Around 100 AD, the Roman satirist Juvenal wrote that, “The people that once bestowed commands, consulships, legions, and all else, now concerns itself no more, and longs eagerly for just two things – bread and circuses!”
The simplified quip of “bread and circuses” has since been used to decry and satirize mob mentality coupled with the loss of civic virtue and education and the ability of demagogues to capture the hearts and minds of the uneducated rabble through nothing more than food and entertainment. I dare say little has changed in 2,000 years, and this same satirical critique could be leveled at society that supports the man whose recent victory speech included the statement, “I love the poorly educated…” A part of me wants to be in shock. A part of me wants to believe that the elevation of such crassness is not possible in this country. On the other hand, I think of the general coarseness of our society that devotes much more time to keeping up with the Kardashians and the 20th season of The Bachelor than keeping up with the level of education and morality required to uphold a democratic republic and I can’t help but draw the conclusion that perhaps this is the government that we deserve.