I was all set to do a sober think-piece on the dangers of Caesarism and why it's a bad thing, filled with links to current books and articles and historical references.
But it's a waste of time. The people who care about the ideals underpinning our system of government don't need the reminder and the folks besotted with splendid things they imagine a strong man holding the reigns might accomplish if only he weren't hampered by the legislature, the courts and the U. S. Constitution aren't listening. Institutions that once espoused a deep respect for the American federal republic, like the Claremont Institute and Hillsdale College have become havens for authoritarian nutters as bad -- and as willing to inspire bloodshed -- as any Mercedes-driving Ivy-League Marxist.
Not a one of them knows how to get bloodstains out of tweed or would be willing to do the work if you showed them how, either.
At one time, the Right's thinkers and opionators* inveighed against Caesarism as soberly as any orator of the Roman republic warned the Senate and people about the dangers of monarchy. While Cato never wavered (and he didn't succeed, either), the supposed inheritors of Buckley's mantle reached a certain point in warning about the "Man on Horseback," looked at the notion and thought, "Cato had to stab himself after a series of frustrating struggles; Caesar and subsequent Emperors ruled Rome for centuries," and changed sides, hailing Caesar as full-throatedly as they'd been cautioning against him.
It's not a good look. I don't know how to fix it.
History has been rife with would-be Caesars ever since he hoodwinked Rome into returning to kings in all but name; I wish their Senate had done a more thorough job of stabbing him and much earlier, but here we are.
The only good news I have is the boosters of Caesarism are a dime a dozen. They show up all the time and their efforts fall well short.
The bad news is that they only have to succeed once. Constitutional government has to succeed every time.
* Two groups with surprisingly little overlap all across the political spectrum except for how heedlessly they egg one another on, like small children working themselves up to toilet-paper the Mayor's house. And somehow, there's always one of them playing with matches.
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