Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Roman Empire Comes to Delaware

This single Republican may cost Republicans control
of the Senate and Nation

By A S Sandy Prisant

Are we about to prove the adage: if you don't heed history, you're condemned to repeat it?

Those who know Europe appreciate there isn't that much to see today that can't be linked back to the Romans and their stunning Empire.  Roman aqueducts still stand, all the way down to the Middle East. Roman roads still criss-cross the continent. Almost all spa baths are the ones Roman discover and developed 3,000 year ago. Some say, only partly tongue-in-cheek, mankind has created little of import since the Romans--except possibly Lipitor for cholesterol.

Tuesday night, the US Republican Party--already the most right-wing of all the world's major right-wing parties, was embarrassed to learn that its followers had nominated in a Delaware primary for US Senator, an amateur so far off the end of the cliff that she, Sarah Palin, and The Tea Party that supported her have now left the Planet Earth.

What is the difference between standard Republicans and this latter lot? Every Republican sentence on policy includes the words "cut" or "repeal". Never an idea. Even a bad one. The Tea Party folks say the very same thing, but add at the end of each sentence: "or I will shoot you." 

Christine O'Donnell has no management experience and no political or government experience. At all. For years she's just been running and losing. She is a fiscal conservative whom personally is a fiscal radical with a record of horrendous personal debt. She is a strident believer in truth, morality and no abortions, but it turns out her academic credentials are a thin tissue of lies. Upon hearing of her victory, it was reported that Karl Rove--Bush's ex-Rasputin--had to undergo a Heimlich Maneuver to be saved from choking to death.  Rove, who knows much more about such things than us, says O'Donnell can't possibly win in November.

Meanwhile in liberal New York State, one of the first Tea Party candidates for governor won the Republican nomination.  The New York Times said: "The result was a potentially destabilizing blow for New York Republicans." The little known man, who seems to struggle with English, is like Silvio Berlusconi, but without the style. In short, a tough guy.

And how is this like the Roman Empire?  Historians have shown that every great nation has its day and then begins to slip.  Usually this is the moment when more extremist elements come out and society begins to break down into sects--more concerned with internal spats and resisting change than righting the Ship of the Nation. It's human nature: let's do anything to keep our eye off an unpleasant future.

This is precisely what caused Rome's collapse--no direct invasions; no major competitors, simply endless internal sniping, distracting minor wars over the horizon and arguments over angels dancing on the head of a pin. All sense of community was lost, meaning common will and purpose was replaced by endless domestic power grabs. Then, by nobility. Today, by the banks. The result: slow, steady utter collapse of a nation-state. 

In the O'Donnell case, It leaves everyone in the middle--44% of whom have someone unemployed in their family--flailing in frustration and irrationally yelling to the heavens: "Don't Confuse Us With Ideas. Just Do Something or We'll Vote for an Anti-Candidate!!"

Does any of this sound like what's happening in a nation near you?