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The Right Resistance: Report from Rome – Trump and Republicans should do as the Romans did

For American political leaders – and more specifically, Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump -- one shouldn’t have to be in Rome to do as the Romans do.

That’s the chief lesson garnered from my first trip to the ancient (and current) capital of Italy, a place so brimming with history that it’s practically impossible to take a step without treading on some piece of historic ground of certain significance. In the United States, there are certainly a healthy number of memorable and important historic places, but the age of these locales is measured in years, decades or centuries. In Rome, you often encounter sites established millennia – or two -- ago.


Touring the streets of the city and it’s everywhere-you-look relics and monuments and astonishing works of art is only part of what makes Rome special. The people who live there, who could quite possibly be outnumbered by tourists in certain times of the year – truly seem to appreciate the uniqueness of the environment in which they dwell. With an economy largely based on tourism, you’d expect such deference to visitors. But Rome is much more than that.


That’s not to detract from the qualities of the United States and American exceptionalism. There are many, many incredible cities and bucket-list-type sites in the land I love and not all of them are historic. Donald Trump realized that some of the matchlessness of America has eroded under its political leaders of the recent past of both parties, a rot that has accelerated under current president senile Joe Biden.


As I walked the streets of Rome, I wondered why this had to be. The dizzying facts of Rome – and the small independent political entity of Vatican City – come at you at every angle, and trying to make heads or tails of when something came to be or who did what was part Western Civilization lesson, part history memorization and part “I can’t believe I’m here” fascination.


It’s no wonder why Rome has attained the reputation that it has as a romantic place as well as a destination worthy of sacrificing lots of cash to visit. “When in Rome do as the Romans do.” We wish we could do it every day, or, just like tossing coins in the famous Trevi Fountain (which we did) is supposed to ensure, is return to the city to enjoy over and over again.


What was Ancient Rome about? From Wikipedia:

“In modern historiography, ancient Rome encompasses the founding of the Italian city of Rome in the 8th century BC, the Roman Kingdom (753–509 BC), Roman Republic (509–27 BC), Roman Empire (27 BC– 395 AD), and the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD...


“Ancient Rome began as an Italic settlement, traditionally dated to 753 BC, beside the River Tiber in the Italian Peninsula. The settlement grew into the city and polity of Rome, and came to control its neighbours through a combination of treaties and military strength. At its height it controlled the North African coast, Egypt, Southern Europe, and most of Western Europe, the Balkans, Crimea, and much of the Middle East, including Anatolia, Levant, and parts of Mesopotamia and Arabia. That empire was among the largest empires in the ancient world, covering around 5 million square kilometres (1.9 million square miles) in AD 117...


“Ancient Rome is often grouped into classical antiquity together with ancient Greece, and their similar cultures and societies are known as the Greco-Roman world. Ancient Roman civilisation has contributed to modern language, religion, society, technology, law, politics, government, warfare, art, literature, architecture, and engineering. Rome professionalised and expanded its military and created a system of government called res publica, the inspiration for modern republics such as the United States and France...”


It's the last fact that stood out to me. If you want to discover the origins of the beliefs and philosophies of the Founding Fathers, you have to begin in places like Rome (and a number of others, but you have to start somewhere). The lessons the American political class could unearth – literally – can be found there.


How can Rome’s story be useful to today’s conservative leaders? Here are some thoughts to contemplate:


First, being in Rome reveals that every day counts. How so? With a place that’s two-thousand-plus years old, that’s a lot of days, and not all of them amounted to something important. But there wouldn’t be a Rome without its citizenry and leaders grasping that their time, their moment in history, was vital to the success of their undertaking.


I personally marveled at the Roman Forum which is adjacent to the most famous of Rome’s relics, The Colisseum, a site romanticized for its sheer brutality and encapsulating of all sides of the human spirit. There’s a line in Gladiator, one of my favorite movies, where one of the characters says, “Have you ever seen anything like that before? I didn’t know men could build such things.”


The Forum itself isn’t as well preserved as the Colisseum, but it was the epicenter of Roman life during the Roman empire. The fact that stone foundations and some relics still exist at all after so long is astonishing. Someone had to have built those, and it took a long, long time to do it. Many, many days.


2000 years equals 730,500 days (365.25 x 2000 thank you calculator!). “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Nope. But hundreds of thousands of days, and all of them counted. To make America great again, every day will count. I believe Donald Trump realizes this. So should we all.


Second, innovation and invention mattered greatly in Rome, as in stressing excellence in governmental undertakings. In visiting Rome, we learned that most of the city was simply constructed on top of older buildings or copied aspects of others from other civilizations or time periods. Rather than clear and redesign every site, the Romans simply just “over built” to the point where the street level of the past was much lower than it is today. They call it “recycling”, which is a clever way of saying “out with the old, in with the new” over and over and over again.


In the United States, I’ve often suggested that the Hoover Dam along the Arizona and Nevada borders is a crowning example of American achievement, the building of which not only tamed the mighty waters of the Colorado River for use by millions of people, but also brought hydroelectric power to hundreds of thousands of homes in the arid region.


God built the Grand Canyon, but Romans built Rome – and its empire. Rome’s great minds, largely through experimentation and good ol’ fashioned trial and error, devised scientific inspirations and creations that still function today, as well as established a “foundation” for modernizing and improving our world. I don’t have a clue what Rome’s education system was like, but America’s schools have deteriorated to the point where only a small percentage of students ever reaches proficiency in the types of subjects that will Make America Great Again.


Donald Trump understands this. There should be only a limited federal role in education, but to the extent that there is such a function, the hardcore basics must be stressed, which includes the utter elimination of nonsense like Critical Race Theory and distorted history lessons such as teaching the 1619 Project.


Our nation’s long-term survival depends on it. The recent asinine pro-Hamas protests on college campuses exposes the problems associated with leftist indoctrination that has rooted itself in academia. If America is to take its place in history alongside Rome, it must change course.


Third, while each day counts, Trump and Republican leaders, must comprehend that nothing lasts forever. For as grand as Rome was and continues to be, republics established and depending on the People to govern themselves are incredibly fragile and don’t endure if there isn’t a spirit of duty and service and commonality among them.


Rome’s republic and empire eventually fell. It took centuries, and there were good rulers and not-so-good ones, but nothing is permanent unless there’s a very human effort to make it so. If you don’t believe it, tour the historic remains of the Roman Forum. Long, long ago, men and women strolled those grand avenues and waged political fights, debated great concepts, governed the common folk and worked to make lives better – sometimes for themselves, other times for everyone.


Lastly, Rome demonstrates that life is short. Exploring Rome presents the fascinating challenge of trying to ascertain what the Romans’ daily lives must have been like. Did they have enough food? What was farming like back then? Did they understand the value of sanitation and its connection to disease? What did Rome’s civil engineers create for drainage and waste removal?


In America, these things are dependent on “infrastructure”, something both parties talk a lot about but don’t ever seem to do much about. Democrats passed an “infrastructure” improvement bill that mostly dumped money into boondoggle projects addressing “climate change”. Modern day humans can take advantage of newer inventions and harvested energy sources to make people’s lives better.


Here's thinking it was hot, hot, hot in Rome “back then”. Today, we have air conditioners (and furnaces for the cold part of the year) that single-handedly create livable spaces where previously there weren’t any. Wouldn’t the Romans have loved to cool their grand buildings and heat them with natural gas rather than wood? Fire was a constant danger then – less so, now.


We were fortunate to have an experienced guide take us on a guided tour of Rome in an air-conditioned vehicle on a very hot day. She was able to synopsize Rome’s history in a way where we could spend time in many of the city’s most notable places and learn about what had happened there centuries or millennia ago. She had knowledge, and shared it.


Today’s political leaders, specifically Donald Trump, could learn a lot about how to restore America back to a place of greatness simply by ingesting the lessons that a place like Rome has to teach. It seems that half of Americans, these days, are only preoccupied with living day-to-day and milking government for everything they can get from it.


There is no thought towards America’s future with these shortsighted individuals, only seeing government and the system for means to an end – which is living another day. If they only looked to tomorrow, and next year, and the next half century, today would be that much better.


Donald Trump and Republicans need to take the long view. Balance budgets, guard the people’s rights, preserve freedoms and build great things, just like the Romans did. Who knows – maybe Trump could be seen as the “Savior of America” someday. It could happen.

  • Joe Biden economy

  • inflation

  • Biden cognitive decline

  • gas prices,

  • Nancy Pelosi

  • Biden senile

  • January 6 Committee

  • Liz Cheney

  • Build Back Better

  • Joe Manchin

  • RINOs

  • Marjorie Taylor Green

  • Kevin McCarthy

  • Mitch McConnell

  • 2022 elections

  • Donald Trump

  • 2024 presidential election

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1 Comment

Jun 10

Before you wax too poetical about Rome, remember that most of the Roman Republic and then Empire was built by slave labor. The conquerors made their sesterces by invading, killing, and enslaving. And of course, toward the end of the Roman Empire, the Republic having been shoved into the dustbin of history by the Caesars, diversity was their downfall. Just a few thoughts an a cautionary tale that bids us NOT to follow Rome's lessons too closely.

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