Donald Trump, Virtual Reality and the Wall of Rome

On the heels of Super Tuesday, let us consider Republican front-runner Donald Trump, along with the many Washington insiders in whose collective mind Mr. Trump is an enigma. They do not understand him. I’m not sure I do either, but I do know that Trump’s appeal resides outside the oligarchical world of Washington insiders. His bond with a loyal base of voters is beyond foreign to them. It is anathema.

An illustration. Consider the process whereby one may don a headset and become immersed in an alternate world, one that seems real because its pathway to the mind floods with stimuli. In the process, the subject becomes removed from what resides beyond their immediate perception. The effect of this phenomenon, know as Virtual Reality, is so powerful it can be used to anesthetize patients during surgical procedures.

What’s disconcerting, frightening even, is the potential for people to become so seduced by Virtual Reality that they do not wish to leave it, convinced they are better sustained by what seems real, than by what is real. Disconnected from the outside world, they no longer understand, appreciate or value it. Such is the plight of, for example, a severe heroin addict or, as another example, a severe Washington bureaucrat.

Within a virtual world, surrounded by a virtual wall of its own creating, our federal government is a massive entity that has become addicted, and lost to the outside world whose resources feed it. The delivery mechanism is a seemingly endless flow of money and power from the citizenry to the bureaucracy, seducing the establishment beast into dull insouciance. Sustained by what it takes from others, the beast lives to consume and grow, and will continue doing so until something stops it, for it cannot stop itself. As with someone addicted to heroin, an intervention is required.

It will be a massive struggle and could get ugly, perhaps even violent, and consume much of our nation’s energy and focus. But it must occur, otherwise America’s federal bureaucracy will continue to suffocate our republic, as our constitution and freedoms waste away, like the emaciated body of a heroin addict. Under such a scenario, however, the government would not waste away, nor would it mourn the loss of our constitution, our republic or our freedoms. The beast would go on doing what it does – consuming, growing, sustaining itself.

And what does this have to do with Rome? It is worth noting that, in ancient times, the City of Rome was surrounded by an immense wall, separating the rulers of the known world from those they ruled. Also worth pondering that Rome’s empire collapsed from within, not due to barbarian hordes clawing at its frontiers. The insouciant, suffocating beast the Roman Empire had become was no longer sustainable. One of history’s greatest powers became vulnerable, and came apart. Only then did the hoards rush in to plunder what was left.

Whether built of bricks and mortar or of virtual reality, whether built to contain or to repel, walls do not last forever. The virtual wall isolating our federal bureaucracy is certain to fade away. What we do not know, however, is when that will happen and by what means. The key for conservatives in this election year is to discern who is best equipped to lead an intervention – in our time, on our terms, as sanctioned by the Constitution – to save our republic.

In whom shall we place our trust? It must be the person best suited to stare down the statist beast, to challenge the Washington status quo, and to intervene on our behalf with sincerity of purpose, echoing the spirit of Ronald Reagan’s immortal proclamation, “Tear down this wall!”

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