Historians will tell any interested party that ancient Rome's power over its citizenry was the result of a dual edged sword. One edge was comprised of the largest and best trained military in the world at the time. The other edge was each emperor's ability to distract the governed away from his corruption and sinful indulgences with a steady diet of bread and circuses. A populace that is well fed and well entertained is one which will have little cause for uprising or even provide serious opposition to anything their leaders do.
The concept of bread and circuses explains much of the reason that so many in 2013 America have resigned themselves to a miserable economy that has resulted in over eight million fewer of their fellow citizens working than in January of 2009, when Barackacus Obamicus rode in on his golden chariot to bring a new era to America. Bread and circuses can explain even the seemingly unexplainable, like why there are still people who believe that the Federal Reserve printing money and buying bonds to keep interest rates historically low has actually stimulated the economy. After all, it was only five years ago that Barack Obama and others on the Left made vociferous claims that the financial collapse of 2008 was caused by Republicant fiscal policy of easy money, i.e., keeping interest rates artificially low. The very practice that Democrats tried to tar and feather Republicants with as the source of economic calamity is the very same practice, only multiplied by a factor of hundreds, in which the Obama Federal Reserve has engaged the last four and a half years.
The bread and circuses of ancient Rome consisted of actual bread and life and death struggles in the Coliseum. The bread and circuses of modern-day America consists of each person, rich or poor, receiving three to four times the caloric intake they need to stay alive, and a steady diet of mind-numbing television shows. It is easy for a president and his party to impose legislation like Obamacare, which reduces health care to the level of acquiring an automobile registration at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, when the populace being imposed upon is stuffing their faces with cheeseburgers and watching reality TV shows. And of course, just as ancient Rome had its Christians, which were fed to the lions while thousands of Romans cheered, America's modern version of bread and circuses has its Christians, which oddly enough, are still Christians. Modern Christians in the United States are not fed to the lions (not yet anyway), but are mocked and marginalized on a daily basis by Leftist politicians and Leftist television producers.
And what has happened to this once great nation that stood as a beacon of liberty and prosperity for over two hundred years while its people have been distracted by the bread and circuses of Leftists like Barack Obama? We have seen our freedom of choice eroded to the level that we no longer are capable of choosing the kind of light bulbs we use in our homes and we have accepted extreme mediocrity as a substitute for a thriving and prosperous economy. I can almost hear the barbarians at the gate.