"Do not blame Caesar, blame the people of Rome who have so enthusiastically acclaimed and adored him and rejoiced in their loss of freedom and danced in his path and given him triumphal processions. Blame the people who hail him when he speaks in the Forum of the new wonderful good society which shall now be Rome's, interpreted to mean more money, more ease, more security, and more living fatly at the expense of the industrious."
Marcus Tullius Cicero
This is excellent, it's historically accurate, and I fully support it's use in modern times, but I had to investigate, of course. In the web search results I came upon this writing from 1965 (my birth year) that the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Inc. published in 1996 and has made available at the link already given. There are so many gems that I would end up pasting the whole thing into this blog if I tried to discuss the thing, but what I first want to say is that the author, Millard F. Caldwell was a Democrat. Now, times have changed and I know some modern Libs and progs will say "well, the segregationists were D, but now they're R" but what is much more interesting to me is that what was true in Rome and discussed by our Founders was observed by a Democrat in 1965 whose words resonate today.
And if I were a left-wing newspaperman wedded to socialism, hating wealth and the wealthy, I would do my writing behind America's constitutional guaranty of free speech. I would emulate the feist dog and bark mightily, but from behind the strong fence of constitutional protection. I would remember only too well how freedom of the press and freedom of those who write for the press have been curtailed in those countries where man has risen above the law. Each morning I would remind myself to remind all my left-wing doctor, preacher, teacher, and racist friends that only under a constitutional form of government, where the rights of the individuals are protected, can we live and breathe and preach and write our thoughts; that under centralized power our only free choice will be to write and preach and teach as Big Brother tells us or to go dig salt in the mines.
But what would you do if your aim is for a dictatorship or a communistic takeover? How would you go about weakening the fiber of the country? You would know that, given a fair choice between a representative Republic and a dictatorship, the vast majority of the people in this country would vote against centralization.
No, your road to successful takeover would involve beguiling the people with handouts, creating false sense of security and, step by step, the dishing out of benefits with one hand and the lifting of liberties with the other. You would encourage the issuance of invalid executive orders, all in the name of humanity to please large segments of the voters. You would persuade the judiciary to ignore constitutional restraint and, in the beginning at least, issue invalid decisions in favor of the so-called downtrodden of our population and, of course, contemporarily, you would have the do-gooders demonstrate and create strife and, in every way possible, debunk and belittle the principles upon which the country grew and prospered and became the first nation of the earth. This prescription, faithfully followed, is likely of success under all conditions and, absent intelligent opposition, can be guaranteed.
These are not just theoretical abstractions - that's the way it's been done throughout history, beginning with Greece and Rome, on down through Russia, Hitler's Germany, Mussolini's Italy, and Peron's Argentina.
But there's a great difference in the composition of nationalities. Three or four hundred years ago the English, pushed to the wall by the power-spawned rule of the Star Chamber courts, pushed back and recaptured their rights. The Russian people, in sheep-like docility, have submitted. The melting pot of America seems content and complacent. Its sycophantic Congress, reflecting public acquiescence, is grovelling at the feet of the President. Its Democratic party has been captured, and its Republican party is without policy or guidance. We appear to be drunk on benefits and slogans, rushing lightheartedly along to self-destruction.
But perhaps all this is in keeping with natural law. The children of Hamlin followed the Pied Piper to ruin, the people of Germany and Italy followed Hitler and Mussolini, the lemmings of Norway rush to the sea to drown, and the grunions of the West Coast rush from the sea to flop on the beach and die. The Roman Republic was destroyed when the urban leaders pampered its populace with free handouts...Perhaps Benjamin Franklin knew what he was talking about when he told the young nation, after it had adopted its Constitution, in substance, that they had gained a free and independent nation but did not have the common sense to keep it.
Isn't history fascinating?