WHEW: THE END IS NOT NEAR

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

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.

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