Do We Have A Brutus?

For most people, the name “Brutus” brings to mind the Roman politician, who took a leading role in the assassination of Julius Caesar. Because the winners write the history books, he is also remembered as a villain, the guy who murdered the great man and sent the Roman Republic careening toward authoritarian rule. That is probably not fair to Brutus or the other members of the Optimate faction. Julius Caesar was no friend of the Republic, despite being the leader of the Populis faction, but that is how it goes with history.

There is another Brutus, one who is relevant to our age. Lucius Junius Brutus is remembered as the founder of the Roman Republic. Until the fifth century BC, Rome was ruled by a series of kings. According to Livy, The son of Tarquinius Superbus raped a noblewoman named Lucretia, who was a relation to Brutus. There was already great discontent with the behavior of the king and Brutus had many other grievances, but this was the tipping point. Brutus led the revolt against the king and established the Republic.

The story itself is worth relating. After she had been raped, Lucretia summoned Brutus, her father, Lucius Tarquinius Collatinus and Publius Valerius Poplicola, whose name the Founders would use when promoting the Constitution. After she told them what had happened and how she had been dishonored, she committed suicide by stabbing herself with a dagger. Brutus pulled the dagger from her chest, held it up and immediately shouted for the overthrow of the Tarquins. The revolution started at that moment.

Hidden in that story, which is most likely apocryphal, is the logic of republican virtue and republican morality. Free men fight and die for their honor, for their liberty and for their posterity. It is a form of rule based on a set of ideals, rather than a practical arrangement among men. A king is a pragmatic compromise that works now. A dictatorial committee is just the best way to establish order in the moment. A republic assumes men are not angels, but it assumes each generation will generate enough virtuous men to maintain it.

Our first Brutus is remembered as an example of that republican virtue, not because he established it, but because he sacrificed for it. Brutus became the first consul of Rome. During his consulship, the royal family tried to subvert the republic in order to regain the throne. This is remembered as the Tarquinian conspiracy. Among the conspirators were two of Brutus’ sons, who were sentenced to death. Brutus gained great respect among his peers for stoically watching as the sentence was carried out.

We are a long way from those times, but we have similar challenges. The emerging conspiracy among career political appointees and intelligence officials, a conspiracy to overthrow the orderly functioning of the republic, is not a lot different from what the Romans faced 25 centuries ago. It is not hugely different from what faced them five centuries after the founding of the Republic. In the former case, a Brutus was able to rise to the challenge. In the latter, another Brutus was not able to answer the call.

In the current crisis, there are some similarities to both events. Those plotting against republican order are doing so claiming Trump is an authoritarian. They see his very existence as proof of some hidden conspiracy to overthrow democracy and install Trump as the 12th invisible Hitler, returned to usher in the Fourth Reich. That sounds ridiculous, but not unlike the plotters against Caesar, the people scheming to get Trump, justify their actions, not on merit, but against what they imagine Trump is secretly plotting.

Those defending the plotters believe it too. Like the conspirators, they have no choice but to believe it. They are calling the release of the memo a constitutional crisis, implying a grab for power by Trump. They have to go down this path, turning everything on its head, otherwise they are the villains. They need to see themselves as the white hats and they need the public to see them as that too. The men who assassinated Julius Caesar justified murder, by imagining themselves as the defenders of Rome for the same reason.

On the other hand, we have Trump, maybe the last man in the Imperial Capital, who still believes in the old ideal of America. Trump is a true civic nationalist. He is the first president in many generations to truly sacrifice in order to serve in office. He is a man of weird old America. He even sounds like where he comes from, which is no longer typical of a member of the political class. He came into office believing that his victory would be enough to convince the political class to go along with his reform program.

On the other other hand, Trump is the guy tasked by history to impose order on a chaotic American political world. Much in the same way Julius Caesar was faced with a choice between obeying the rules and permitting chaos, Trump is faced with the choice of letting things go on as usual or imposing the rule of law. If he yields to the will of the Senate, so to speak, he risks undermining the constitutional order. If he goes against the political class and business as usual, he risks war with the old guard and all that comes with it.

Trump is both the tribune of the people and the defender of the prevailing order. He is in a strange position; in that he is pushing for the sorts of reforms popular with the Populis faction and tasked with defending the order that makes it possible for the Optimate faction to exist. He is Lucius Junius Brutus, overthrowing the current order, but he is also Marcus Junius Brutus, motivated by a desire to defend the old order. It is like the confluence of two rivers of Western history. Time will tell if we have the Brutus to save the republic.

58 thoughts on “Do We Have A Brutus?

  1. I have to say, I was stunned when he won and still feel a bit gobsmacked by his presidency, but it appears it was what we needed. Not the madness of crowds but a crowd sourced solution to a very failed political environment in DC.
    Nodding to agreeable lies, about budget, defense, Palestinian peace process. Over.
    Throw over the tables at the temple, Donald, recreate the world.
    It might get better.

  2. “They are often the exact same people that participated in the looting during the 90s”
    De Beers

    Late, but many, many kudos for that.

  3. For me President Trump is something of a mystery. He’s wealthy and a New York Democrat. He should fit in perfect yet the Deep state is losing their minds.

    Has the magnitude of following all these other men had an effect on him ?

    Perhaps he’s trying to secure his own legacy as a president. ?

    Would love to see him pull it off. This corruption probably goes back to the JFK murder. Unfortunately it seems most of the country is still sleeping. 🙁

  4. During it’s heyday, the Roman Empire was the Western World’s sole superpower, and they acquired great wealth through conquest and domination. This affluence eventually led to societal decadence and a concomitant weakening of it’s people. The rot was systemic, not just in it’s leadership, and the Vandals exploited this weakness. Compare our modern political class with that of the founders and our modern civil robustness with that of the Colonists.

  5. “They” are correct. This is a conspiracy to overthrow a long accumulatlon of political arrangements, or as they reverently refer to it, “our democracy”.

  6. At this point I prefer that the USA disintegrate and its sections become sovereign. We know the Establishment won’t allow reforms. I see no other respite for honorable white people.

    The next POTUS will be a socialist totalitarian , probably an open jew or a mixed race and female. Her mandate will be to crush White America.

    I advocate for strategy, the white survival doctrine, to accelerate the rural-urban divide. By rural dominance we will control the sustenance of cities.

    • Kamala Harris is apparently “married” to a Jewish husband.

      Disintegraiton sounds find until the other side associates us with “Nazi Nukes”

      Real-life Ahnuld Terminators might also become a thing within 20 years.

    • The first part of “divide and conquer” is “divide”. Balkanized means weak.
      Mostly dead or powerless patriots, as well.

      “Let our enemies fear the wrath of Des Moines!”

  7. Well, have a reality where the Democratic candidate for President paid for, and received, Russian-produced propaganda written with the help of a foreign agent (a British spy), and that Russian-produced propaganda has been used to try and throw the election to Clinton, plant a criminal investigation in the FBI, and to launch a year and a half long fraud investigation in an attempt to overthrow the election results.

    Result? Liberals yawn at what their side has done, which is precisely the “Treason” they accuse of the other side.

    More is coming. Expect Mueller to do something dramatic to try and mitigate the impact of the memo. I think the issues with the FBI and DOJ are coming to a head, with credible reports that the FBI and DOJ have been telling Republicans in Congress exercising their Constititional oversight roles to go f**k themselves. That is not the behavior of agencies who think they are in the right. That is the behavior of agencies with a lot to hide and even more to lose…as they continue to try and find ways to stop Trump at any cost.

    I’ve long said that if impeachment fails, they’ll start making attempts on Trump’s life next.

    • If I were advising Trump, I’d have a plan ready to launch once the DOJ memo is revealed or Rosenstein resigns.

      1) Have Sessions seize the offices of Mueller and put them under armed guard. All the computers get turned off, unplugged and put in locked cases. The offices are locked and a 24-hour guard is posted.

      2) Mueller and his team are placed under a gag order. They are not permitted to speak to anyone about their investigation or their suspension.

      3) Trump gives a prime time address and explains that the corruption in the FBI and Justice department requires a special counsel. He is suspending the Mueller investigation to avoid the destruction of evidence, but will allow the new counsel to investigate Mueller and his team as part of his overall corruption portfolio.

      4) Sessions appoints a special counsel and maybe have that guy report to a Federal judge.

      This removes the dirty cops like Mueller, who is obviously there to conceal the corruption. When Mueller and his lieutenants start blabbing to the media, they can be charged with crimes by the new prosecutor.

      • My mom, who is one of the most astute political observers I’ve ever known, and a very, very, early support of Trump (before it was cool), watches his body language very closely. Same age, same generation, and she said the look on his face when he was asked what he planned to do about it was, “He looked angry. He looked like he wanted to blurt out what he was going to do. Then he collected himself, and got quiet without saying anything.”

        She feels like there is a bigger plan in play here. You can just feel it. I have no idea if it’ll work. But whatever it is they’re up to, they’re playing for keeps.

        Barring any intermediate actions that we haven’t considered, the next shoe to drop is the IG investigation.

        • Would you have a link to that? I believe you I’d just like to see it myself. So when Trump won the election with “Because you’d be in jail.” He already knew about the fake dossier?? I’d suspect he did?

      • While the Donks are unquestionably idiots – they’re bagmen and lackeys are not. You can bet they are forensically scrubbing their slime trails as we speak. If Trump were to move against the FBI and the DOJ – he is going to need explosive, damning and incontrovertible evidence to justify it.

        Even with what we’ve seen so far, there is enough evidence to hang regular people for treason and the Donks just yawn and ask, “Is that all ya got?”

        It is my belief that their powerbase will not be red pilled even with ample evidence and witnesses. They are going to need to be lead pilled if ya catch my drift.

        • At his core is President Trump is a hotelier and entertainer.

          While he has some of the “mobbed up cutthroat” attitude an NYC developer would need,to survive, I wonder of that is enough to do the truly dirty work needed to fix the Republic

          I watched the man since I was a child , read his books but I don’t know him personally and Trump the public figure may be very different than Trump the man

          That aside, he is probably the last chance at a fairly easy solution compared to the 20 year interregnum of fire and lots of it that would be required otherwise.

          • If he fails, that interregnum and the totalitarian hell likely following it become a certainty.

            Trump has bought us time.

      • Bless the Donald, despite the drain the swamp thing it seems to me he did not own the informed cynicism that the host or average commenter here has about DC, but he is truly a fast learner and his instincts are far more sophisticated than his manner. So far as I know I was the first to liken Trump to Andy Jackson, but as well the year has shown no one to be so continually misunderestimated since Lincoln. Lest we forget, before Abe became a Saint he was an awkward uneducated bumbler. Trump’s great advantage is that his enemies do not have the wit to respect the man they loath even as he’s setting them up.

      • I take it that you concur that Rod Rosenstein’s resignation will be the tell?

        Love the plan. As to point (4), it’s an interesting question whether having a special counsel report to a Federal Judge would pass constitutional muster. A special counsel falls within the executive branch. It’s not clear that a special counsel could report into the judicial branch.

    • I’m not buying the Dems Are Real Russians argument.

      There are powerful interests at play in our politics that don’t want normalization of ties with Russia. They are often the exact same people that participated in the looting during the 90s, and helped Yelstin steal an election.

      Look up how Francois Fillon’s campaign in France was derailed. The corruption he was accused of was and is commonplace in France. He was targeted because he wanted to restore the alliance with Russia.

      The left is accusing Trump and his supporters of “treason” because they consider Russia to be the Fourth Reich.

      Perhaps Putin is the good guy?

      • It doesn’t matter if you “buy it”…them’s the facts. Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the DNC did pay a foreign spy to write a dossier which was produced almost entirely with the help of Russian agents, employees within the Kremlin, and several conveniently “unnamed” Russian citizens. It just IS.

        They then took that dossier, and with the help of their political allies in the DOJ and FBI, pursued a multi-track attempt to thwart a Trump win. And, upon his election, they continued the effort to overturn the election results.

        It’s plain as day. Does that make them Russian agents? I don’t actually give frak. What I care about is that the FBI and DOJ are absolutely INFESTED with anti-democratic, anti-American, bureaucrats who literally believe they answer to neither the President of the United States nor the Congress.

        Gut ’em.

        • I point the finger at British MI6 and GCHQ. The Deep State operates on the Five Eyes principle, providing a legal excuse for the NSA and CIA to conduct otherwise illegal domestic spying.

          Steele is no freelancer.

          • Well, he was definitely working on behalf of both Clinton and the DNC (a distinction without a difference, perhaps), and he also was reimbursed for some of his expenses by the FBI.

            Now, today, we learn that State Department may have been in on this too.

            I’m gonna laugh my ass off until I die if this whole deep state conspiracy gets unraveled by a Chief of Counterintelligence at the FBI who couldn’t keep his wick dry.

          • I’m leery of bending the narrative towards ‘Russian involvement!’

            Miniscule. Side money.
            The real danger is within.

            I appreciate de Beers pointing out that the global Great Game is, well, global.

            I’m also glad hokkoda points out that the ubermenschen really are just termites!
            We tremble before conniving vermin.

          • The Russian involvement angle is what opens the door to clean house at the DOJ and FBI. You’ve already heard (probaby many times from both sides of the political aisle and the media) “Government employees are allowed to have political views. They just need to check them at a the door.” Nobody’s gonna get canned for some of this stuff. But conspiring with the agents of a foreign power?

            That’s easy, slam dunk, stuff…which is why they’ve been trying to use it against Trump.

            The problem, of course, is that this is boomeranging on them…as it is revealed that the “agents of a foreign power” turn out to have been FBI and DOJ employees.

        • Hok;
          Good summary. I’m thinking the Russians put the ridiculous ‘golden showers’ story in there both as a ‘radioactive tracer’ to prove authorship to Vlad P. and as a test of how far they could go with stupid Prog. disinformation.

          Maybe it was part of a bet:

          Sergey Lavrov (foreign minister) to Vlad P. in early 2016, “Hilbot so stupid and corrupt. I will own her completely when she become President. I swear on my mother’s vodka still.”

          Vlad P., “I have tasted your mother’s vodka. So ‘totes not happening’ as the mindless American millennials say.”

          Sergey L., “I bet you my Crimean beach-front estate against your 1200 square meter Dacha in woods.”

          Vlad P., “Da, you are on. But how you prove it now_?”

          Sergey L. “Stupid old Limey Spy we own is back. He shopping for kompromat on cheeto-hair Trump. He think we don’t know who pays him. I put in legend so outrageous that only Hilbot and harpies will buy. You tell me what legend. Shows up in New York Times, I win.”

          Vlad P., “How about old ‘golden showers’ legend. Old and outrageous both.”

          Sergey L., “Da, you are on. ‘Golden showers’ it is.”

          • The “golden showers” thing is something you write because the people paying you WANT to believe it. Last week, I posted to a Vanity Fair review of Steele’s work from April 2017. Nobody in the column, nor the reporter, has enough a whiff of self awareness as they blithely report on a foreign agent coordinating with the Kremlin to produce an antiTrump piece of agitprop.

            It’s because they WANTED it to be true…so who wrote it didn’t matter to them.

            A few months later, we find out that the FusionGPS cited in the Vanity Fair report…was paid by the Clintons.

            More yawning.

            Because they want it to be true, and no level of criminality on the part of the Clintons, the DNC, or anybody in the Government Bureaucracy will sway them.

    • I think Trump could have smoked Joe Biden.

      Crazy Joe was planning on his son, now deceased, would run for President. His son’s widow is now married to Joe’s other son who is a substance abuser, and involved in some dirty Ukraine business. Imagine that soap opera playing out for an election cycle.

      Biden is also an idiot. Beating Sarah Palin is not much of an accomplishment. Paul Ryan had to hide his Ayn Rand or Social Darwinist views, so he couldn’t give his best effort.

  8. Baby steps. If Rod Rosenstein resigns this week then we are moving in the right direction. If he remains in office then things are less clear.

    • Nothing’s going to happen that fast. Rosenstein has allegedly told members of Congress to go to hell in a hand cart. He’s clearly not a guy who is worried about his future prospects in Government.

  9. I’m curious what the markets will do today. The 600 point drop last week makes me realize that Trump understands this and that’s why he’s letting the proof of treason out slowly. Too much at once, too much market uncertainty for the sheep. He knows what he wants to do but he understands that a robust economy will make his plan possible. I realize that the drop was an overdue correction and there will probably be more. But, if he gives the Fake News Networks any ammunition, his 2018 goals of holding and increasing his House and Senate seats are in jeopardy.

    • He’s letting the game come to him. Think about whether there has been one instance of him forcing an issue and wasting political capital in doing so thus far, in the manner that, say, Bush did with his failed bid to reform social security. He has a sense of what is natural to his current station and is, to a certain extent, letting nature take it’s course.

      • Doc;

        But you need beaters for that hunting plan to work. So, we must support the House Freedom Caucus.

  10. To switch from ancient politics to modern political theory, this all makes me think of Patrick Deneen’s book Why Liberalism Failed. (I base this on reviews and summaries as I haven’t read the book itself yet.) It’s like Trump wishes we could have post-WWII “liberalism” (in the general Lockean sense, not meaning just “left wing) back. I doubt Trump is philosophical about it, but just wishes we could have the world of Truman, Eisenhower, Stevenson, etc. back. That and the booming economy, and the sense of optimism about America. (Yeah, I know what the lefties will say… “What about black people?! What about the threat of nuclear war?”)

    Trump would have literally been a kid during the fifties and probably has a lot of nostalgia for the feeling of that era. But Deneen seems to be saying that liberalism undercuts itself. It basically *has* to lead to what we have today. Once you start the ball rolling on looking for ever more liberty, you eventually can’t say no to gay marriage and transgender bathrooms. Liberalism felt great while the old, hierarchical order was still lingering somewhat. Once that toppled (from the 60s onward) liberalism shifted from getting the little guy out from under the oppressive hierarchy and instead led to a bunch of grievance-based groups fighting for power as victims.

    The NeverTrump RINOs and the Left do represent what the “old order” has descended into through this self-immolation of liberalism. Trump does seem to want to go back to liberal America *before* this corruption happened. But can it really be regained? Was it ever a stable system, or just a temporary situation where, as I say, the old hierarchy lingered, but various small freedoms kept coming along making people feel things were getting better and better for a while?

    • Equality (e.g. liberalism) is idea cancer. It has no built in limitation, so if you have this idea then you eventually must get this result.

      You only have the resolve of conservatives to stop it with, and that’s not enoug because they believe the same idea, ultimately.

      Actual right wing positions reject equality in favor of order. Conservatives are not right wing they are just a reactionary variety of liberal.

  11. Trump has an incredibly unique character trait in that he is a true optimist. It’s a completely befuddling trait. There so few people that are like that especially in such high levels of business and politics. How did he manage to stay that optimistic. It’s really bizarre. All along the left has underestimated his intelligence but I think that optimism is a whole other factor. Honestly, I’m not sure to what.

    • A lot of it is that Trump finds conflict energizing. Most people don’t argue for fun. Most people view conflict as something to be avoided or minimized, but some groups, Jews especially, find constant argument stimulating. It’s sort of the opposite of the Corleone rule (“We don’t talk business at the table”). Andrew Breitbart was (as Mickey Kaus pointed out) adopted by Jewish parents, which is where he received that kind of training to not only argue with shit weasels like Tim Wise but to actually have fun fighting Lefty. Trump, despite the hooting from the loonie neurotic Jews in media, has spent his entire life in New York, so he’s picked up a lot of this stuff by proxy and osmosis (“Hillary got schlonged” etc.). But I think constitution is also just inborn. Some people are happy and others are miserable. Trump likes life and enjoys it, like a merry king. He likes pussy and good food. God bless him.

      • “He likes p… and good food.” The king is a bon vivant from plebeian roots. Enjoying life is an alien concept for the perpetually enraged and illiberal people who call themselves “liberals”. This is why they can’t understand him.

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