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He would recognize that the threat, like in his day, could not be stopped with a summary execution of the offender(s). But the other strategies are still relevant.

He would be completely acquainted with the other side’s movements. Anticipate them. Thwart them. Hem them in. Bar the way to any further degradation of the Constitution.

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Does today’s Republic have such a man? Or woman?

He would hound and expose every breach of faith by those in office. Expose them, and insist they be held to account. Expose the various ways they subvert the law. Expose the various ways they personally profit from holding office. Expose the inequalities and injustices of their “reign”. He would call it injustice and demand a reckoning of all such people.

As the circumstances of today would not permit banishing people who have been abusing the system for personal and political gain, Cicero would at least banish the ideas they represented from holding sway in high office — to the best of his ability.

He would oppose them, expose them, and lay bare their lies and false promises or hopes. What he would NOT do, and would NEVER do, is “pragmatically” compromise with the very poison that threatened the life of the Republic he loved.

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Does today’s Republic have such a man? Or woman?

Truly, we don’t need one such man or woman. We need a nation filled with people who cannot tolerate the sort of games modern politicians of both stripes play.

As we watch to see whether today’s Republic has any such man or woman, we can at least be sure that tomorrow’s will. But that will require we act today.

It will require that we demand virtue of our politicians, and “throw the bums out” at the first sign of corruption. That goes double for offenders on “our” side. It will require that parents raise children to ask important questions and challenge popular thinking (a big reason I wrote A Blueprint for Government that Doesn’t Suck).

It will require that we and they have high standards for ourselves and our associates, and that we redefine success, so that having “wealth without character” is seen as “failing at life.”

It will require leadership in education, pulpits, music and the arts, and other places where our culture, ethics, and values are forged–not just the political process–to name only a few things.

But as we shape tomorrow, I have one last question for today:

Are YOU such a man? Or woman?


Photo credit: tonynetone (Flickr)

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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

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