WHEW: THE END IS NOT NEAR
Brinkmanship and partisan cliffhangers have prompted dire speculations that the United States is going down, with its best days in the past — you know, just like Rome. Or maybe not.
“The end of the American republic? Not so fast,” responds Cornell University scholar Barry Strauss, whose specialty is ancient Rome. He also is chairman of the history department on the campus and author of 11 books.
“The analogy with the late Roman republic is striking but, fortunately, we’re not nearly that bad,” Mr. Strauss says.
“The Romans had decades of state-sanctioned violence, coups and countercoups, and military dictatorship before they reached the standoff between Cato and Caesar. The current standoff is more a case of ineptitude and jockeying for the next election,” he continues.
“Ours is a case of ‘this, too, shall pass.’ At least, that’s how it seems to me,” the professor concludes.