We’ve followed the devolution of human forms of government from gold (despotism), to silver (law and order), to bronze (democracy). In this post, we will devolve even further, by turning our attention to Nebuchadnezzar’s nightmarish image’s legs of iron, which, we will show, represents a representative republic, such as existed in ancient Rome.
As we’ve already learned, the golden head of Nebuchadnezzar’s nightmarish image represents Babylon, the world’s first great Gentile world power, which was a despotism. The silver breast and arms of Nebuchadnezzar’s nightmarish image represent Medo-Persia, the world’s second great Gentile world power, where the law was supreme. The bronze stomach and thighs of Nebuchadnezzar’s nightmarish image represent Greece, the world’s third great Gentile world power, where democracy was born. Now, in this post, we turn our attention to the iron legs of Nebuchadnezzar’s nightmarish image, which represent the Roman Empire, the world’s fourth great Gentile world power. Not only was the Roman Empire the greatest of the world’s ancient Gentile world powers, but it also served America’s Founding Fathers as the model upon which they founded our representative republic.
The mythical tale of the twin brothers, Romulus and Remus, tells us that Rome was named after Romulus, who founded it following his slaying of his twin brother in one of history’s foremost sibling rivalries. For the ancient Romans, the supernatural details of the Romulus and Remus myth did not distract from the historicity of the events. Indeed, they claimed it proved the divine rise and nature of the Roman Empire. For instance, Virgil, the famous ancient Roman poet, claimed that the birth of Romulus and Remus, as well as their subsequent adventures, were fated in order for Rome to be founded.
Upon the founding of Rome, Romulus supposedly instituted a quasi representative form of government. Although it appeared to be representative, being partly comprised of a popular senate, it was really ruled by Romulus and a handful of patricians. The patricians—aristocratic families—considered themselves privileged and better capable of ruling than the plebeians—the common people—who made up the vast majority of Rome’s citizenry. The patrician’s determination to rule over the plebeians, as the plebeians’ representatives, was made all the more imperative in their minds by the reputed disappearance of Romulus in a violent storm and by Rome’s rapid growing population, which was primarily comprised of fugitives, exiles, run away slaves, criminals, and other castoffs. This sorry lot of plebeians was seen by the patricians as incapable of self-government and in need of subjugation, a subjugation slyly realized, however, under the ruse of representation.
Contrary to popular opinion, America’s Founding Fathers were no fans of democracy’s majority rule. Like Rome’s aristocratic patricians, they too believed that the majority of the citizenry, the “plebeians” or common people, were wholly incapable of self-government. Therefore, they founded America on the model of ancient Rome; that is, as a quasi representative republic, within which they, the privileged and far more capable aristocrats, would govern the nation. Granted, they did so under the guise of serving as the people’s representatives, but they understood their role differently than the way it is generally understood today. They were not to do the people’s bidding, but to look out for the best interest of the people, even when it meant going against the will of the people. After all, they knew better than the people what was best for the country.
America’s Founding Fathers’ aversion to democracy and preference for a representative republic was founded on two fundamental beliefs. First, our Founding Father’s were Machiavellian. They believed, as was taught by Machiavelli—the so-called father of modern-day political science—that democracy is the worst form of government. In his famous book, The Prince, Machiavelli taught that democracy is the worst form of government because it puts government in the hands of the majority of the people and the majority of the people in any given country are stupid. This belief in the incompetence of ignorant common people to govern themselves led our Founders to establish our country as a representative republic, in which people were conciliated with a voice and a vote in their representation, but never to be handed the unbridled reigns of government. This, as Thomas Jefferson argued, kept our nation from becoming “what never was and never will be,” namely, “ignorant and free.”
On September 17, 1787, as the delegates exited Philadelphia’s Independence Hall and the Constitutional Convention, they were asked, “What kind of government do we have?” Benjamin Franklin answered, "A Republic, if you can keep it.” In our Founders’ minds, keeping it depended upon our citizenry’s confidence in their elected representatives to look out for their best interests, even when it went against popular opinion and personal self interests. As I’m sure you realize, today’s Americans have scant confidence in their elected representatives, since the vast majority of them couldn’t care less about what’s best for our country, but only care about what’s best for their political careers. In addition, our citizenry has splintered into self interest groups and our government has become subservient to public opinion polls, as well as to the wants, wishes, and whims of a pea-brained populace. Needless to say, as Benjamin Franklin feared, we’re losing our republic!
The second fundamental belief that led our Founding Fathers to frown on democracy was the sinfulness of the common people. Our Founders realized that it wasn’t just the stupidity of the common people, but the sinfulness of the common people as well, which rendered them incompetent of governing themselves. Much to the great detriment of modern-day America, today’s Americans are completely ignorant of something our Founding Fathers clearly understood; namely, the need to suppress people’s sinful passions. If the unbridled sinful passions of our populace were not suppressed, our Founders fully expected our representative republic to be plunged into both depravity and anarchy. Therefore, they attempted to insure the suppression of the sinful passions of our citizenry, which was something they viewed as critical to both the success and future of our republic, with a couple of censors.
First, they established our government upon a belief in God. Yes, contrary to today’s separation of church and state propaganda, our Founding Fathers saw government’s acknowledgment of God as essential to the survival of our representative republic. This is why they carefully and clearly depicted our “inalienable rights” as being endowed to us by our Creator. Our Founding Fathers believed that our representative form of government could not possibly succeed unless the American people practiced moral self-restraint. To practice moral self-restraint, required the American people to believe in God, the judge of all the earth to whom every American would one day give an account. This explains why our Founding Fathers insisted that God, not government, be recognized as the final arbiter of our rights and freedoms. It also explains why John Adams, one of our Founding Fathers and America’s second president, said the following: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
The second censor applied by our Founding Fathers to bridle the passions of the American populace was law and order. As the Scripture clearly teaches, it is government’s God ordained role to protect the innocent law-abiding citizen and to punish the guilty lawbreaker (Romans 13:1-7). The fear of swift justice being administered to the lawbreaker was believed by our Founding Fathers to be the best deterrent to crime. This is why they established the rule of law; that is, a law and order American society within which everyone was equal before the law and no one was above the law.
Like Lord Acton, our Founding Fathers believed, and for good reason, when one surveys the horrors committed by despotic potentates throughout the annals of human history, that power tends to corrupt and that absolute power corrupts absolutely. For this reason, our Founders designed three coequal branches of government so that absolute power could never reside in any one of them. Furthermore, they created additional checks and balances by dividing and diffusing governmental power between federal, state, and local governments. In the end, they hoped to have eliminated the possibility of any man ever usurping the place of the rule of law in our land.
America is suppose to be a land governed by laws, not by men? If one disagrees with the law of the land his only recourse is the legislative branch of our government, which is responsible for making, changing, and rescinding laws. If one feels that the law of the land is not being enforced his only recourse is the executive branch of our government, which is responsible for executing the law. And if one believes that the law of the land is being misinterpreted his only recourse is the judicial branch of our government, which is responsible for interpreting the law.
Unbeknownst to most Americans today, our country has drifted far from its original moorings. Far from being a country governed by laws, we have become a country governed by lawyers. The law in today’s America is no longer a thing set in stone, which requires the proper petitioning and combined efforts of all three branches of government to revise or rescind. Instead, the law can now be reinterpreted, rewritten or rescinded by a lone black-robed judge wielding a single gavel.
Thomas Jefferson, the architect of the Declaration of Independence and our nation’s third president, once issued this solemn warning to our nation: “To consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions [is] a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy.” He went on to warn that granting the judiciary alone “the power of declaring what the law is” makes it into “a despotic branch” of government, makes judges into “despots,” and makes the Constitution into “a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist and shape into any form they please.” According to Jefferson, this notion of judicial despotism must be rejected, lest the judiciary “slyly and without alarm” accomplish “what open force would not dare attempt”, namely, the undermining of our Constitution and the overthrow of our government.
As Jefferson warned, Franklin questioned, and modern-day America’s drift from our original moorings prove, an iron representative republic is prone to devolve over time into something positively nightmarish. In ancient Rome, the nightmare began, as we will see in our next post in this important series of post, when Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon, conquered Rome militarily, and had himself proclaimed “Dictator in Perpetuity” or “Dictator for life.” Likewise, our American nightmare, which has already commenced, will soon be consummated when a Biblically predicted final Caesar rises from our ruins to lead an end-time world power in this fallen world’s final and consummate all-out-assault upon the chosen people of God, both Christians and Jews.
TO READ ALL THE POSTS IN THIS IMPORTANT SERIES OF POSTS, ON HOW OUR COUNTRY IS TRANSITIONING FROM AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL TO AMERICA THE BEASTLY, CLICK HERE: LITTLE BIG HORN AND THE CHRISTIANS' LAST STAND!