In the waning days of the Roman Empire its rulers instituted a policy of bread and circuses to appease the masses. Current policy in this country seems reminiscent of this ancient practice. The “bread” part is pretty obvious when we examine the troubling obesity rate among people given dependable access to relatively cheap, government subsidized food. The “circuses” part is less dramatic then the gruesome displays in the coliseum, but serves the same purpose. It is a diversion.
Current “circuses” may involve widespread coverage of the misadventures of Donald Trump or the pros and cons of transgender restrooms or the ubiquitous sports spectaculars. By contrast, media coverage of our congressional stalemate or the state of our health care system or the outrageous cost of certain prescription drugs or our failing educational system, is muted. These issues, important to every American, get lost in the noisy “circuses.”
How can our country serve as a credible world leader without addressing basic problems in our institutions that enhance citizen anxiety and frustration?
Robert J. Boes