‘Walking Dead,’ the Constitution and the Roman Empire: You do the math...

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Australian historian Paul Ham recently wrote a book called “1914: The Year the World Ended.” 

He is not the first person to remark upon the cataclysmic changes that transformed the world in 1914, but in fact it was the Old World that ended as the First World War began, whereas the United States found itself atop a new world order.

But now cataclysmic changes are under way again, and it seems not at all unlikely that some future historian will sit down to write a tome entitled “2014: The Year the United States Ended.” 

Thanks in part to President Barack Obama and his pledge to fundamentally transform the United States, and in even larger measure to the lethargic indifference of the citizens of the country to what is being done to them, the constitutional republic founded in 1787 has more or less ceased to exist.

Call it the political equivalent of “The Walking Dead,” those TV zombies who have no brain functions except for the ability to walk around and chew flesh off the bone. We still have a Constitution, but it has been reduced to a mere device by which the resources and traditions of the United States can be chewed off the legal bone and spit in our face.

It’s nothing new. This disaster did not happen overnight like the one on the TV series. It’s been under way for more than 50 years, maybe ever since 1914 when Woodrow Wilson was president and the progressives started to make “minor” adjustments in how the Constitution was interpreted. 

In recent years, it hasn’t mattered whether a president was a Republican or Democrat — they all seemed to consider the Constitution more of a hindrance than a help in governing. Same with Congress. Moreover, the Supreme Court by instituting its doctrine of precedent (known as stare decisis) has made a mockery of the Founding Fathers’ intentions. 

It doesn’t matter what the living language of the Constitution says any longer; instead courts are only allowed to apply the zombified Constitution handed down to us by dead judges. Real human beings who are gored by the illegal constructs put in place by presidents and legislators have no “standing” to ask for their rights under the original, the “real” Constitution. They are displaced, disenfranchised and distraught, with no court of appeal.

No wonder really that cynicism is the rule of the day. But yet... but yet... one wishes that the public were more attuned to the theft of their liberty by powerful forces in Washington, D.C. 

How can the American citizenry blithely accept the cockiness of a president who makes law without Congress? How can they willingly go along with a Congress that spends trillions of dollars it doesn’t have, putting us into hock to China and other countries that bear us enmity? How can they tolerate an attorney general who pits black against white in the guise of protecting civil rights? How could they ignore the terrifying story of how the IRS worked with the Department of Justice to target conservatives for audits and punitive probes? How can they permit the dismantling of the U.S. military at a time when the world is more dangerous than ever? 

The answers to those questions are all the same. Bread and circuses. It was how the bad Roman emperors distracted their citizens from the collapse of empire, and it is how our bad presidents and politicians keep the public from asking too many questions as well. There is only so much time in a day, and if you keep Americans focused on football, Facebook and Food Network for enough hours, they won’t have time or energy enough left to investigate the case of the missing Constitution. 

That 24-hour supply of infotainment — along with an endless string of news stories about Sony hackings, Mideast beheadings, and Malaysian plane crashes — is the equivalent of the Roman Coliseum and its “circuses” of blood and terror. Meanwhile, the most desperate among us, those who have the most to lose by the death of the American Dream, are kept in check by copious portions of largess in the form of food stamps, tax credits for not working, subsidies for this and that, and of course Obamacare.

Too bad a lot of good people will read these words and declare that I am the problem — me and people like me who are crying out against abuses and the corruption of the system by powerful forces that have only their own self-interest in mind. These good Americans are the equivalent of those good Germans who allowed their brilliant society to be destroyed from within because they simply could not fathom the capacity for evil of their own leaders.

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe 2014 is just one more good year in a series of good years as America traverses an ever-upward trajectory of greatness. Maybe if I drank the Kool-Aid, I could find a silver lining in the cloud of obfuscation coming out of our government, out of our media and out of our own mouths. But I doubt it.

Don’t mind me though. Go right ahead and have a happy new year. You’ve earned it. After all, you’re living on borrowed time with borrowed money and a philosophy borrowed from Karl Marx. Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die (if we haven’t already).

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