I woke up this morning, thinking: “Bread and Circuses.”
In the waning days of the Roman Empire, Emperor Augustus used the State to bribe the poor so they would not riot.
The stock market keeps rising, breaking records, all the while we have in power a government dismantling our most necessary institutions – the ones we need to keep functioning effectively as a truly God-honoring and diverse nation (Leviticus 19:34, Deuteronomy 10:18-20 and Hebrews 13:1).
Think about the need for decent, affordable housing, healthcare, education, unbiased opportunity, shelter for the poor and sanctuary for the persecuted, food safety, travel safety and infrastructure, the environment, scientific research, a free press and truthful communication, respect for diversity, religious freedom from either theocracy or control by the State, and so much more. Think about a nation that seeks to provide “the greatest good for the greatest number of people.”
Will U.S. citizens now be satisfied with a little “extra (and temporary) money” in their pockets (bread) – and ever more electronic (or other) scandals and spectacles (circuses) – or will they rise up to demand accountability and reform?
The history of Rome, as well as that of every other dictatorship, speaks today. The result is always the same.
The allure of money or power may buy the soul of a person or a nation, but neither can ever assuage the resulting anguish. The tactic of placating “the Base” finally fails. What has happened to our government should now be plain to most Americans, whether self-described as
Republican, Democrat, Independent, or non-voting; “evangelical” or non-evangelical; wealthy or poor, black or white or any “color” in between; red State or blue State; city or country dwellers. Those who have chosen an “alternate reality” won’t care. The rest of us had better do so. Consider Venezuela, once the richest nation in South America.)
Sinclair Lewis made the point: “When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the Flag and carrying the Cross.”