“Our Fine Arts, These, Forever”: From Livy and Virgil, to Romney and Ryan

     Barack Obama’s foreign policy is quite rightly considered a disaster.  From supporting the former President of Honduras Manuel Zelaya who was legally removed by the Honduran Supreme Court and Congress, promising to Medvedev and Putin more “flexibility” for Russia, apologizing to rioting Muslims (from Kuwait to Thailand and even Greece) for our daring to have free speech, to supporting countries that employ child soldiers.  Recently, Mitt Romney opined in a Wall Street Journal editorial concerning that weakness brought by Obama, and offered a return to those post-WWII policies that lead to America, as if a sentinel, standing over astride the world in Pax Americana.  Most notably, Romney said:

“Since World War II, America has been the leader of the Free World. We’re unique in having earned that role not through conquest but through promoting human rights, free markets and the rule of law. We ally ourselves with like-minded countries, expand prosperity through trade and keep the peace by maintaining a military second to none.”

     This hearkens back to the very roots of Western Civilization, and another, more ancient Republic:

“Others, no  doubt, will better mould the bronze
To the semblance of soft breathing, draw, from marble,
The living countenance; and others plead
With greater eloquence, or learn to measure,
Better than we, the pathways of the heaven,
The risings of the stars: remember, Roman,
To rule the people under law, to establish
The way of peace, to battle down the haughty,
To spare the meek.  Our fine arts, these, forever.”

— Virgil, the Æneid, Book VI

     While one may certainly disagree with American’s capacity for arts and science, that the United States has been a nation under the Rule of Law, or that the United States has waged its most bloody wars for liberation, rather than rapine and evil, is unequivocal.  Again, this hearkens back to another, more ancient Republic:

“There was one people in the world which would fight for others’ liberties at its own cost, to its own peril, and with its own toil, not limitating its guaranties of freedom to its neighbors, to the men of the immediate vicinity, or to countries that lay close at hand, but ready to cross the sea that there might be no unjust empire anywhere and that everywhere justice, right, and law might prevail”

— Livy, History of Rome XXXIII § 33

     Obama, whose foreign upbringing, and penchant for the statism found through much of the world in lieu of American Exceptionalism, is weakening America via a so-called “Global Consensus.”  In blessed contrast to Obama, Romney seems to harken back to these, our fine arts:

“The 20th century became an American Century because we were steadfast in defense of freedom. We made the painful sacrifices necessary to defeat totalitarianism in all of its guises. To defend ourselves and our allies, we paid the price in treasure and in soldiers who never came home.”



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