Rome Long Survived Countless Incompetent, Narcissistic Emperors, Will America Survive Barack Obama and His Successor?

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I’m writing this while sitting on a cruise ship that’s docked in Mallorca, Spain. I’m heading to France and have just spent 4 days in Italy. I’ve only had a cursory look at the news from home, and what I’ve caught has been depressing, like this entire election cycle.

One of the most interesting things about this trip thus far – other than the obvious visits to Pompeii, the Coliseum and St. Peter’s – has been observing how things work – or don’t – and talking with people who live in Italy. The first thing you discover in Naples is that the place is absolute chaos. Driving is life threatening, things are expensive and the trash situation is a disaster. And that is from a tourist perspective, and we get to see the city’s good side! For Italians it’s far worse, particularly businesses, and it’s not just Naples. The Italian government takes half of your REVENUE, strangles you with regulations and can’t provide basic services for anyone. At our Rome hotel our host asked us to make sure we turned off the light in the room because electricity is so expensive it might be the difference between his breaking even or taking a loss on our stay. A friend living in Naples told us that Italians rarely turn on heat in winter because the price of gas is too high.

This all comes on the heels of my having listened earlier this year to the History of Rome podcast. The most interesting thing about that history was the fact that the Roman Empire lasted for over 500 years… Or 1,500 years if you count the Eastern Empire. They had some spectacular rulers such as Augustus, Trajan, and Marcus Aurelius, and some of the worst in Caligula, Nero and Domitian. You would somehow think the Empire couldn’t survive such incompetence and perniciousness, but somehow it would. So you ask yourself, cannot America survive whichever disastrous candidate emerges victorious from the 2016 election? If the Roman Empire could survive 500 years can’t the US survive Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump? The truth is, I’m not sure, and I lean towards no…

Rome may have been a sophisticated empire, may have built thousands of structures that have survived two millennia, but make no mistake, the Rome that built an Empire and ruled the known world was a brute power. They survived by waging war on their enemies and taking their resources. As long as Rome was at war and winning, it was (mostly) strong. What’s more, the Roman Empire was a dictatorship. The position of Emperor was usually passed from Father to son – sometimes adopted for that specific purpose – but there were countless coups where the resulting emperor was the man who controlled the most powerful legions or the one who bribed the Praetorian Guard. In essence Rome was a dictatorship that survived by taking the resources of its neighbors and supplicants.

But America is not that. Although the United States did grow partially by winning wars against the British, Indians, and others, geographically it has been largely static for over a century. We even gave up wide swaths of land – or more accurately, didn’t take them – after having won wars across the planet. In addition, the United States has never been a dictatorship. It has always been a nation where the leader has been elected by citizens, if indirectly. More importantly however, it has been a nation where the Constitution reigned supreme. From John Adams to Abraham Lincoln to Richard Nixon, the Constitution ultimately ruled the day. The limited government based on that Constitution is what has made America the most powerful and important nation in human history. We’ve sat atop of the world’s hierarchy of power and influence for over half a century not because we subjugated our neighbors but because we inspired the world with individual freedom and economic opportunity that were based on that limited government. At the same time the economic prosperity sown by our freedom was coupled with a military position that largely dissuaded enemies from attacking us and our allies and gave much of the world confidence to trade somewhat freely with one another.

In November of 2016 however we find ourselves at a point where everything that has made America great is in peril, and the wound is self inflicted. At least the Roman people had the “excuse” that they lived in a dictatorship. Americans don’t have that excuse. Not only is the culture under assault from within and without, far more importantly, the primary notion that government is limited to only those things it is specifically empowered to do is lost. Today the government is involved in virtually every aspect of American’s lives. That is a recipe for economic stagnation and political ruin. Take a look at the remains of the Roman Empire to see the future of America… Italy – and much of Europe, including France – is an economic basket case and quickly becoming a cultural one as well.

Government is a borg that grows until it is stopped. Our Constitution used to do that. Today it no longer does. Unlike the Roman citizenry who often found themselves ruled at the end of a sword, Americans have willingly put themselves in this position. Not only by putting two reprehensible human beings, two power hungry narcissists in a position to rule the country, but by buying into the notion that the government is the first and best vehicle for solving virtually every problem. Nothing could be farther from the truth, and there is the core problem: Americans, or an increasingly large portion of them want the government to take care of them, from cradle to grave and everywhere in between. Whether it’s providing them with an income, protecting them from evil businesses or limiting the offensive speech of others, we have become a nation of citizens who can no longer take care of themselves or aren’t willing to do so. Either way, with Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump in the White House individual freedom and economic liberty will continue to shrink. So too will prosperity and much of what remains of the American Dream. One wonders what will be the legacy of America in 2,000 years. No doubt, if someone is writing a history of America and chronicles her demise they will surely include Barack Obama and his successor as key players to her downfall, but the primary culprit will have been the American people, who voted to have the government replace individual liberty, individual responsibility and common sense.

The product of a military family, growing up in Naples, Italy and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and being stationed in Germany for two years while in the Army, Vince spent half of his first quarter century seeing the US from outside of its own borders. That perspective, along with a French wife and two decades as a struggling entrepreneur have only fueled an appreciation for freedom and the fundamental greatness of the gifts our forefathers left us.

8 Responses to “Rome Long Survived Countless Incompetent, Narcissistic Emperors, Will America Survive Barack Obama and His Successor?”

  1. 1

    Artfldgr

    Technically rome exists today and has an unbroken line going back or else it would have been renamed…

    but you would not say that the era of the crazy leaders post ceaser in the Julio-Claudian dynasty match up to the leaders of Tetrarchy and Constantinian dynasty…

    your basically talking about a failed state that resembled soviet russia more than western republics, and that like socialism, when not failing buying the people with “bread and circuses” was spending time invading, robbing, and stealing their way through other nation states to stay alive.

    if taking over the world using US might is the right way to go, then yeah, we may parallel rome and its long life. but since we wont do that, we are so in debt we cant defend ourselves. our kids are so unhealthy thanks to feminism, that they cant serve, and thanks to the same they havent the brains to rub two coins together to survive unless some master throws them vittles.

    our military is the size similar to that required to start world wars, except that this one will be a bit nuclear, and we are done for. unless you think that china and russia after declaring war will loan us money and ship us parts for our military and society… think so?

    take a nice guess as to what would happen if one conflict got large… and all shipping from china stopped.. loans were called in, and a large portion of the kids cant serve cause they favor the opposition…

    we are so bad off that to list it and to note it is to be so scared the election bs looks a lot better…

    Russia Unveils RS-28 Sarmat ‘Satan 2’ Nuclear Missile
    powerful enough to ‘wipe out UK, France or Texas’ from the map with one hit.

    we paid for russia to upgrade yamentau mountain…
    where they been storing all hte nuclear weapons they did not take apart and destroy claiming to be too poor…

    the missile will weigh up to 10 tons with the capacity to carry up to 10 tons of nuclear cargo.

    With that type of payload, it could deliver a blast some 2,000 times more powerful than the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    Russia reportedly tested a hypersonic warhead in April that is apparently intended for use on the Satan 2 missiles. The warhead is designed to be impossible to intercept because it does not move on a set trajectory

    Vespasian did not have to worry that the opposition could erase all of rome in one afternoon..

    united states peak time for such was 31,255 warheads (1967)

    we are now down to 4,500, and they are old and not up to the new equipment built with the electronics that we provided
    [not to mention army of expolosive drones that can seek out people and buildings and suicide as a form of attack]

    On paper, newer, more complicated, more fearsome weapons comprise Russia’s nuclear arsenal. Russia’s RS-24 Yars Intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), introduced in the mid 2000s, can strike anywhere in the US with what some report to be ten independently targetable nuclear warheads.

    These ten warheads would reenter the earth’s atmosphere at hypersonic speeds, around 5 miles a second. China has developed a similar platform, and the US simply has no way to defend against a salvo of such devastating nukes.

    In comparison, the US’s Minuteman III ICBM also reenters the atmosphere at hypersonic speeds, but carries just one warhead, and was introduced in the 1970s.

    Rome fell once enough foreigners entered and enough outsiders could attack it… and that was made possible by the rot

    we face similar… and it wasnt the bad rulers that did the dirty work, it was the bad rulers who faced external forces and could not meet them that were present at the failure…

    yeah, rome survived caligula in the earliest days when the republic was smallest and it had not attacked the world yet.

    in the later days, when it was big, took over others, and was all over the place, the wack jobs were not able to hold it together against the muslims and others… and what was the republic fell to despotism…

  2. 2

    FAITH7

    We have learned from Wiki leaks the massive amount of Lies and blatant mass “Manipulation” foisted on America and Americans. And THAT is only recently…what has happened ‘behind the scenes’ in the last 50-60 years?

    For all these years we have had (weak) people buying into the rhetoric from the left as truth.

    We “used” to have Federal Laws which were mostly implemented.

    Now we have communists and corruption in every office of political power. Are they going to turn each other in ? No. They are going to cover for each other…or try to sweep it under the rug…they are ALL in on it!! And, they care nothing about Laws! – Ever hear them testify before Congress or an investigative committees? It’s a joke!

    We have politicians at every election who say…we need to “fix” this or that – they keep coming up with ‘problems’ that cannot be fixed by Government they ‘maintain problems’ that perpetuate and grow larger with each election cycle so they can claim to (want to) “fix” it once again.

    Meanwhile the ‘solutions’ to other problems is to take more of our freedoms away… the latest Transgender bathroom issue is another example…

    Other good examples are our Southern Border…illegal immigration…over stayed Visas – refugees and vetting – entitlements – social security….

    Now, unless Obamacare gets dumped…every election cycle we will hear how THAT needs to be “Fixed” and nothing will ever get done…

    Now just recently at Temple University there was a marauding crowd of 150 blacks beating up on officers and students. Now. Exactly provoked THAT? And what is the mentality that those people have…to go and do something like that in the first place?
    How to deal with it?…jail time is not going to solve the problem…was Hillary actually right years ago I now wonder?

  3. 4

    July 4th American

    The left has long loathed the formation of the United States and make no bones that their idea of government is far removed from what the framers intended.

    The Constitution is a thorn in their collective sides. The effort underway since late in the 19th and into the 20th century is eviserate the Constitution by what ever means necessary even if that means breaking laws.

    The left is disgusting and liberalism in a mental disorder.

  4. 7

    Floyd Alsbach

    Don’t forget that the Senate more or less ruled in the Republican Era for a very long time. Then Caesar became Emperor and Rome became a true Empire.

  5. 8

    james raider

    her demise they will surely include Barack Obama and his successor as key players to her downfall

    Vince, there is no doubt that this Administration has corrupted the Nation at the highest levels and to a degree never experienced in history. The DOJ, the FBI, the Treasury, the IRS, have been utilized to instil fear into the too-big-to-fail banks and corporations — fear of retribution.

    He and Jarrett have been more vicious than the Pay-to-Play Clinton duo, as corrupt and sociopathic as they are. O. & J. have turned America into a vast Pay/Support-or-Die program to entrench their socialist agenda into governance, and into the economic and social fibre of the Nation.

    This is far beyond “crony capitalism” — this is a deep and broad systemic corruption of government and business. The Nation has been destroyed by inside forces, not from the outside.

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