A decade ago, when I was a professor and college dean at the University of Illinois, I picked up a book in the campus bookstore entitled: “Are We Rome?”
Its message was compelling. In 262 pages, it suggested, with the persuasive and rational use of historical facts, that the United States is on a similar track as ancient Rome was when its powerful empire was destroyed in 476 A.D.—not by a more powerful enemy from without—but by a multitude of forces and influences from within.
The parallels between the Roman Republic and the American Republic are as undeniable as they are stunning.
In both empires, we can see the steady erosion of morality and a decadent society’s indifference to the sanctity of life. We see the insular culture of our capitals (Rome and Washington D.C.), the inability or unwillingness to safeguard and defend borders, the crumbling of a once-great infrastructure of roads and bridges, the escalating corruption of central government, and the smug ignorance of the world beyond our borders.
We see two empires being constantly split and fragmented into competing tribes of people, each concerned not with the whole but with their narrow, minority perspectives and opinions. We see the replacement of a once patriotic populace with one devoid of national loyalty and allegiance.
In short, we see decadence, decay, and two powerful empires—one doomed that lasted more than 500 years, and another that so far has survived 245 years.
We know that the glory that was Rome disappeared more than 1,500 years ago, consigned to the province of ancient history along with Latin, its similarly deceased language.
How much longer will the American Republic exist? What are America’s prospects? Whither our empire? Are we too doomed to insignificance and oblivion?
Today, I am posting a recent commentary by fellow journalist Don Feder, former editorial writer and columnist with the Boston Herald. Feder’s piece takes a look at some of the questions I raised and offers some compelling answers. Please read on. You will be happy you did.
How Nations Fail. Is America on a Path of Permanent Decline?
By Don Feder
Men, like nations, think they’re eternal. What man in his 20s or 30s doesn’t believe, at least subconsciously, that he’ll live forever?
In the springtime of youth, an endless summer beckons. As you pass 70, it’s harder to hide from reality.
Nations, too, have seasons. Imagine a Roman of the 2nd. Century contemplating an empire that stretched from Britain to the Near East, thinking: This will endure forever.
Forever was about 500 years, give or take.
France was the thing in the 17th and 18th centuries. Now the land of Charles Martel is on its way to becoming part of the Muslim community.
In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the sun never set on the British Empire. Now Albion exists in perpetual twilight. Its 95-year-old sovereign is a fitting symbol for a nation in terminal decline.
In the 1980s, Japan seemed poised to buy the world. Business schools taught Japanese management techniques. Today, its birth rate is so low, and its population is aging so rapidly that an industry has sprung up to remove the remains of elderly Japanese who die alone.
I was born in 1946, almost at the midpoint of the 20th century – the American century. America’s prestige and influence were never greater. Thanks to the Greatest Generation, we won a World War fought over most of Europe, Asia, and the Pacific. We reduced Germany to rubble and put the rising sun to bed.
It set the stage for almost half a century of unprecedented prosperity. We stopped the spread of communism in Europe and Asia and fought international terrorism. We rebuilt our enemies and lavished foreign aid on much of the world.
We built skyscrapers and rockets to the moon. We conquered Polio and COVID. We explored the mysteries of the Universe and the wonders of DNA, the blueprint of life.
But where is the glory that once was Rome?
America has moved from a relatively free economy to socialism – which has worked so well nowhere in the world. We’ve gone from a republican government guided by a constitution to a regime of revolving elites. We have less freedom with each passing year.
Like a signpost to the coming reign of terror, the cancel culture is everywhere. We’ve traded the American Revolution for the Cultural Revolution.
The pathetic demented creature in the White House is an empty vessel filled by his handlers. At the G-7 Summit, Dr. Jill had to lead him like a child.
In 1961, when we were young and vigorous, our leader was too. Now a feeble nation is technically led by the oldest man to ever serve in the presidency.
We can’t defend our borders, history (including monuments to past greatness), or our streets. Our cities have become anarchist playgrounds.
We are a nation of dependents, mendicants, and misplaced charity. Homeless veterans camp in the streets while illegal aliens are put up in hotels.
The president of the United States can’t even quote the beginning of the Declaration of Independence correctly. Ivy League graduates routinely fail history tests that 5th graders could pass a generation ago.
Crime rates soar, and we blame the 2nd Amendment and slash police budgets.
Our culture is certifiably insane. We have men who marry men. Men who think they’re women. People who fight racism seek to convince members of one race that they’re inherently evil and others that they are perpetual victims. A psychiatrist lecturing at Yale said she fantasizes about “unloading a revolver into the head of any white person.”
We slaughter the unborn in the name of freedom while our birth rate dips lower year by year.
Our national debt is so high that we can no longer even pretend that we will repay it one day. It’s a $28-trillion monument to our improvidence and refusal to confront reality.
Our “entertainment” is sadistic, nihilistic, and enduring as a candy bar wrapper thrown in the trash. Our music is nothing but noise that spans the spectrum from annoying to repulsive.
Patriotism is called an insurrection, treason celebrated, and perversion sanctified.
A man in blue gets less respect than a man in a dress.
We’re asking soldiers to fight for a nation in which our leaders no longer believe.
How meekly most submitted to Fauci-ism (the regime of face masks and hand sanitizers) shows the death of the American spirit.
How do nations slip from greatness to obscurity?
- Fighting endless wars, they can’t or won’t win.
- Accumulating massive debt far beyond their ability to repay
- Refusing to guard their borders, allowing alien hordes to inundate their nation.
- Surrendering control of their cities to mob rule
- Allowing indoctrination of the young
- Moving from a republican form of government to an oligarchy
- Losing national identity
- Indulging indolence
- Abandoning faith and family – the bulwarks of social order.
In America, every one of these symptoms is unmistakable, indicating an advanced stage of the disease.
Even if the cause seems hopeless, do we not have an obligation to those who sacrificed so much to give us what we had?
I’m surrounded by ghosts urging me on—the Union soldiers who held Cemetery Ridge at Gettysburg, the battered bastards of Bastogne, those who served in the cold hell of Korea, the guys who went to the jungles of Southeast Asia and came home to be reviled or neglected.
This nation took in my immigrant grandparents, whose uniform my father and most of my uncles wore in the Second World War. I don’t want to imagine a world without America, even though it becomes increasingly likely.
During Britain’s darkest hour, when its professional army was trapped at Dunkirk, and a German invasion seemed imminent, Churchill reminded his countrymen, “Nations that go down fighting rise again, and those that surrender tamely are finished.”
The same might be said of causes. If we let America slip through our fingers, what will posterity say of us if we lose without a fight?
While the prognosis is far from good, only God knows if America’s day in the sun is over.