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Front Page » April 28, 2009 » Opinion » Letter to the editor: Lament the loss
Published 2,002 days ago

Letter to the editor: Lament the loss


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By JAMES FRANKLIN RINEHART
Price

Editor:

The Roman Republic produced no greater statesman than Cicero. A distinguished legal expert, republican patriot, and orator without peer, he bad risen to his nation's highest office, that of Consul. Tragically, this great pillar of Roman virtue witnessed the end of the Republic he had loved.

In those long-ago days, in the first century B.C., the old Rome was in its death throes, beset by faction between political parties and plagued by conspiracies, like that of Catiline's, aiming for the violent overthrow of the government. Surveying the turmoil of the political landscape. Cicero lamented. "When we inherited the Republic from our forbears it was like a beautiful painting whose colors were fading with age. We. have failed to restore its original colors and have not taken the trouble to preserve its overall composition or even its general features."

If Cicero were an American living in the United States today, he would surely make a similar lament. Our own political tapestry, woven by the founding fathers, featured in bold color a concept of government limited in scope, its assigned powers distributed among three branches of government with all other powers reserved to the states and to the people. The founders purposely devised this system to prevent power from being accumulated in any one branch of government. Indeed, James Madison, rightly celebrated as the father of the Constitution, warned in The Federalist No. 47, that "the accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self -appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny."

It is through Congress that the American people must exercise their will. They must demand of their elected senators and representatives an end to any further inroads on the liberties of the people and a reversal of the unconstitutional centralization of power.

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April 28, 2009
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