The “Deep State” conspiracy on the left is nothing new. It has its roots in some very old political history.
Those who do not know their history are doomed to repeat it.
What do you remember from your school history classes about the Byzantine Empire? Anything?
If you’re of Greek extraction, you’re probably proud that the empire lasted for over a thousand years.
If you aren’t Greek, it’s possible that you might vaguely recall that the Byzantine Empire came into being when the Roman Emperor Constantine established a second capital in Constantinople (which is Istanbul, Turkey today). Eventually, the cultural and political divides became large enough that the empire split in two.
You may even say, “Byzantine–what? And why is this important?”
Oh, good question!
The Byzantine Empire adopted the Roman legal structure and system of government because they considered themselves (at least at the outset) to be a continuation of the Roman empire. They stopped worshipping the pagan Roman/Greek pantheon of gods, or emperor-gods (like mad Nero). Instead, Byzantium adopted Christianity as the state religion.
For much of the history of the Byzantine Empire, the men behind the throne, the Byzantine “deep state,” were the real rulers. Unfortunately, because most of the emperors weren’t strong enough to wrest control from the bureaucrats of Byzantium, this led to lots of nasty political infighting.
Because of this political infighting, the vast majority of the Byzantine emperors after Constantine the Great died in prison or were murdered. Few of them died in their beds. In many cases, their entire families were murdered along with them!
The office of Emperor degraded from a post awarded by merit or heredity (or both), to a bloody political prize awarded to the most violent of men.
Eventually, the empire succumbed to rot from within and became too weak to protect its borders from invaders.
Fast-forward from the fall of Constantinople in 1453 A.D. to the founding of the United States of America in 1776:
Our country’s founders looked back across history, and–being well-read, they understood all too well the rise and fall of the great civilizations that had gone before them.
- They wanted our government to be secure and stable.
- They wanted to make the office of president strong enough to allow a president to fulfill his duties,
- but balance it out with limitations on his power,
- and with powers granted to the other two branches and also to the states.
- They wanted to limit the ability of a president to become a tyrant or dictator, or even worse, an emperor.
This wasn’t just because safeguarding our rights as citizens from tyranny is better for us. Our nation’s presidents stay safer when they aren’t perceived as occupying a prized position of strength that can be taken and held by a bloody show of force!
Fast-forward to recent events:
Obama was elected and served for two terms. In our nation’s history, no other president enacted or implemented social programs on the scale that Obama did. Also, our nation’s debt approached $21 Trillion before the end of his presidency. The tax and regulatory burdens left behind, especially in the form of the Affordable Care Act, are also unprecedented in scale and scope.
All of this made voters very frustrated and angry, and they flocked to the polls to elect Donald Trump!
All previous presidents have left Washington, D.C., and found hobbies or other interests to occupy their time outside of the political arena. While they might occasionally appear to fundraise for candidates for office, they deliberately choose not to interfere in their successors’ governing.
But not Obama!
He says he wants to protect his legacy. He’s made it clear he wants to undermine Trump’s ability to govern. He has set up a “deep state” resistance to interfere with everything Trump tries to do.
But he doesn’t understand the lessons of history, and why we are all safer and much better off, including him and his family, when FORMER PRESIDENTS DON’T DO THAT.
He’s forgotten the lessons our nation’s founding fathers learned from the history of the Byzantine Empire about how not to create a thousand year bloody free-for-all for positions of power! Does he even realize that a deep state harms the persons running it more than it helps their cause?
Sadly, even if anyone explained it to him, I doubt that he would care.
Author’s Note: Because I write fantasy, the history of the Byzantine era is a treasure trove of really neat stuff for me. For instance, the candidate for empress who nixed her chances by saying the wrong thing and became a nun, and the ‘throne of Solomon.’ I also believe in the time-tested maxim that those who don’t know their history are doomed to repeat it.
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