Rescuing America: Where Is Today’s Cicero?

The Roman Republic had it’s defender in Cicero. They called him pater patriae (Father of his Country) for his faithful defense of the Roman Republic.

Does the American Republic have such a man? Or woman?

Cicero watched a politician (Catiline) attempt to overthrow the Republic. Cicero watched him carefully. He thwarted his plans, repeatedly. He catalogued and produced evidence of his crimes, and then publicly accused Catiline.

Does the American Republic have such a man? Or woman?

Cicero — among history’s greatest orators — has his defense of the Republic by the denunciation of Catiline counted among his greatest works. The greatest orator of his generation turned all his skill to the defense of the public (not private!) interest.

Does the American Republic have such a man? Or woman?

Cicero, when confronting Catiline in the Senate, blushed at having waited so long to confront him. He blushed that he lived in an age where men plotting murder and treason were not killed where they stood, as traitors in an earlier age had been. He blushed that the Senate he was part of knew this man’s deeds, yet turned a blind eye to them, allowing him to even take part in public deliberations.

He blushed that the Senate, despite the authority they had over such a man and full knowledge of his deeds, not only let him live, but allowed his audacity to grow. Cicero accused himself of “remissness and culpable inactivity” for not acting sooner to crush the rebellion Catiline was fomenting, or the army he was amassing.

Does the American Republic have such a man? Or woman?

Cicero knew this man, Catiline, was deserving of death. He had plotted to kill Senators, even Cicero himself. But calling for one man’s death was not ultimately in the best interest of the Republic. Catiline was not acting alone, and the others would remain as an ongoing internal threat.

Cicero wanted Catiline banished. Catiline failed twice to be elected through traditional means (including substantial bribery from financial backers Crassus and Julius Caesar). He lost the vote to Cicero. That’s why Catiline attempted a coup d’etat, which was also doomed to failure when it became exposed.

When the Roman Republic’s old ways — and very way of life — were being threatened, Cicero stood to defend them. He stood firm against the would-be tyrant.

Does the American Republic have such a man? Or woman?

Cicero looked him in the eye and laid bare his character and conduct, as well as his associates whom he colorfully described: “…when in so numerous a body of friends, you neither hear nor see one good man.”

Does the American Republic have such a man? Or woman?

Were Cicero an American, living today, to whom would he address his speech? To the current administration? It is they who lay waste to the Constitution! The opposition? Many of them are complicit.

If he were an American today, his considerable skills and energies would not be used for the preserving of one seat, or a lifelong political office. (One elected office for life? How absurd!)

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The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

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