Recently, Representative Jim Clyburne (D-SC) claimed that Senator Joe Machin’s refusal to scuttle the filibuster and sign HR-1, which would federalize elections and make voter fraud easier than ever, was an attack direct against our democracy and akin to the process that led to the fall of Rome.
For this seemingly scholarly comparison, he was praised by the aspirated media for providing proper historical context for the perfidy of Manchin’s malicious actions.
I know our schools don’t really teach history anymore, but now I have solid proof!
What Manchin did was precisely the opposite of what led to the fall of Rome, as it happened through political disintegration. By refusing to demolish a long-established mechanism in the Senate (obstructionism has existed for 200 years) to ensure control against mob domination and majority tyranny, Machin preserved the fundamental principle of checks and balances established by our constitution and subsequent parliamentary procedure.
Until November 2020, in fact, Democrats were very passionate advocates of filibuster. Illinois Senator Dick Durbin (D) said in 2018, when Republicans still controlled the Senate and House, “I can tell you that [ending the filibuster] would be the end of the Senate as it was originally conceived and created going back to our founding fathers. We must recognize our respect for the minority, and that is what the Senate tries to do in its composition and in its procedure.
In fact, filibuster was used in ancient Rome by Cato the Younger to resist the seizures of power by Julius Caesar, who succeeded in turning the Roman Republic into a Roman Empire by weakening the power of the Roman Senate and instituting the permanent dictatorial powers of the emperor. This usurpation of one of the key founding principles of the Roman Republic not only ushered in the death of Republican rule, which had lasted nearly 500 years, but also set up the forces that ultimately led to the fall of Rome. 400 years later.
You see, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it didn’t fall in a week. It took centuries and a multitude of forces to finally end the nearly thousand-year reign of this most powerful ancient city-state. One of the main forces behind this demise has been the gradual dismantling of the fundamental tenets of Republican government, up to and including systematic obstruction.
And indeed, the Imperial forces in Rome continued their efforts to weaken the Senate by gradually removing the various procedures, precedents and mechanisms that made Rome great in the first place.
This combined with a gradual and continuing decadence of Roman society, which after becoming rich and powerful, slowly sank into deeper and deeper moral depravity. The great virtues of sacrifice, family and hard work have been replaced by selfishness, the pursuit of pleasure and laziness.
Although the fall of Rome was to some extent precipitated by invasions and barbarian attacks, it always faced such threats and was able to repel them in the past. But as the structures of state and society were weakened by corruption, it could no longer defend itself and eventually disappeared, after many centuries.
Which party seems to be causing such a decline in our own country? The one who wants to wreck the filibuster, pack the Supreme Court, weaken electoral integrity, ban the Electoral College, limit if not eliminate certain constitutional rights, and generally confer ever more power on the federal government?
Or the party that seeks to assert constitutional and traditional principles of government, restrict the power of government, embolden personal freedom and ensure the constitutionality of new legislative initiatives?
The latter, of course, are the Republicans, and they are now joined by a single Democrat who sees the tumultuous waters of genuine Democratic chaos on the other side of the various proposals put forward by the Biden administration and the Democrats in Congress, even though they won power over the executive and legislative branches with small majorities and little to no mandate for the kind of massive changes they seek to impose on this country.
So no, Rep. Clyburne, Senator Manchin does not usher in the fall of the American Republic like the corrupt politicians of the last centuries of the Roman Empire did. It is in fact holding back, on its own, the kind of chaos and destruction that will surely be upon us if our country ceases to respect its sacred traditions of representative and limited government with checks and balances to preserve the rights and interests of political minorities. . .
Democrats seemed to embrace this idea when in the minority. Their sudden and vicious turn against these same notions now that they have a simple majority testifies to the depravity and shamelessness of their character and their policies.
Yes, yes, I know many readers will say, âBut Trump! Sure, he said a lot of nonsense and encouraged a lot of nonsense, but his more extreme antics were not supported by the Republican Party in general, and his more prosaic challenges to constitutional standards were rightly and correctly reduced by the judicial branch.
Democrats, on the other hand, seem strangely and sadly united in their drive to dismantle various obstacles to the tyranny of the majority because they know they only have a small window of opportunity to put our country in the Stifling a gradual awakening, one was created by the flashback to Trump’s personal excesses (not his policies), not popular support for Democratic policies.
Alas, everything would be relatively fine if both parties simply played by the same rules and agreed that whatever came of it would be accepted. But that unifying vanity has been thrown out the window and now we face the downfall of our beloved republic unless we can weather the firestorm of Democratic attacks. Isn’t it ironic that this resistance now comes from one of the Democrats?
I pray for Joe Manchin and hope he can withstand slingshots and arrows, angry condemnations and personal attacks from members of his own party. He is a man who is ready to sacrifice himself, like the noble Romans of old, to defend a country he loves while those who hate him seek its destruction.
Peachtree City, Georgia.