hero, Mark Levin, has been stating we have already passed the “soft tyranny” marker. Now that we are here, the coming attractions don’t look too promising. Not sure about a series, Vassar, but since I’m only about 1/10th through the history, there may be further ruminations. One thing I feel confident of, is that our military will not be corrupted as the legions were, repeal of DADT and the machinations of Holder notwithstanding.

      • RH liked the piece but….

        I disagree about the military. In fact I think DADT, with its accompanying sensitivity training, is meant to drive out the best and true patriots.
        The military is increasingly becoming a social program. A cheap quick way to get a degree or daycare or a quick retirement.

        Add in endless foreign wars with no clear national interest and see how many patriots simply don’t stop by the recruiting office.

        First, I want to be clear I am not denigrating any of the folks serving currently. I know many active duty and activated Guardsmen and think the world of them. I also know from them that morale is low in large part because they don’t believe in the mission or find it to be incomprehensible. Believe the contrary rah rah MSM/Obama polling if you like. Believe the polling among members that showed support for the repeal of DADT in all but the Marines, if you want. I have not met a single soldier who supports DADT.

        One of the problems we have as Americans is being blinded by a pride in the accomplishments of our forefathers.

        We, our generation(s), have accomplished little but we think the heavy lifting done by our forefathers has somehow made us immune to the lessons of history.

        150 years ago the teaching profession was by and large made up of folks earning little but dedicated servants of parents and students. But the social engineers went to work and within a few short generations we have arrived at a time when the average teacher supports the union leadership (they vote for them) which means education is the last thing on their minds. Instead it is, “What benefits can I get? How can I profit from this?” And, (ab)using the students as political props, when not destroying their minds or perhaps as a part of that process, as we saw in WI and whenever they want a raise or an added break time in their contract.

        h/t VB for highlighting Rand’s “The Comprachicos.”

        Can’t happen in the military? When we already have political generals implementing political goals like DADT, politically correct RoE’s and even sending soldiers into dangerous situations without ammo? Patriotism is one thing but who will join when the military becomes all about what I get from it instead of what I put into it? When doing good things, like Allen West, means getting drummed out? I don’t think it will mean a shortage of recruits just of MEN. Men of patriotism, men of God, men who are defending their family back home. Instead it will become a benefits program with the recipients smart enough to know who butters their bread. Even welfare recipients are that smart.

        Do we think Roman soldiers didn’t have patriotism, love of God(s) or love of family?

        If the Roman Army was corruptible why not our military?
        The US Military is an institution that houses a body of people. Right now that body is by and large the salt of the earth. But the enemy isn’t stupid. If you can’t corrupt the people, you get different people. DADT and other policies are designed to change the membership, to make corruptible at some future date what they have thus far been unable to corrupt.

        • Rogue, I find nothing in this on which I can disagree. We may differ on the surrounding circumstances and the pace of the dilution that will occur if we don’t get hold of the rot. Some of these things are reversible with the right CinC, I think.

          The Roman model is the extreme example of money and power corrupting absolutely. Our Constitution put in safeguards by requiring civilian control. I see the civilian that is in control as a major driver of the loss of morale and effective leadership .We do see a downward spiral in the uses and the manner in which the troops are being put in harms way. The problem did not start with Obama or Bush.

          I will just add here that the troops are an elite subsection of American society. It is reported in multiple venues

          As one Army official put it, “only 25 percent of the American population is qualified to serve in the Army, and out of those it’s an even higher cut to be an intelligence analyst.”

          in reference to the Manning Wikileaks fiasco.

          So, considering that 75% of our young people do not pass muster to enter the armed services, what happens when that 25% who do are no longer motivated. There is the rub.

          Thanks for your points and for making me take off my rose-colored glasses.

          • You make a good point. If only 25% qualify then what should be a warning sign to us all is any relaxing of “standards” that broadens the field of potential recruits. Particularly in areas that lower the quality of personnel.
            Things like lowering fitness standards,
            offering explicitly citizenship-for-service (i don’t necessarily oppose this but imagine an army of largely third world immigrants with little or no understanding of our system of government in the hands of a would be dictator),
            forgiveness of a broader range of criminal convictions,
            setting aside negative psychological profiles, etc.

  2. red, I haven’t had a chance to read Gibbons, but very much appreciate your pointing out the similarities. Downright scary. Something else to throw into the mix as regards these parallel paths; Rome also began to suffer from the effects of low birth rates, to the extreme that the government was paying women to have children. Their affluence and casual lifestyle seemed to have taken a toll on the concept of family and the more important aspects of life. I see the same thing happening in today’s western societies. American isn’t far behind…

    Great research and writing, red.

    • Gibbons is a long slog, but it refreshes me and enables me to read the day-to-day horrors on Drudge. From the historical perspective, all of these disruptions and shocks become mere symptoms of the underlying fact that America is in decline.

      The only question is what are we going to do about it.

        • Glad you like it, nessa. Your knowledge of history never ceases to amaze me. As far as Spartacus, if we get one, he’ll no doubt be wearing a green eyeshade and swinging a hatchet at the entitlements. We’d be much better off if our chains weren’t made of velvet; or, in the case of our debt crisis, of yellow bellies.

  3. I pray we are not “doomed to repeat” this history, and most days I remain hopeful…then something happens like the Standard and Poles annoncement and I find myself having to stifle the almost uncontrollable urge to grab people who are talking about “American Idol” (or “American Idle”, as we term it at my house) by the shoulders and shake them til their teeth rattle, while shouting, “Can’t you SEE what’s happening!?”

    And yet,on Facebook just the other night a friend of mine posted, apropos of nothing in particular, “Does it feel to anybody else like we are living through the final days of Rome?” And I realize that some folks are paying attention.

    This is good stuff, Red. Keep it up. If folks don’t read for themselves, you can read for them and point out what they are missing. And it is much more likely to be positively received than shoulder-shaking. 🙂

      • Thanks, Kimberly. I appreciate your encouragement. I linked to your grassroots dispatch. Also, I didn’t know if you had seen it, but it also resides in the “precinct activism” category. That way people can still find it once it scrolls off the page. Keep up the good activism and the writing, too. You and the other citizen volunteers are making a real difference.

  4. You know, this is the best discussion I’ve seen at UP so far, or for that matter, over at girl’s town, I haven’t seen a drop of egoism projected yet. I’m in Kimberly’s camp about the likelihood of repeating Rome, mainly because the Founders knew these same lessons as well. This is why they came up with a bicameral legislature, daring and unique to say the least. Also, messy.

    Secondly, to contradict a minor point of Rogues, about DADT diluting the military being able to recruit the most patriotic of Americans, I think the military is the font of patriotic training in the US today, more than public schools and universities, or culture.

    In time, as in Rome, they can betray that legacy, but so far I don’t think so. Both Clinton and Obama have tried to load the military with toadies, but from LTC on down, I think they are still the professional corps of patriotism in America.

    The military is still the joker in Obama’s deck, and the ace in ours.

    • “I think the military is the font of patriotic training in the US today, more than public schools and universities, or culture.”
      Agreed on this point.

      But I think to get them in the door there has to be a spark. That spark can be a military family, a parade or a 9/11. The military can then take that spark and make a flame. I would even agree that more than one person has signed up for the college money and been converted/educated while in service.
      But generally, no spark, no flame.

      If patriots, the ones who don’t need a parade to make them enlist, begin to see the US Military as something other than a satisfactory way to sacrificially serve their country, their percentage of in-uniform numbers will decline. As that happens a tipping point will be reached where the patriots are outnumbered by the social program participants.

      Look at the Poison Ivy League schools, Harvard, Princeton, Yale or Penn State, all started as Godly institutions with a Godly mission. One day they looked around and realized the majority of their tenured professors were not godly men, and neither were they anymore Godly institutions. Most are embarrassed of their roots.

      I am not saying it has to go that way with the military just that there is nothing about America that is so unique that it can’t happen. And worse, current signs are pointing to just that end. The trend line is all wrong.

      Who appoints the command structure at West Point, Annapolis or Colorado Springs? The Clinton, Obama toadies or the LTC on down?

      You wouldn’t happen to be going to DC on Monday are you?

      • Poison ivy schools, LOL, brilliant! Never heard that one before.

        I now know why super rich DC connected elites are allowed to leach off the left’s policies, to concentrate wealth. A few will be easy to control when the time comes. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

        • Yes, a few are easier to control or organize. A command and control economy cannot function without a command structure. We are building that command structure. Of course a C&C economy cannot out perform a free economy but the control factor is their overarching requirement.

          In a similar vein, Pilgrim has writing extensively on expanding the numbers in the US House. Currently set by law at 435 it could be constitutionally expanded to about 8000. A chaotic rabble? Yes. But an uncontrollable chaotic rabble that would be elected by groups of people small enough to actually know their congressman.
          He sold me.

          On the Poison Ivy topic I think we have reached a point where we need to consider the possibility that anybody graduating from these little socialist madrassas is UNFIT for public office.

    • The important thing to me is the need to see that the cream continues to rise to the top, both politically and militarily. America needs these best and brightest heroes, and it behooves us to work like the dickens to ensure that we perpetuate a home culture they can be proud of when they come back.

      And in the political realm, we must get involved so that people don’t lose hope that their efforts make a difference.

      I am an optimist, too, but the symptoms of decay are everywhere. I am most moved, like you, when there is talk of the big picture–the success or failure of the American experiment. Now many or most are aware that the fight isn’t about agencies, programs, taxing, spending and borrowing. It is about the scope and role of government in our lives. Will we continue to be a Christian nation and a melting pot that accepts all religions, or will racial intolerance and religious fanatacism tear our fabric asunder. Will small minds and greedy poseurs take all away that has been purchased so dearly. Do we have the heart for the fight, and can our institutions weather what is coming toward us at breakneck speed.

      I reach for the brakes and the Bible both at the same time because I feel events are moving out of control. But yeah, the military are one of the bright spots that I see. I would never compare what is going on now with the Roman model. If I were to do that, Obama would have been detritus a couple of years ago. Strange what a couple of millenium will do to civilize the process of a change in power.

        • Your comments about lowering standards are realistic. Forgive the lefty source, but I had heard elsewhere that due to the lessening of recruits, the lowering had started.

          How did the Islamist extremist psychiatrist get by with clearly being a nut roll. But especially,

          offering explicitly citizenship-for-service (i don’t necessarily oppose this but imagine an army of largely third world immigrants with little or no understanding of our system of government in the hands of a would be dictator),

          is right out of Gibbons. The Roman armies became so spoiled and effete that it necessitated the hiring of the cream of the barbarian hordes as mercenaries. But again, if we get the wackos away from the reigns of power, this too, shall pass. I’d venture to say that enlisting a small number of illegals is not harmful. But as we know, the autocracy cannot perpetuate itself without mass importation of the poor and ignorant. What better way to avoid having to reinstitute the draft than by bribing foreigners with citizenship to get them to join the Libyan beatdown.

          • I think 2%, 3% maybe 5% of the armed forces recruits being in the citizenship for service category would be fine if scattered throughout the various divisions and services. But 10% or 20% of such concentrated in only a few divisions would become rather ominous.

            On your other point, unfortunately the wackos cannot long be removed from the vicinity of power. They are drawn as a moth to flame but it is we who get burned.

            Better Jefferson’s admonition regarding “bind them down with the chains of the constitution.”

            Currently the constitution, as amended, has proven inadequate to the task.

    • It’s online as part of the Gutenberg project in Googlebooks. You can search the document with the online tools, but you can’t copy/paste. So enterprising spirits who wish to compare contrast one of the tyrants’ overreach with Bambi’s stylings, can use this ever-applicable resource.

      We don’t have the luxury to sit by as our society crumbles to the sound of rap and attacks on the innocent and unborn. Remember those shows, “scared straight?” Hopefully we are all scared enough that we will collectively get busy and organize in the real ballgame, and work within the GOP in greater numbers than ever before..

  5. Wow, great discussion. I continue to be impressed by the level of knowledge here, especially history. Something I pretty much discounted as water under the bridge in my youth. Whooops. I somehow had the scales fall from my eyes during life’s experience and real world lessons to arrive at a similar place though.

    Here’s to doing what we can to not have to reinvent the wheel and relearn history’s lessons for the umpteenth time.

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