Channeling Nero

Posted: July 29, 2011 in Communications, Freedom, Media, Oppression, Politics, Quotations, Rants, Tyranny
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One of the great myths of Roman times is the one that claims Nero fiddled while Rome was burning. The Great Fire of Rome occurred in 64 A.D., the tenth year of Nero’s reign, and many historians believe that Nero started the conflagration because he wanted more land for a new palace. Nero ascended to the throne when he was seventeen, and in many respects was a hedonistic tyrant who took great pleasure in torturing Christians for sport. It seems to me that, in many respects, our career politicians in the United States are channeling Nero. They have adopted many of his imperial attitudes while claiming to represent the people.

 

Nero’s insatiable appetite for constructing grand buildings as monuments to his greatness can be seen as a parallel to our present day imperial politicians. Every state capitol and our nation’s capitol seem to be swarming with cranes, concrete trucks and other evidences of the building trades. These new edifices are often named for recent stars on the political stage that become immortalized even when their careers may not warrant acclaim. The building frenzy represents more than merely recognizing colleagues. It is an unmistakable symbol of the growing power and influence of the government. Just like Nero our political elites erect buildings to house the too-powerful bureaucracy and to memorialize their over-rated lives.

 

The hostility that our governments at all levels often exhibit against the Christian faith can be considered a mild version of Nero’s barbarism. The legislative bodies and the courts are particularly aggressive in their attempts to limit overt Christian expression from the public square. While they couch their pronouncements in language that speaks of neutrality and openness, the actual implementation of the ordinances, laws and rulings overwhelmingly deny Christian speech the same levels of tolerance as those enjoyed by other faiths. There appears to be an “overcompensation” attitude at work among the political class. Certainly, Christianity was a favored practice of faith in the early years of the republic and enjoyed a prominent role in public discourse. Even if religious preferences have changed in the United States, those who claim Christianity as their beacon of hope and faith continue to represent the majority of citizens. Dismissing them and their professions of faith from the public square is morally, constitutionally and politically wrong and unwise.

 

Nero was the last Emperor of his era. His suicide at age 31 in 68 A.D. foretold the coming collapse of the Roman Empire by illustrating the decay that had consumed the leaders of the Republic. Nero’s obsession with debauchery in some way reflects the expectations of our present class of political leadership. They enjoy better than average incomes, numerous beneficial perquisites, preferred treatment from the public and few demands for responsible behavior. Many of our political or bureaucratic leaders fail to fully pay their taxes or comply with other laws … laws that if a normal citizen were to violate them would result in hefty fines or perhaps prison. The notion of an imperial government has drifted down the centuries from fallen Rome to a staggering America.    

 

All governments if left unchecked drift into tyranny. They cannot resist the temptation to control the citizens’ lives and limit their options. Nero advanced his tyrannical schemes through terror whereas the United States’ government has implemented its tyrannical agenda through kindness or compassion. By convincing the electorate that massive regulation and control is “for our own good,” the government has massively increased its power and severely limited our liberty. Even now, when the oppressive nature of Big Government has become readily apparent, many citizens embrace the development because they seek “security” from either terrorists or the marketplace. For some inexplicable reason they are willing to place their trust and their lives in the hands of a government that has demonstrated time and again that it is incompetent and unreliable.

 

As we wrote above, many historians believe Nero started the Great Fire of Rome in 64 A.D., and the mythology accuses him of fiddling as the city turned to cinders. Today, our politicians are fiddling around by proposing solutions that don’t solve anything such as cutting $3-4 trillion in spending over the next ten years while adding from $10 trillion to $15 trillion to the debt during that same time period. If $14.5 trillion in debt represents a critical mass, why wouldn’t $25 trillion be more devastating to our national fiscal health? They are fiddling as the nation burns, and to extend the metaphor further, their irresponsibility is what has caused the problem in the beginning. Our illustrious career politicians have ignited the flames and are diddling and fiddling as we burn. When the Spaniards attacked Rome, Nero killed himself at the tender age of 31, but our self-serving political leaders have chosen to kill our nation instead. Despite his many flaws and warped character, Nero’s solution was the more honorable one.

 

Comment:   cearlwriting@hotmail.com      or   www.littlestuff-minoosha.blogspot.com

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