cicero

Cesare Maccari

Cicero addresses the Roman Senate.

There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

Proverbs 12:18

 

I’ve had the opportunity to attend many of our city council and borough assembly meetings in the past seven months. Plus, the coverage of our presidential campaigns, which has nudged an interest for me to compare the politics of the Roman Republic with the American Republic.

Naturally, during the turbulent times of the Roman Republic a whole cast of characters came forward — Cicero, Pompey, Julius Caesar, Mark Anthony.

I find there are many similarities between then and now. Through the centuries the U.S.A. has benefitted through the process of refinement, but we share in the three main divisions: executive branch – consuls; legislative branch — senators; judicial branch – praetors.

The one I find most interesting but missing from our republic is the Centuriate Assembly. Basically they were a group of citizen soldiers, members for life, who elected consuls and drafted and passed legislation.

So what is the point? Well, this has really been an unusual year in politics for both locally and nationally.

What prompted my voyage through historical politics was the idea of politeness and politics.

I asked myself, “Isn’t it alright to disagree and still be polite and respectful? We agree to disagree.” I thought that was part of the skills of politicians to find solutions through political compromise for the wellbeing of all.

Psalm 141:3 presents a short but direct reminder of guidance: “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!”

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