by William Teach | December 19, 2016 6:54 am
The Sore Loser Symphony continues. Trump Derangement Syndrome reigns. Buzzfeed’s Chris Geidner lays out the Sore Loser playbook for how Democrats will attempt to block Trump. Michael Moore has his own Sore Loser request for the Electoral College. And then there’s Sore Loser Paul Krugman, who had nary a bad word or complaint about Obama during the past 8 years, proclaiming we’re either heading towards Nazi Germany or the Roman Empire
How Republics End
Many people are reacting to the rise of Trumpism and nativist movements in Europe by reading history — specifically, the history of the 1930s. And they are right to do so. It takes willful blindness not to see the parallels between the rise of fascism and our current political nightmare.
It sounds like some people need Prozac, or at least to get off the current drugs they’re on.
But the ’30s isn’t the only era with lessons to teach us. Lately I’ve been reading a lot about the ancient world. Initially, I have to admit, I was doing it for entertainment and as a refuge from news that gets worse with each passing day. But I couldn’t help noticing the contemporary resonances of some Roman history — specifically, the tale of how the Roman Republic fell.
Here’s what I learned: Republican institutions don’t protect against tyranny when powerful people start defying political norms. And tyranny, when it comes, can flourish even while maintaining a republican facade.
His main complaint is, you guessed it, about foreign influence. And because of that
And what happens to the republic as a result? Famously, on paper the transformation of Rome from republic to empire never happened. Officially, imperial Rome was still ruled by a Senate that just happened to defer to the emperor, whose title originally just meant “commander,” on everything that mattered. We may not go down exactly the same route — although are we even sure of that? — but the process of destroying democratic substance while preserving forms is already underway.
Interesting. Where were Krugman’s complaints when the IRS was abusing its power? When Obama and his people were slamming through more and more regulations, including the vile and oppressive Waters Of The United States and Clean Power Plan, putting more and more power and control in the hands of Los Federales? When Obama and the Dems jammed through Obamacare over the will of The People?
Krugman has a few more complaints, putting the blame on Republicans (hey, remember when Republicans tried to investigate governmental wrong-doing, and had their investigations slow walked by Democrats and the Obama admin? Remember all the regulations from Obama that have been blocked and he’s ignored what the federal judges said “don’t do this”?), of course, ending with
One thing all of this makes clear is that the sickness of American politics didn’t begin with Donald Trump, any more than the sickness of the Roman Republic began with Caesar. The erosion of democratic foundations has been underway for decades, and there’s no guarantee that we will ever be able to recover.
But if there is any hope of redemption, it will have to begin with a clear recognition of how bad things are. American democracy is very much on the edge.
Well, hey, Paul, I have a solution. First, term limits for Congress. Second, repeal the 17 Amendment, let States appoint their Senators. Third, reduce the size and scope of federal agencies. Those three things will put more power back in the hands of the states and the people, as it’s supposed to be, and limit elected officials “toeing the party line and defending the party’s rule.”
Furthermore, get rid of public unions. Follow federal laws, like on immigration. Protect the borders. Make sure that people voting are actually eligible to vote.
You’re still nuts, though.
Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.
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