Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Senate House is Burning

In 52 BCE, the Roman Senate House was burned by the urban mob after a riot. Rome’s politics was in gridlock and the mob ruled.

Cicero described it to his friend Atticus: “You should hurry back to Rome and see what remains of the good old Republic. You can see the bribes handed out…right in the open. … You can sniff out dictatorship in the air and enjoy the suspension of public business and the total anarchy.”

Respect for Washington government has collapsed in the gridlock and the shutdown crisis. The public is looking for alternatives:
  • Vote incumbents out (60% WSJ/NBC poll, Oct. 11, 2013)
  • Vote Republicans out (6% advantage Democrats , generic ballot test, Real Clear Politics, Oct. 15, 2013)
  • Support third party (60% Gallup, Oct. 11, 2013)
Confidence in and support for Congress and the federal government has been at historic low levels for years. But, public opinion is now on the move and change is in the air.

In 49 BCE, just 3 years after the burning of the Senate House, Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon, “the die was cast” and the Roman Republic was in its last days.

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