Somewhere between Jan. 1, 106 B.C. and Dec. 7, 43 B.C., Marcus Tullius Cicer, an orator and statesman in ancient Rome, declared that “the people’s good is the highest law.” A later version, ascribed to someone whose name I cannot recall, announced that “the people’s safety is the highest law.”
Anyone whose bent is to serve the American people should be made to repeat the latter at least once every day of his or her tenure in public office.
I am inclined to agree with the latter version of the quote. It is not a big reach. For example, if you had just become the chief executive officer of a major corporation, knowing beforehand that a subversive force was out to destroy your company, would you not go into your new job with the company’s survival as your first priority — or at least with a plan? Your company’s very existence — or its good/safety, as Cicero admonished — would have to be your highest law, in this case the ultimate priority. Otherwise, you would be gone tomorrow. (Remember, our president rightly fired a major corporate executive.)
The parallel is clear. What was President Obama waiting for? If he was the savior he promised to be, he would have thought of the people’s safety before he took the oath of office. He should not have waited until yet another terrorist atrocity threatened us to review airline safety procedures. One cannot continue to blame George W. Bush for everything. But, then, Mr. Obama does not have to fly public airlines. However, we, the people do.
I respectfully suggest that Mr. Obama and cohorts read Nelson DeMille’s novel, “Wild Fire.” It might challenge them.