Tiberius Gracchus was a Roman politician and official in the Second Century BC. Gracchus was a member of the populares, a faction that sided with the plebian – the common people – against the conservative aristocratic patricians who had traditionally held power in Rome. At the time of Gracchus the small independent farmers of the Roman Republic were increasingly feeling economic pressure from the concentration of public lands into giant estates held by aristocrats. Rome, a nation whose strength had also been built on a class of free, independent men was now increasingly owned and controlled by a strata of oligarchs.
Tiberius Gracchus proposed reforms to break up the giant estates and redistribute the land to average Romans. He was vehemently opposed to the aristocrats and made no secret of his intention to destroy their power. He was aggressive. He was loud. He threatened the entire power structure of those who believed the Republic belonged to them.
In 132 BC Tiberius proposed to run for reelection to the office of tribune, a powerful Roman administrative position with the charter to represent the plebians. In doing so, he appeared to violate a tradition that barred an office holder from seeking reelection. The Roman Senate, the epicenter of the power of the oligarchs, was terrified at the prospect that Gracchus would run again and that the reforms he proposed might fundamentally change Rome and bring to an end their control over Rome’s government and society.
Gracchus had to be destroyed by any means necessary. On the pretext that he intended to make himself king he was attacked in a public marketplace and beaten to death by a mob led by Roman Senators and their allies.
“Tiberius tried to save himself by flight. As he was running, he was stopped by one who caught hold of him by the gown; but he threw it off and fled in his undergarment only. And stumbling over those who before had been knocked down, as he was endeavoring to get up again, Publius Satureius, a tribune, one of his colleagues, was observed to give him the first fatal stroke, by hitting him upon the head with the foot of a stool. The second blow was claimed, as though it had been a deed to be proud of, by Lucius Rufus. And the rest there fell above three hundred killed by clubs and staves only, none by an iron weapon”http://classics.mit.edu/Plutarch/tiberius.html
Gracchus was dead as were a great many of his followers. So was the Roman Republic. It would take a century for Julius Caesar to declare himself dictator for life, but the die was cast. Laws and traditions had been destroyed and would never be resurrected.
The oligarchs who killed Gracchus did not call themselves murderers. They claimed they were defending Rome against a demagogue and saving the Republic from the mob. All they were really doing was preserving their own power.
It has been over 2100 years since Gracchus was assassinated in Rome. Another assassination – this one of Donald Trump – is currently underway in Washington, D.C. The men and women participating may not be carrying clubs. They are every bit as ruthless.
Donald Trump did not incite a mob to storm Capitol Hill. He did not lead an insurrection. He did not advocate violence. He did something infinitely worse. He threatened the ruling class of this nation.
For the first time since perhaps the great populist movement of the late 19th century, average Americans stood up and demanded a fundamental change in the policies of this nation. They said they would no longer stand by as Amazon and Apple grew filthy rich, our factories closed, and the rest of the nation sank into poverty. They said they were tired of being fed a one-sided vision of reality crafted by a corporate media and a Marxist intelligentsia. They said they would no longer fight endless wars that did nothing to enhance American national security but made a giant military-industrial complex incomprehensibly powerful and wealthy.
The American people said they were not going to take it anymore. They were in the mood to pound the table, break some China and run the rascals in Washington out of town.
Trump was not always their most articulate advocate. As President he was not nearly as effective, as many had hoped, in actually draining the Swamp and remaking government. But, he was the first man since at least Ross Perot who actually spoke for them not the Uni-Party, Big Tech and the bureaucratic mandarins in Washington, D.C.
And that is exactly why Trump must “die.” That is why defeating him at the polls was not enough. What is at stake is the continued existence of the oligarchy that controls modern America. Trump, in the White House, or out, represents an existential threat to those who believe they own this country and that you and I should sit down, shut up and do as we are told.
How this sham impeachment proceeding will turn out remains unclear. Perhaps, though, those pushing it should have spent a little more time in history class. They believe they are killing Trump. It may yet turn out what they are really killing is the republic.