In 475 AD, the western Roman Empire received its new emperor, Romulus Augustulus. This particular child, estimated to be about 15 years of age when elevated to the pinnacle of Roman power by his father Orestes to serve as a figurehead, is known to us only because he was deposed by the German chieftain Odoacer in 476 AD, effectively ending over a thousand years of continuous Roman rule. The last emperor, named for the founder of Rome and its greatest emperor, achieved nothing remotely deserving of the name he took, and is lost to history as soon as he was replaced. Such a magisterial name, such an ignominious end to the greatest empire the world had ever known. Neither Romulus or his dominant father Orestes, head of the Roman army likely had the slightest idea they were participating in the end game of a millennia of history.
Such are the times we now live in. For nearly 240 years, the greatest democracy the world has ever known is undergoing cultural implosion, and the elected ’emperor’ has not a clue of the wrenching historical pivot at play. Great nations, so superficially permanent in their appearance, actually are quite transient actors on the historical stage. The magnificent power of Genghis Khan ruling half the land mass of Asia held little solace to the frustrations of Pu Yi, the last emperor, as he met the manipulations of the many European overlords and the revolutionary Sun Yat Sen, ending ignominiously as the puppet leader of the stump state of Manchukuo, and pathetically powerless to be a Chinese balance to the Japanese Emperor Hirohito. The court of Queen Victoria’s Britannia lording over one third of the globe, seemly immortal in its power, finding itself within a century fending off the cries of irrelevance of the monarchial existence on the home island of Britain itself. The mighty Soviet Union, astride the Asian and European landmasses, holding an intense intolerance to any deviation from absolute rule, took barely eighty years to collapse under its own corrosion. It appears no matter how apparently powerful, nothing is forever.
And so one wonders if the American experiment, of a governance ruled by its people, so profoundly the ideal by which all other peoples striving for individual freedom have held up as a bulwark, may be tottering on its own contradictions.
This past week saw the government barricade an open memorial just off the sidewalk on the most public ground in America, the National Mall, as if to say the government, not its people, was the owner of the land, the history, and the symbolic projection. The World War II memorial, was dedicated in 2004, to the citizen commitment to the greatest conflict the country had ever seen, at a price of over 175 million taxpayer and privately donated funds. With the inability of the country’s legislature and its malignantly bull headed chief of executive to come to collective agreement on a continuing resolution to fund the government, the government saw fit not to undertake its moral responsibility and reach a compromise to keep the government services running. This government has exploded the debt of its citizens, turned its back on its warriors, allowed its borders to become sieves, and passed bloated unworkable laws , only to make itself exempted from its malign demands of everyone else. After all that, it now seeks to claim ownership as if it were an entity, not an expression of the will of its people. The World War II Memorial was barricaded by the government to feign compliance with the financial necessities of the closure of government. An open square visited by the very aging warriors that participated in the brutal fight that allowed this form of governance to continue to exist were denied access. Barricades were placed to prevent wheelchair restricted octogenarians and nonagenarians, the true owners of the space and its history access. A government declaring, “Everything is mine, and you will use it at my pleasure.” The Sun King of France would not have been so bold.
This is how an insane asylum works. In particular, an asylum run by its inmates. This out of touch government, slouching toward Gomorrah, has the arrogance to keep its government golf courses open for its private use, but shut down the very symbols of freedom, to the men and women who made its continuance possible. This government, that has increased the indebtedness of its future generations by nearly half in only five years, who mines with impunity the personal privacy of every citizen on the sketchy premise it is trying to stop foreign malevolence, that sears the country with intolerable laws and regulations it itself refuses to live under – this government seeks to ‘punish’ us for electing representatives that are trying to stop the runaway train.
An insane asylum, its halls filled with wannabe potentates, mirror gazers, giggling idiots, and irrational self immolators, has infested our beautifully balanced principles of governance. I, for one, don’t care if they ever restore their funding. The longer the lunatics are without their levers of power, the less we will miss them and their paltry contribution to our welfare. Look up, and see if you are truly punished by their inaction, or rather elevated to a new awareness of their true irrelevance to your life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.
We will need to reform this asylum, before they do any more damage to themselves, and us.