Runnymede

It is worth noting that in all cases up to now -- the baron’s revolt against John, the Glorious Revolution against James, and the American Revolution against George -- the revolution was carried about by elites. They were the most well read, and familiar with history, and what happens when despots are granted arbitrary power. As the wealthiest of their society, they also had the most to lose in such revolts. They were committing treason against a king, which historically meant not just the loss of land and title, but was a capital offense, to be carried out in the most cruel ways of the times (traditionally by the removal of entrails while still alive, and then dismembered).

Sadly, today we have not leaders, but a new elite who seem indifferent to this history, and to the well being of the people. Instead, while mouthing monotonic platitudes about their love of the working class, they seem to believe that they have their own divine rights, including even hereditary ones, in which their untalented children can get no-work contracts from wealthy corporations in return for political favors.

Our elites today, rather than becoming concerned, have become the enablers of the powerful, and grow wealthy at the expense of those whom they view as their ignorant, dependent lessers. The revolt against the overreach of power has not come from them, but from below. As with the ancient Saxons, it has come from the yeomanry of the nation -- the small business owners, the ranchers, the craftsmen, and the Tea Partiers. Like the Founders, they are now the best educated about the rights of man and the Constitution, and they now have the most to lose should the nation fall back into the old ways.

They saved us from we know not what in the election of 2010, taking back the House. They had a setback in 2012, because the elites struck back, with corruption, lies, and abuse of their power, reinstalling a charismatic mortal who thinks he is a law unto himself. They rose up again last year, taking back the Senate, but the tyrannical God-King remains.

We have perhaps one more chance for our own Runnymede. It may take the form of a simple election, if sweeping enough. Or perhaps we will have to gather among the states and come up with a new compact to build on the old ones whose principles and ideas are increasingly ignored and viewed as irrelevant by those who would rule us. But whatever the future holds, let us remember and be guided by that past.