Friday, January 20, 2017

Inauguration Day

Tomorrow - no matter who you voted for - a ceremony takes place which recalls events almost 2500 years ago.

It reaches all the way back to the Roman Republic and 508 B.C. when the Praetors of Rome (who became the Consuls) voluntarily surrendered their executive power based on a vote of the Senate and the Population of Rome (Senatus Populusque Romanus).  It was a civil transfer of power:  without violence, without revolution, without war.

If you think this is not a remarkable thing, think the world that this existed in:  the next closest form of government, Athens and its democratic experiment, was just getting started.  So far as we know, everywhere else in the world was dominated by kings and chieftains, hereditary leaders.  And think of how rare it was:  by 48 B.C. the Republic had become a dictatorship, never to return.  Read the history of Rome after this and the constant internal strife and death and war (in some cases) that occurred upon the death of the ruler in charge. Or view our own recent history on the transition of power for many countries and many governments; you will find that human nature has not changed at all.

We take this all for granted now:  one day in January, the Executive power on of the most powerful countries in the world changes hands.  If you do not think it to be remarkable, remember this day.

 Because some day such a thing will seem remarkable to you that it ever existed.

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