Opinion

“Et tu, Bushus?”

Well, America, you got what you wanted: another four years of Bush in the White House. I hope you’re happy-I really do hope you’re happy, as you’re the only ones who can possibly be happy with his victory .

However, I’m not happy, and most of the rest of the world isn’t either, because if the previous four years are any indication, the next four will be downright catastrophic-and I bet the red states won’t even be aware of it.

America has become the modern Rome, and although many people (particularly in the red states) might view this as a good thing, they fail to remember the things that made the Roman Empire fall. They are frighteningly applicable to America in this day and age.

For instance, we feel the need to “spread democracy” to the Middle East, which we see as inferior because it just happens to worship a different deity. Just like the Romans felt the need to spread the ideals of “civilization” to the barbarian tribes in Germania and Britain, and of course the Judean insurgents-just look how that turned out.

And don’t forget that Rome worked quite well as a representative democracy-which soon degenerated into a totalitarian state. People came to resent this, which gave an opening for barbarian tribes to completely sack Rome several times

The Roman Empire also possessed a society just as functional and complex as ours (hell, they had barber shops and public restrooms). Most importantly, they thought they were invincible, which made them overstretch their capabilities. This put a strain on the empire, leading to their complete collapse as an organized society. Western civilization would take centuries to recover.

See any similarities between Rome and the Bush administration? They both claimed to be spreading “democracy/civilization,” deviated from the system of government they’re supposed to follow, and were attacked by a certain enemy (Hannibal/Bin Laden) which they’ve held in much contempt (Hannibal/Saddam Hussein) who they thought would never be able to touch them (Hannibal/Hussein/Bin Laden/).

The only difference is that the public actually elected a leader that will lead them to certain doom, despite historical warnings to act to the contrary. All I can say to the American people is that we dangerously mirror Rome in it final days, and once we overstretch ourselves, then, well, let’s just say the Dark Ages weren’t a lot of fun.

Jay Rooney can be contacted at j.rooney@umiami.edu.

January 25, 2005

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The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


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