Saturday, November 5, 2016

"No Great Nation Is Ever Conquered Until It Has Destroyed Itself"

The words in that headline were written by historians Will and Ariel Durant in "The Life of Greece," the second volume of their multi-volume series "The Story of Civilization."  History is replete with examples that testify to the truth of that observation--for example, the Roman Empire, which had itself swallowed up the ancient Greek states and the culture they created, adapting Greek architecture and mythology for its own purposes.  Then Rome, too, collapsed, a victim of such self-inflicted wounds as imperial overstretch and corrupt leadership, but also a victim of the rise of new cultural influences such as the Christian religion, and Germanic and Slavic tribes from the East.

Sound vaguely familiar?

We are very much in the position that the late Roman Empire found itself in.  Our military escapades have quadrupled our public debt.  Our ability to absorb the ideas and energy of new peoples and cultures seems tapped out, with such people being viewed as mortal enemies that must be walled out or removed, perhaps by "any means necessary."

And then, there are the corrupt leaders.  Boy, have we learned a lot about that as a result of the last-minute attempt to stop a potential Democratic blowout on Election Day by flogging the so-called Hillary e-mail "scandal" back to life.

Just look at what we've been witness to:

A corrupt FBI director, who may be something of a Manchurian figure himself, called out by an official of the previous Administration;

A corrupt House committee chair, who abused his position for partisan purposes;

And the former "America's Mayor," who unintentionally (perhaps) revealed this week how little he cares about anything except power.

But nothing, and I mean ABSOLUTELY nothing, sums it up best than the headline below from the Washington Post, as well as the accompanying article:
Republicans are now vowing Total War. And the consequences could be immense.

A corrupt FBI.  A corrupt Republican Presidential campaign.  A corrupt Republican Congress. Corrupt Republican leadership at the state level.  And actual threats of violence against the Democratic Presidential nominee, a woman.  The words "worse than Watergate" don't even begin to capture the badness of all of this.

We may not be collapsing from within; we may, in fact, have already collapsed.  Say hello to the next President of the United States--Vladimir Putin.  He gets Alaska back for Russia, and 49 other states in the bargain.

But maybe not.

If even a conservative Republican like Jim Sensenbrenner can co-sponsor legislation to strengthen the Voting Rights Act, there may be some hope.

If a poll is correct in suggesting that the majority of the American people are sick and tired of GOP manipulation, there may be some hope.

Ultimately, however, the truth is this.

There is no hope without you.  And your willingness to show up at the polls.

To those of you who have already done so, congratulations and thanks.  To the rest of you, well, you have a country to save.  You have an opportunity this week to prove that we are not the next Greece or Rome.  At least, not yet.

I shouldn't even have to say it, but I'll do so anyway:


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