By Cynthia Capota:
History is full of names, decisions, conflicts, and chiefly, patterns. There is the timeless apothegm that “history always repeats itself,” and this is true. It’s tragic, though, because human history is riddled with pain and destruction, especially with the rise and fall of the Roman Republic, and eventually Empire. The United States has an alarmingly abundant number of similarities with the Roman Republic at the time of its demise and transition into the Roman Empire, shortly after which, its fall came. If we keep going down the same path, there could be a very grim future ahead of us: a future where the United States is no longer the superpower of the world, but an empire struggling to survive and eventually, an empire that has succumbed to the harrowing story of the human condition—decline, a nation only to be known by the history books, not by the minds and souls of people.
Even in America’s founding, the Roman Republic’s legacy left its mark on our political system. We have a similar Congressional (for them, it was the Senate) system, checks and balances, even a divide in parties. But there are other more worrisome parallels between these two great empires. In the politics of the two nations, there can be comparisons made, such as corruption, lack of what we today call bipartisan agreements, and a failing economy. Today, we often see corruption in the news: money, greed, and power taking hold of the root of evil in humans. In Rome, it was conspiracies (also much like many of today’s controversies), one of which led to the end of the Republic, the infamous murder of Julius Caesar. In Rome, the rich and average politicians were pitted against each other, incapable of compromising for the good of the nation, much like our current stand-still position in Washington right now. In a system as complex and theoretically balanced as ours, politicians need to work together on things like the economy, things which do not have as extreme moral implications, but only reflect their fiscal skill and truly demonstrate their ability to work together for the good of the nation—something that should be one of their job requirements, really… Our economy is becoming very crippled. In Rome, inflation played a large role in the economic failure of the Republic. Similarly, America is showing the signs of inflation. Rome was constantly involved in expensive wars. Over the past century, if America was not involved in a war, we have been preparing for one or recovering from one, transcending World War I to the War in the Middle East. War brings enemies, it takes up money, and it weakens the nation. When the rest of the factors are added to war, it does not end well. It ends in destruction.
Another large factor that is currently mirrored in today’s time is the growing divide between the rich and poor. Please do not mistake this for a utopian argument, because at a first look, I know it looks like one. We cannot keep allowing arguments about class warfare to serve as excuses for allowing a “Robin Hood-esque” welfare and health care system (Obamacare) to take over our country’s economy and taxpayers. Taking others’ hard earned money to pay for the health care of those who may be abusing the system to fund a health care system that will eventually create chaos in the political structure of the United States. Class warfare is a term coined to make it impossible for people of different economic standings to agree politically. The Democrats portray the Republicans as selfish, rich, and self-righteous. Republicans portray Democrats as tree-huggers, utopians, and what they deem as “immoral.” Because I am not a fan of bias or generalizations, I must clarify that I do not put forth these opinions, but this is just what I take from observations of news bias and conversations, nor do these apply to every politician. These economic boundaries on political agreements are designed to keep us from coming together as one, against a monolithic body going by the name of the American Government. This is wrong. If the Founding Fathers, or their political inspirations, knew what was going on in our nation’s politics, I have a feeling that they would turn in their graves. Our government is becoming everything they fought so hard to stop. Benjamin Franklin once said that we only had a Republic as long as we could keep it.
After the Roman Republic fell, it wasn’t too long before the Empire fell along with it. We cannot allow that to happen to the one true stronghold of liberty, opportunity, and success. What implications these facts have on the future of our country are not bright: it means poverty, anarchy, tyranny, but worst of all, uncertainty. No one can be sure of what could come if we were to follow the path of the Roman Republic. If we were to continue following the trends of it, our future would not be a safe one, but a future filled with crime, immorality, and bad politics, soon to be followed by a split in the Empire and an eventual dissolution of the Empire. But in Rome, another problem was that the people did not have as many outlets to become politically active. In the day and age of technology, it is so easy to spread the political ideas and facts that can save our nation from a fall like Rome’s, those outlets just need to be taken advantage of. By being well-informed, and outspoken, the people can come together and save our nation from falling into oblivion.
Views expressed are not endorsed or put forward by Turning Point USA