Cicero and Obama

The importance of Cicero in Western thought cannot be underestimated. According to Garrett Lysford, the "American Republic is hardly a new idea and is in fact a mere innovation of a far more ancient political system: The Roman Republic." The Founders "especially revered Cicero for his ardent patriotism, poisonous contempt of demagogues, and extensive dialogues on philosophy and statecraft; for this reason his ideas figured prominently in the political theory undergirding the Constitution. John Adams especially held Cicero in the highest esteem".

John Adams wrote "The Defence of the Constitutions of the United States of America" and the "text is replete with Ciceronian thought." It can be stated that "the influence of Cicero through Adams ultimately shaped the structure of the American Constitution and brought about the birth of the American Republic." In fact, the Founders were "steeped in the classical tradition" and "college entrance exams required knowledge of Cicero, Virgil, Homer and the Greek New Testament."

Marcus Tullius Cicero was born in 106 B.C. in a town southeast of Rome. He was the son of a Roman knight and was schooled in history, philosophy, and rhetoric. As a financial officer, Cicero exposed the corruption of the governor, Gaius Verres, and brought him to justice in Rome. 

Cicero believed that the Roman Senate should be composed of men who were "virtuous and wise -- in other words the 'best men' of the Republic." Cicero was a proponent of natural law and it was these natural laws that would secure "men's individual rights” so many years later as the Founders established a new nation. Consequently, the Constitution " bound both individuals and their representatives in government to a moral code which did not permit either to take the earnings of another without his consent. Under this code, individuals could not band together and do, through government's coercive power, that which was not lawful between individuals." 

Natural law is "the ultimate source of Constitutional Law." Consequently, the Founders "did not establish the Constitution for the purpose of granting rights. Rather, they established this government of laws (not a government of men) in order to secure each person's Creator­-endowed rights to life, liberty, and property."  As a result, "[o]nly in America, did a nation's founders recognize that rights, though endowed by the Creator as unalienable prerogatives, would not be sustained in society unless they were protected under a code of law which was itself in harmony with a higher law" i.e., natural law.

In 63 B.C. Cicero delivered the Catiline Orations which "denounced the depravity of such men as Catiline and their desire to overthrow the Republic." It should be noted that Catiline claimed to be "an advocate for the poor" and called for the "cancellation of debts and proposed land redistribution."  Sound familiar?  Cicero, on the other hand, ardently believed in "the idea of a republic as the people's property" and the belief that a republic must be "an empire of laws, not an empire of men." 

And hence one can easily change the name of Catiline in the First Oration by Cicero and insert the name of 44th President of the United States and proclaim that

In Heaven's name, [Obama], how long will you abuse our patience?  How long will that madness of yours mock us? To what limit will your unbridled audacity vaunt itself? 

Who of us do you think is ignorant of what you did last night, what you did the night before, where you were, whom you called together, what plans you took? 

We now know that Obama recently met with men who call for the destruction of the United States. In fact, there is no pretense anymore as Obama maintains that one of his duties is to protect and defend Islam while serving in the White House. In fact, he has stated that he "considers it part of [his] responsibility as president of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.” (Apology Tour Speech at Cairo University in June 2009). Yet, that 'responsibility' has never been part of the job description of President of the United States, but Obama [has made] it a goal to make certain Islam is defended at all cost.   

It is equally intriguing that "[t]hinkers from Saint Augustine (354–430 AD) in Late Antiquity via Niccolò Machiavelli (1469–1527) to William Shakespeare (1564–1616) and leading figures of the Enlightenment were familiar with Cicero's writings, yet he was almost totally ignored in the Islamic world." In fact, [t]here was no institution similar to the English Parliament in the Islamic world, nor was there developed a concept similar to Montesquieu's (1689–1755 AD) separation of powers. [Furthermore] the political writings of Aristotle, Cicero, and others [were] aggressively rejected. All the elements underlying the American political system were thus rejected by Muslims before the USA had even been created. One has to wonder why this barely registers with this President of the United States.

There was... once such virtue in this republic that brave men would repress mischievous citizens with severer chastisement than the most bitter enemy. For we have a resolution of the senate, a formidable and authoritative decree against you, [Obama] ; [and yet] the wisdom of the republic is not at fault, nor the dignity of this senatorial body. We, we alone -- I say it openly -- we, the consuls, are wanting in our duty.

And we, the people, are still waiting for Congress to take firm action that is not only legal but very warranted as Obama continues to break the law regarding Obamacare and immigration. Moreover, it is becoming clearer that Obama will secure the economic defeat of the United States (a jihadist promise come true) as our debt spirals completely out of control. Obama tightens the noose around business owners with intimidation and regulations. The national debt now stands at $18 trillion. According to the Heritage Foundation, the debt "already exceeds 100 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). Publicly held debt (that is, debt borrowed in credit markets, excluding [the] Social Security’s trust fund), is alarmingly high at three-quarters of GDP. Without further spending reforms, rising debt threatens to impede growth, harm Americans’ economic opportunities, and even threaten the nation’s security."

Thus,

. . . we see within the walls -- aye, and even in the senate -- planning every day some internal injury to the republic.

And yet while the people maintain that

. . . the safety of the commonwealth must not be too often allowed to be risked on one man.

We, Americans are continually stymied in our ardent desire to balance the budget, and return to constitutional limits of power.  We see our purchasing power decline and we observe that  

. . . you [Obama] alone have had power not only to neglect all laws and investigations, but to overthrow and break through them.

We are revolted as Obama favor[s] one group over another, and feels he is above the law because "[t]hat is how tyranny is born."

Judicial Watch continues to ferret out the indiscretions and illegal activities surrounding the IRS and the Benghazi scandal. But we have come to see that

. . .we can not expect that [Obama] should be concerned at [his] own vices, that [he] should fear the penalties of the laws, or that [he] should yield to the necessities of the republic, for [Obama is] not one whom either shame can recall from infamy, or fear from danger, or reason from madness.

Instead, Obama casts aspersions on Christians and Jews. He is a pathological liar intent only on maintaining power and control.  Be it his stance on gay marriage or his outright prevarications about Obamacare, his is a forked tongue. Clearly his disingenuousness and callous disregard are constantly evident in his ongoing doublespeak. 

We have now for a long time... lived among these dangers and machinations of conspiracy; but somehow or other, the ripeness of all wickedness, and of this long-standing madness and audacity, has come to a head [.]

Although "separated by the millennia, Adams and Cicero were ardent patriots in the name of justice in the form of a republic." Obama stands in marked contrast.

Adams, like Cicero, believed that representative government would draw the "most intelligent and virtuous men" into office. Sadly, Cicero "lived to see his beloved Republic fall to the vices of corruption and greed" as his calls "for reform went unheeded."  But Adam's ideals became a "political reality" with the advent of the American Constitution and the creation of the United States.

Eileen can be reached at middlemarch18@gmail.com

The importance of Cicero in Western thought cannot be underestimated. According to Garrett Lysford, the "American Republic is hardly a new idea and is in fact a mere innovation of a far more ancient political system: The Roman Republic." The Founders "especially revered Cicero for his ardent patriotism, poisonous contempt of demagogues, and extensive dialogues on philosophy and statecraft; for this reason his ideas figured prominently in the political theory undergirding the Constitution. John Adams especially held Cicero in the highest esteem".

John Adams wrote "The Defence of the Constitutions of the United States of America" and the "text is replete with Ciceronian thought." It can be stated that "the influence of Cicero through Adams ultimately shaped the structure of the American Constitution and brought about the birth of the American Republic." In fact, the Founders were "steeped in the classical tradition" and "college entrance exams required knowledge of Cicero, Virgil, Homer and the Greek New Testament."

Marcus Tullius Cicero was born in 106 B.C. in a town southeast of Rome. He was the son of a Roman knight and was schooled in history, philosophy, and rhetoric. As a financial officer, Cicero exposed the corruption of the governor, Gaius Verres, and brought him to justice in Rome. 

Cicero believed that the Roman Senate should be composed of men who were "virtuous and wise -- in other words the 'best men' of the Republic." Cicero was a proponent of natural law and it was these natural laws that would secure "men's individual rights” so many years later as the Founders established a new nation. Consequently, the Constitution " bound both individuals and their representatives in government to a moral code which did not permit either to take the earnings of another without his consent. Under this code, individuals could not band together and do, through government's coercive power, that which was not lawful between individuals." 

Natural law is "the ultimate source of Constitutional Law." Consequently, the Founders "did not establish the Constitution for the purpose of granting rights. Rather, they established this government of laws (not a government of men) in order to secure each person's Creator­-endowed rights to life, liberty, and property."  As a result, "[o]nly in America, did a nation's founders recognize that rights, though endowed by the Creator as unalienable prerogatives, would not be sustained in society unless they were protected under a code of law which was itself in harmony with a higher law" i.e., natural law.

In 63 B.C. Cicero delivered the Catiline Orations which "denounced the depravity of such men as Catiline and their desire to overthrow the Republic." It should be noted that Catiline claimed to be "an advocate for the poor" and called for the "cancellation of debts and proposed land redistribution."  Sound familiar?  Cicero, on the other hand, ardently believed in "the idea of a republic as the people's property" and the belief that a republic must be "an empire of laws, not an empire of men." 

And hence one can easily change the name of Catiline in the First Oration by Cicero and insert the name of 44th President of the United States and proclaim that

In Heaven's name, [Obama], how long will you abuse our patience?  How long will that madness of yours mock us? To what limit will your unbridled audacity vaunt itself? 

Who of us do you think is ignorant of what you did last night, what you did the night before, where you were, whom you called together, what plans you took? 

We now know that Obama recently met with men who call for the destruction of the United States. In fact, there is no pretense anymore as Obama maintains that one of his duties is to protect and defend Islam while serving in the White House. In fact, he has stated that he "considers it part of [his] responsibility as president of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.” (Apology Tour Speech at Cairo University in June 2009). Yet, that 'responsibility' has never been part of the job description of President of the United States, but Obama [has made] it a goal to make certain Islam is defended at all cost.   

It is equally intriguing that "[t]hinkers from Saint Augustine (354–430 AD) in Late Antiquity via Niccolò Machiavelli (1469–1527) to William Shakespeare (1564–1616) and leading figures of the Enlightenment were familiar with Cicero's writings, yet he was almost totally ignored in the Islamic world." In fact, [t]here was no institution similar to the English Parliament in the Islamic world, nor was there developed a concept similar to Montesquieu's (1689–1755 AD) separation of powers. [Furthermore] the political writings of Aristotle, Cicero, and others [were] aggressively rejected. All the elements underlying the American political system were thus rejected by Muslims before the USA had even been created. One has to wonder why this barely registers with this President of the United States.

There was... once such virtue in this republic that brave men would repress mischievous citizens with severer chastisement than the most bitter enemy. For we have a resolution of the senate, a formidable and authoritative decree against you, [Obama] ; [and yet] the wisdom of the republic is not at fault, nor the dignity of this senatorial body. We, we alone -- I say it openly -- we, the consuls, are wanting in our duty.

And we, the people, are still waiting for Congress to take firm action that is not only legal but very warranted as Obama continues to break the law regarding Obamacare and immigration. Moreover, it is becoming clearer that Obama will secure the economic defeat of the United States (a jihadist promise come true) as our debt spirals completely out of control. Obama tightens the noose around business owners with intimidation and regulations. The national debt now stands at $18 trillion. According to the Heritage Foundation, the debt "already exceeds 100 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). Publicly held debt (that is, debt borrowed in credit markets, excluding [the] Social Security’s trust fund), is alarmingly high at three-quarters of GDP. Without further spending reforms, rising debt threatens to impede growth, harm Americans’ economic opportunities, and even threaten the nation’s security."

Thus,

. . . we see within the walls -- aye, and even in the senate -- planning every day some internal injury to the republic.

And yet while the people maintain that

. . . the safety of the commonwealth must not be too often allowed to be risked on one man.

We, Americans are continually stymied in our ardent desire to balance the budget, and return to constitutional limits of power.  We see our purchasing power decline and we observe that  

. . . you [Obama] alone have had power not only to neglect all laws and investigations, but to overthrow and break through them.

We are revolted as Obama favor[s] one group over another, and feels he is above the law because "[t]hat is how tyranny is born."

Judicial Watch continues to ferret out the indiscretions and illegal activities surrounding the IRS and the Benghazi scandal. But we have come to see that

. . .we can not expect that [Obama] should be concerned at [his] own vices, that [he] should fear the penalties of the laws, or that [he] should yield to the necessities of the republic, for [Obama is] not one whom either shame can recall from infamy, or fear from danger, or reason from madness.

Instead, Obama casts aspersions on Christians and Jews. He is a pathological liar intent only on maintaining power and control.  Be it his stance on gay marriage or his outright prevarications about Obamacare, his is a forked tongue. Clearly his disingenuousness and callous disregard are constantly evident in his ongoing doublespeak. 

We have now for a long time... lived among these dangers and machinations of conspiracy; but somehow or other, the ripeness of all wickedness, and of this long-standing madness and audacity, has come to a head [.]

Although "separated by the millennia, Adams and Cicero were ardent patriots in the name of justice in the form of a republic." Obama stands in marked contrast.

Adams, like Cicero, believed that representative government would draw the "most intelligent and virtuous men" into office. Sadly, Cicero "lived to see his beloved Republic fall to the vices of corruption and greed" as his calls "for reform went unheeded."  But Adam's ideals became a "political reality" with the advent of the American Constitution and the creation of the United States.

Eileen can be reached at middlemarch18@gmail.com