This day in history: government goes mad

You wouldn’t bee-lieve how mad government can be

Lately, it seems as if government has gone mad. Sooo… the question is… is this anything new? Apparently, the answer is no. Lunacy in government has been going on for centuries. One of the most dramatic examples of a government gone mad occurred in ancient Rome.


On July 18th, 64 A.D., Rome burned. No, Nero wasn’t fiddling while it happened. In fact, he wasn’t even in Rome when the fire occurred. Nero playing a violin while watching his city burn down, which killed hundreds and resulted in thousands becoming homeless, is definitely the image of “I couldn’t care less.” But it never happened. For one thing, Nero would have had to have gotten into a time machine and traveled to the future, just to obtain the fiddle. The oldest known violin was made in the 1500s. But still, Nero did play the lyre, which was a forerunner of the violin.

Nero was a mean man. He used the fire as an excuse to persecute Christians, and many people suffered as a result.

Also on this date, in the area of government: in 1945, sixteen commissioned and noncommissioned officers in the U.S. Army were accused by House Military Affairs Subcommittee chief counsel H. Ralph Burton of being communists. This occurred years before the McCarthy era began. Mr. Burton apparently was the forerunner of Rep. Joseph McCarthy, who accused numerous people of being “card carrying members of the Communist Party.” They included actors, movie directors, authors, and others. The search for “communists” was likened to a witch hunt. Eventually, Sen. McCarthy became more erratic and began accusing Members of Congress, both Republican and Democrat, as well as President Dwight Eisenhower, of being communists. 

Sen. McCarthy, who suffered from alcoholism, died before completing his second term at the age of 48 in 1957 of hepatitis.

The Red Scare of the 1950s resulted in a lot of suffering. People were accusing their neighbors of being communists. Others were forced out of their jobs and were unable to find employment, due to blacklists.

Please discuss this: “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”




1 thought on “This day in history: government goes mad”

  1. Oh yes, the lessons of history. Too many of us don't listen, until it is too late. An unknown person (many say Mark Twain, but it may not have been him) said that history does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme.

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