Saturday, January 9, 2016

The End of Our Empire

Last week, a forwarded email proclaimed the end of the United States in 2016. Or, at least, the end of the U.S. as we know it – and that the demise of our democracy would inevitably be followed by a brutal dictatorship.

Some well-reasoned arguments were used to blame the current administration as the cause.

I wanted to respond, but have kept my fingers off the keyboard until now. Here, on my blog, no one need read it, no one need respond, and I get to ‘moderate’ any comment submitted.

In 2006, I attended three lectures on the Fall of Empires: Roman, Spanish and British. At the end of the last lecture, a man asked if the lecturer saw parallels for the U. S. today. Remember: “today” was June, 2006, well before the 2008 elections.

He replied yes.

The man then asked, “Can we turn back?”

He answered, “Maybe” We were headed for that cliff, but there was still time to change direction. The dilemma: even if we want to do so, could we?

Long before I sat through those lectures, mere days after 9/11, I wrote a letter to the editor that was never published. In part it said:

“I hope our government won't use events of September 11 to justify massive vengeful acts in foreign lands.

The God of my understanding does not take sides, but gave us intelligence and free will. With those we can do great good or great evil. With self-awareness and self-control, may we avoid the latter.”

We all know what happened after that.

Perhaps it is inevitable for powerful nation-states to crumble in some way. Everything points in that direction. I, for one, would be happy to see the U.S. draw back from the role of worldwide cop.

But whatever happens, I don’t believe we are destined to fall under brutal dictatorship as the email proclaimed. Look at Great Britain. No longer a super-power, yet certainly not a dictatorship. May we learn from them.

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