Op-Ed by C J Oakes
When in Rome, Do as the Romans Do
Unrest has been brewing in the United States for some time. Just like in the days of Ancient Rome, the bleedership in America has created a mess. And just as the Romans did, American bleedership as ensured a high degree of entertainments to keep the masses pacified while filling their coffers. And just as the Roman military was overextended beyond the realm, U.S. forces are forced to protect those who can protect themselves. Finally, just as Rome faced serious fiscal deficits because of mismanagement, America is facing national insolvency.
In order to reign in the troubles abroad and further ensure the public that the borders could be managed, Rome built a wall. This wall, known as Hadrian’s Wall, cut off the nothern Saxons from the south of England. It was intended as a buffer to encroachment, but largely failed in that mission. Historians now largely agree that Hadrian’s wall marked the beginning of the end of the Roman Empire.
Today, two days after President-Elect Donald Trump delivered a gracious and presidential acceptance speech, protests have erupted around the nation. However, this was to be expected, though most hoped otherwise.
In reality, protests and possible violence would have been the natural outcome of this presidential campaign regardless of the victor. Why?
Violence in the Streets or the Peaceful Transition of Power?
Hateful speech and violent rhetoric was delivered by both major party candidates. To the one side, the hate speech centered on minorities and others traditionally oppressed by that side. On the other side, the hate speech centered on just how hateful that candidate is, with little regard for reason or research. Thus, the two main candidates vying for power over the United States were setting the pace for what is now happening.
This is because, regardless of who won, each candidate was and remains a leader of those who believed in their candidacy. Although the ideal in America is the peaceful transition of power, that is, the acceptance of loss amid the ideal that we are all one people, this election was so divisive that the rift may not be healed in this case.
It would be easy to blame Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, but that would be simplifying the situation.
Who is to Blame for the Lack of Civility Seen Today, November 10, 2016?
In reality, the blame for that is happening today started decades ago. Much of it stems from the power grab on the part of Richard Nixon. He chose to support racism in order to gain power and ever since, bigotry has become an integral part of his party, the very party that freed the slaves. He did this by cunning and crafty use of the Drug War to incarcerate millions, mostly minorities, essentially turning them back into slaves of the state.
Since that time, America has grown more and more divided. The U.S. Supreme Court has turned both activist and conservative. Rather than uphold the ideals enshrined in the Preamble of the Consitution, the Court has largely upheld the “get tough on crime” approach encouraged by Ronald Reagan in his expansion of the slave-building Drug War. Then, in collusion, Bill Clinton added to the problem with legislation which doubled the prison population in less than a decade.
People are starting to wake up. Good people on both sides of the situation are feeling the oppression of the Drug War and modern slavery. On the liberal side, people are more concerned with their families and friends facing oppression and abuse at the hands of law enforcement. On the conservative side, people are finding that the cost of incarceration is eating at their earnings.
Adding further to the problem is that what once was a war on mainly African American’s is now a class war–those who can afford good legal representation get away with their crimes while those who cannot go to prison. This is leading persons on both sides of the political fence to face the SAME problems with government.
And just as with ancient Rome, the Bleedership in America is using hate speech to further divide the masses when in reality, the masses have more reason than ever before to unite.
Protests Erupt in Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Austin, Portland, Nashville, New York City, DC, and more
Across the nation, protests are taking place as Clinton supporters take to the streets, shouting cries echoed from just four years ago. After the electon of Obama, rather than street protests, the airwaves were filled with conservative voices declaring how cheated they felt. In Texas, more than 25,000 signatures were added to a petition for secession. In several other states, including Louisiana and Oklahoma, similar petitions failed to gather the needed signature for presentation to the President. Not that it mattered, the President would never have granted the requests anyway.
Many reporters now are suggesting that the reason Donald Trump won was because of the anger many feel towards the establishment. That makes sense.
The protests we see today have been coming for decades. Minorities are feeling the brunt of needlessly tough policies and ideals of a perfect nation wherein minorities should ‘know their place.’ Conservatives, led largely by the bigots of the nation, are feeling oppressed by a government seeking to treat “All men [as] equal.”
This is a situation that has arisen as a result of a lack of true leadership. The nearest we had to that in modern America was Reagan, but even he added to the troubles now facing the nation. One cannot help but wonder if this was by design or by ignorance?
Regardless of the answer, should this current unrest settle, there is certainly more to come. Why?
For the answer, read George Washington’s Farewell Address. Yes, we must go that far back to find a real leader, one who was not divisive, but unifying. In his parting message to America, our greatest President and leader warned that a certain course would lead us to exactly where we are. In fact, that theme permeated 2/3 of his address.
The “Why” is the easy question to answer. What to do to turn the tide is the harder. In the short term, the solution lay in the hands of President Obama and We The People. In the long term, it lay in the hands of President-Elect Trump and We The People. Notice the common thread?
Really, folks, it is up to US. For those who won, be happy. For those who lost, remember that in four years you get another chance.
For anyone interested in a long-term solution, we need to apply the lessons George Washington sought to impart. If we do this as a people, regardless of who wins an election, We The People will always prevail.
I will not tell you the answer. If you care about America, you will read President Washington‘s words and let him tell you. He was far wiser than I or most of us will ever be. Trouble is, we have not been listening to him.