What we need in Washington today is a modern-day Socrates. Socrates may have been shortchanged when they passed out good looks, but he was handsomely endowed with principle. He was a rare man who stayed true to his convictions even in the face of death.
Socrates would not do anything he did not believe to be right, regardless of what was at stake. His chief interest was the pursuit of virtue and truth. And then, as now, truth was abhorred by those in power, because they were all too aware that truth is not well received by the masses.
The fact that Socrates was a man of conviction and principle irritated politicians no end. He believed that the greatest wisdom is to be aware of one’s own ignorance, and that people who know nothing, but believe they know much, are fools. Can you imagine what he would think of the members of today’s Capitol Hill Mafia?
Socrates was philosophically, morally, and politically at odds with his fellow citizens, and his views did not play well in Athens. If he were running for office today, his handlers would be whispering to him, “Shhh … Soc, cool it or they’ll be bringing out the bucket of hemlock before you know it.”
And indeed they did. The official charge: “corrupting youth by questioning tradition.” Of great importance in this saga is that even after the power holders threw Socrates in the clinker, he could have saved himself by recanting. But he was defiant to the bitter end.
Can you picture a modern-day politician, when being given an opportunity to change his stance or be put to death, saying, “Thanks, fellas, but I think I’ll just stick with my beliefs. Pass the hemlock, please.”
So, Socrates died — but he died with dignity, maintaining the courage of his convictions to the bitter end. He preferred death over the endorsement of B.S. Do you know any politicians today who would be willing to die for their convictions?
Socrates has always been an enigma to historians in that he seemed to be a patriot, while at the same time disagreeing with much of what he saw and heard around him. Socrates was, in fact, a patriot of the highest order, because a true patriot is someone who has the courage to disagree with immoral actions.
In today’s America, if you love the founding principles, why wouldn’t you disagree with the lies, the decadence, and the unconstitutional policies that have metastasized throughout our once-proud culture?
The problem with the United States is not the national debt, the deficit, illegal immigration, or foreign entanglements. The underlying problem with the United States is that politicians are willing to say — and vote for — just about anything in order to maintain their status in the Capitol Hill Mafia.
And so, my fellow Americans, the dramas acted out by politicians in the multiplex D.C. Political Theatre live on. But regardless of political-theater to the contrary, the majority in both wings of the Demopublican Party agree on the major, underlying premise that the state has a right to ignore the Constitution. Their differences lie only in how much of the Constitution it has a right to ignore, and to what extent.
Luckily for politicians, a majority of Americans still don’t get this — including many in the conservative media who claim they do. And so long as the D.C. Political Theatre dramas continue to dazzle the masses, they never will.
Where is Socrates when you need him?
Copyright © 2013 Robert Ringer
ROBERT RINGER is a New York Times #1 bestselling author and host of the highly acclaimed Liberty Education Interview Series, which features interviews with top political, economic, and social leaders. He has appeared on Fox News, Fox Business, The Tonight Show, Today, The Dennis Miller Show, Good Morning America, The Lars Larson Show, ABC Nightline, and The Charlie Rose Show, and has been the subject of feature articles in such major publications as Time, People, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Barron’s, and The New York Times.