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Is America In It's Final Days?


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To most, comparing America to ancient Rome would be similar to the comparsion of an apple and an orange. Yet, I believe this would be an interesting topic to discuss.

Of course, Rome was one of the first "world powers" after it had conquered the then known world. Indeed, Rome was a powerful, and sucessful nation. As many cultures do, it experienced a Golden age and then slowly declined till it was over-run by barbarians and the sort.

Now the lingering question is: How's is this similar to America? The answer is quite obvious (to me at least). Currently, America is considered the only super-power. Indeed, we are a powerful and successful nation. In our current age, we have become the most technologically advanced nation in history. All of armed forces have the latest in weapons, and our taught the newest of strategies. Best of all, America measures it's yearly income in the trillions of dollars.

I wouldn't doubt for a minute that I am living in the Golden Age of this great nation. Yet, I am fearful that this society is soon to peak. While reaching the top of the mountain is great, the only direction to go after you reach the summit is down.

While our Founding Fathers wished this nation to be a Constitutional Republic; yet in recent times, greedy politicans hoping to acquire votes have turned America into a pure democracy. Any minority group can have their way with government, as long as they create enough ripples in the media pool.

This is a terrible occurance that should disgust every single American. Yet, the majority stands silent. Elie Weisel once stated, "Silence is tancent consent", indeed he was a very wise man. The majority is consenting to losing their say in gevernment. Why? The majority (by majority I am referring to any of the following:white, middle class, hetrosexual, or the rich) are fearful of appearing racist or hateful. So now, the biggest dog has a muzzle and the smaller dog rules the yard.

When the minorities of America have wiped away the last of the mjority resistance, they will continue pilagaing our freedoms till there are none left.

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As many cultures do, it experienced a Golden age and then slowly declined till it was over-run by barbarians and the sort.

Such as the internal conflicts that run strange parelelles today?

. All of armed forces have the latest in weapons, and our taught the newest of strategies.

Rome's Legionnares were destroyed by war elephants. Their navy was weak during several wars.

I wouldn't doubt for a minute that I am living in the Golden Age of this great nation. Yet, I am fearful that this society is soon to peak. While reaching the top of the mountain is great, the only direction to go after you reach the summit is down.

You mean the end of the golden age. That ended around 2000. 8 years of the best economic prosperity the world has ever seen, great cultural achievements, and no longer term wars. That's all going down the tubes at the moment

greedy politicans hoping to acquire votes have turned America into a pure democracy...This is a terrible occurance that should disgust every single American. Yet, the majority stands silent. Elie Weisel once stated, "Silence is tancent consent", indeed he was a very wise man. The majority is consenting to losing their say in gevernment. Why? The majority (by majority I am referring to any of the following:white, middle class, hetrosexual, or the rich) are fearful of appearing racist or hateful. So now, the biggest dog has a muzzle and the smaller dog rules the yard.

Where do you live and where did you go to school? Deep racist, confederate South?

When the minorities of America have wiped away the last of the mjority resistance, they will continue pilagaing our freedoms till there are none left.

Right because it wasn't a black person who got the UC system to disband their use of AA!

Did you go to school in a extremist religion, pro-rewriting history with much bias aganist non-whites?

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Hello, RWB&B, welcome to the Forum. I do wonder, thou, if you make the same Tarzan like announcement of your presence

everywhere, doesn't your chest get a little sore from all that ritual beating?

You state:

"Any minority group can have their way with government, as long as they create enough ripples in the media pool.

....

" When the minorities of America have wiped away the last of the mjority resistance, they will continue pilagaing our freedoms till there are none left."

I believe you are somewhat on target but have misidentified who is doing the shooting.

Welcome to the world of "transnational progressivism"; the concept and tool of a postnational intelligentsia determined to reshape America to their world-view of "evolving norms of international law." It's an impressive phrase but in essence, it simply means they believe that the Constitutional protections retained by our citizens and expressed in our "Bill of Rights" have no place in their world view. They know better and, after all, it's for our own good. They are the "Intelligentsia" and they know what's best for us plebes!

The Tranzi's hate America, hate it with a passion which consumes them. They have hated us from our Founding Days and as the Freedoms of America have spread through-out the World, they have grown to fear us even more than they hate us. That all power remains in the people, that the consent of the governed is a necessity for government, that we will not bow or kneel to any so-called aristocrat or Intelligentsia is anathema to them. How dare we deny their superiority and fitness to rule!

America's success in assimilation of minorities must end - clan, tribal and ethnic feuds and warfare must continue so as to provide fertile ground for the deconstruction of America. There can no longer be the concept of individual rights but rather all rights must be viewed as 'group rights' and these groups must remain unassimilated into America. Rights are then to be assigned to these racial/ethnic groups based upon a scale measure by minority-ness and which trumps any and all individual rights. And thus is born the politics of "Victims", the politics of "Race" and the politics of "Hate".

Proportional representation and majority rule can not be allowed as the rights of "Victims" and "Races" must be granted greater value than the rights of any number of individuals. For an advanced view of "Deconstructed America", see the Balkans.

The saddest fate of all is reserved to the very minority members touted by these Tranzi's, for their fate is to ever remain as victims and never be assimilated and become "Americans" - but not to worry, real Americans will cease to exist in a Tranzied America.

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Always nice to see a little humor in these forums... ha ha ha. Where to begin.....

Yes I am a southeren boy, but I wouldn't consider myself a "deep" south boy. I am from West Virginia, which could be considered a Mid-Atlantic state instead of a southeren state (which, by the way, fought for the north in the Civil War). Although my opinions are radical by today's standards, I pride myself on not being rascist with so much racism existing in the town I live in.

The do not dislikes all blacks, gays, immigrants, etc. because of a belief of White Supremacy. I dislike the extremists groups of these minorities that force their views on the majority of America and attempt to sway the government in their favor.

While you could still argue that I exibit many qualties of a racist, until you can prove such a thing, calling me a racist is no more than childish name-calling. We're all grown-ups here, right?

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Rome's Legionnares were destroyed by war elephants. Their navy was weak during several wars.

Just to note that Roman soldiers were called "Legionaries". A "Legionnaire" is a soldier of the Legion Etranger. They were not destroyed by elephants, either, they were destroyed because their original strengths were forgotten and the politicians in Rome did not fund them adequately or have the will to use them properly anymore. At that point they were easy prey for the barbarians that overcame them because the Legions were little better than they by that point.

The Roman navy was sometimes weak but after Rome controlled the entire Meditteranean coast there was not much call for a large fleet. Athens was in a position to need a fleet, and the Athenian navy was always very strong, but the vast majority of Roman campaigns were fought on land.

By all means, make historical comparisons, but let's keep them accurate or the conclusions we draw will be incorrect.

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Rome was not destroyed by war elephants. Hannibal and Hasdrubal were both defeated. Cannae was the largest destruction of Roman arms ever, and Hannibal still lost the war.

It decayed due to a number of factors:

-Over taxation

-Excessive agricultural development and associated depletion

-Changing weather patterns

-Lack of freedom, slavery and high bondage rates which bred dissatisfaction and a huge % of the population unable to contribute anything meaningful to the empire

-A large inactive rich class which did not work but fed off the slave system

-Internal rot, corruption, decay, and poor leadership

-Empire fatigue

-Lack of capital mobility and investment

-Nomadic peoples due to population pressures and attracted by the wealth of the empire over-ran an increasingly foreign serviced Roman army

-Poor administrative systems and rudimentary transport

-Lack of scientific, ideological and artistic development

-Nationalism of conquered peoples

-Lack over time of a well trained Italian army and a lack of innovation in military thought and technique

None of these applies to America. Rome was a despotic and increasingly orientalised empire. It was doomed to collapse.

BTW the collapse of Rome is a positive not a negative. I don't share one ounce of sympathy with those who pine for the Roman Empire. It was corrupt, bloodthirsty and becoming increasingly over time an anachronism that militated against progress. Not enough is made of the failings of Rome. Too much of its progress.

Kennedy's thesis is premised on some valid observations but much of what he states has been repudiated by others and by world events.

It is wrong to compare the US to Rome.

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Yes - it is totally out of date. Kennedy wrote at a time of high inflation, wage and price controls, trade restrictions, fluctuating currencies and capital controls.

It was in vogue during the 80s, especially in academe to eulogise the power of Russia, and predict the collapse of the West in the face of its invincible might, as well as the unchallengable superiority of the Japanese model.

Events proved otherwise.

America has yet to enter its best and most important phase. Its hegemony has only started.

Comparing its decline is rather like telling a young adolescent that he is beyond his best years.

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I think Kennedy is a decent historian but it is always hard to interpret history that occurred within the last decade. Since that time, Japanese economic growth has slowed and the Chinese economy has been shown as the paper tiger that it is.

Further to your point about the tendency of intelligentsia to misinterpret data during that period, as Barber noted as an example, in the late 80s American manufacturing and raw materials output seemed to be slowing, and in some cases were even overtaken by Soviet industry. However, this did not mark the decline of the US economy or the growing strength of the USSR, rather, it was actually indicative of the start of the evolution of the US economy from a manufacturing base towards a service and information industry base.

Returning to the thread title, it is inevitable that the USA will decline and I agree with Kennedy that it will not implode but rather just shrink, as the British empire did, and rather than reflect the 40-50% of collective world power that it is now it will shrink to around 13-15%, which is more in keeping with its population size and resources - certainly the USA will remain a significant player, but probably no longer the most significant.

When will this happen? Centuries. Even if America's rivals continue to grow as they have I cannot see them approaching America's strength for a long, long time, barring disaster - and disaster is not reserved for the dominant power, I might add.

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They were not destroyed by elephants, either, they were destroyed because their original strengths were forgotten and the politicians in Rome did not fund them adequately or have the will to use them properly anymore

You're missing the point. He earlier said that Rome, like the US had all the best weapons. During several battles in Africa, Roman legions were trampled and annihilated by War elephants. They did not have the best weapons.

The Roman navy was sometimes weak but after Rome controlled the entire Meditteranean coast there was not much call for a large fleet.

After they produced a navy centered around boarding ships, their fleet became the strongest in the Meditteranean, however, before that, their navy was seriously lacking in comparsion to the Carthagians.

By all means, make historical comparisons, but let's keep them accurate or the conclusions we draw will be incorrect.

By all means, read the question and answer before you comment on either.

Craig Read, like his usual self, misses the point as well.

Rome was not destroyed by war elephants

No one ever said that. I simply said legionniaire were destroyed by war elephants on several occasions. going to selectively read and fabricate what I said like you always do craig?

Rome was going to fall, just like the US and every other nation in this world.

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Why do you post ? What value do you add ?

Comparing the empire of Rome to the current US nation and then stating as you do that the US is doomed to failure is a waste of space, especially the way you write posts with no logic, lots of slander and wailing and no knowlege.

When will it fail ? How will it fail ? Why is there a link between the US and Rome ? How are the experiences similar ? How are the 'Empires' similar ? Does the US even have an Empire ? Why will the US economy implode like the Roman economy did ? Or like Keynes are you just stating the obvious that in the long run we all die ?

Your ignorance of topics knows no bounds. I have no idea why you are allowed to post on this website.

Some details on which you are wrong:

1) Hannibal had 34 Elephants. This surprised the Romans but did not destroy them. Hannibal was an able general due to his encircling tactics even when he had less troops and his mobility. Tacticians still study Cannae today. A battle about which you know nothing and have probably never even heard of. Why don't you first read about the topic before posting.

2) The Romans built an entire Navy within 7 years and had more warships during the Punic wars than the Punics. The Carth. were mainly traders, and they need warships to keep open the trade routes. However they did not have the population or money base to keep pace with Roman armaments. So yes Rome had better weapons at this POINT in history as far as Naval ships were concerned. But other Med. nations had better equipped warships, but not as many of them. So what is your point ? I said as time wore on Roman tactics and military innovation languished. This is rather obvious as foreign mercenaries came to make up the majority of Roman troops and Roman tactics had barely changed from the time of Ceasar to the invasion of Alaric. This is true for both the Navy and Army. Do you know even who Alaric was and how he was able to sack Rome ? You offer no evidence that this point of military degeneration is wrong. Read some Gibbon [do you know who he is ?] on this point.

Instead you carry on in your demented slander

Craig Read, like his usual self, misses the point as well.

Where ? By pointing out the obvious that Elephants did not beat the Romans not even once ? You state many times they did - name the battle, the date, the generals involved and the role of the Elephants please. By pointing out the obvious that any analysis of the decline of Rome has a number of exogenous and endogenous factors related to it [do I need to explain what those words mean ?]. Identify where the list i made is wrong and list some proof of why it is wrong.

You can't. You just scream and yell. I have no idea why you are on this website.

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During several battles in Africa, Roman legions were trampled and annihilated by War elephants. They did not have the best weapons.

Actually, the Punic wars were fought before the legion had taken its final form. What you also forget is that Hannibal and Hasdrubal were two of the finest generals to grace an army of men, and the fact that they won battles against often less experienced and downright incompetent Roman leaders does not mean that their weapons were superior.

Regardless, you are wrong anyway, since just because a weapon fails to win a battle or a war does not mean that it is not the best available. After all, B-52s and F-4s "failed" in Vietnam - and I wouldn't say it was because they were inferior weapons compared to Communist aircraft, would you? V-2 rockets and Me-262 jet fighters failed to save the Third Reich, but there's no question of their technical superiority to anything the Allies had.

Rome was going to fall, just like the US and every other nation in this world.

Well, duh.

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Regardless, you are wrong anyway, since just because a weapon fails to win a battle or a war does not mean that it is not the best available.

When a weapon can utterly stomp an other into oblivion it is inferior?

However, we need to define better in what sense. Better in attrition wars? better in training? Better in overall combat? better at sea battle?

Yes, a legionare is better at sea, training and attrition, but in a certain battle(s), when faced aganist something that can better adapt or has a signifigent advantage, it will take a inferior stance.

My question is (which you people will probably answer strangely) does one thing apply to everything else that is shares something with?

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However, we need to define better in what sense. Better in attrition wars? better in training? Better in overall combat? better at sea battle?

How about "better" as in "how well it does the job it was designed for"? As in, "an M16 is better than an AK-47" - remember that one?

when faced aganist something that can better adapt or has a signifigent advantage, it will take a inferior stance.

What, like the Big Red One (US Army 1st Infantry Division)? Of course - but the fact remains that in its day, the legion was the superior "weapon".

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How about "better" as in "how well it does the job it was designed for"? As in, "an M16 is better than an AK-47" - remember that one?

Um, US troops prefered the AK for numerous reasons even when they had use of the M16. They prefered its stopping power, reliability (it's not a uzi, but it's got better reliability then the 16), ability to fire many type of ammo, and ease of obtaining. But let's just forget that as well?

The War elephant and Legionnaire were obviously use for different things. However, when a war elephant stomps/tramples legionnares, it obviously has a advantage. Yes, a War elephant cannot patrol or search house to house, but a legionnare cannot stomp or trample infantry by the dozens.

What, like the Big Red One (US Army 1st Infantry Division)? Of course - but the fact remains that in its day, the legion was the superior "weapon".

Yes it was a superior weapon overall, but when faced aganist a unit of war elephants, they are inferior.

FastNed: Tell Craig to stop his lying, fabrications, sweeping generalized insults and otherwise actions that Greg has already warned him about. Then come talk to me.

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Well, War elephants weren't the superior weapons.

Alexander the great was suprised when he was expanding his empire at the age of 20. He easily defeated elephants also.

Hannibal's elephants never got a chance to fight the romans, because he lost all of them crossing over the mountains. He also lost half his army. Hannibal was just a courageous leader of the Carth. He was pissed at the Romans. War elephants weren't superior weapons.

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Superior in what sense? We've already established that the legionnare is a superior overall weapon.

They both had different functions, OBVIOUSLY.

The elephant was used in battle because of its immense size and great strength. When the Romans encountered the elephants of Pyrrhus “some (Romans) were killed by the men in the towers on the elephants’ backs, and others by the beasts themselves, which destroyed many with their trunks and tusks and crushed and trampled under foot many more (Zonaras VIII, 3).” Aelian recorded Ctesias as saying that he has seen “date-palms completely uprooted by elephants.”6 Also, Mago’s elephants “trampled to death twenty-two sons of nobles serving in the Roman cavalry (Livy XXX, 18).” Once one of Scipio’s wounded elephants was “crushing a sutler underfoot when a veteran in Caesar’s army distracted the beast which then lifted him in the air with its trunk; whereupon the soldier kept hacking at the trunk with his sword until pain caused the beast to drop him

War Elephants

War elephants somewhat effective aganist Roman armies.

The elephant was a serious fighting machine in antiquity. Elephants could (and often did) almost solely determine the course of battle. After Antiochas had won an elephant-victory over the terrified Gauls, he wept and called out, “Shame my men, whose salvation came through these sixteen beasts. If the novelty of their appearance had not struck the enemy with panic, where should we have been?”9 Had Antiochas not possessed his sixteen elephants, he might well have lost the battle.

HMMMM

Actually a few of Hannibal's elephants did fight in a battle or two.

In fact, most of the 34 elephants he started with died during the mountain passage or during the severe winter that followed. The last few died after the battle of Trebbia, leaving only one (Serus?) to carry Hannibal through the Etrurian marshes.
War elephants weren't superior weapons

When faced aganist infantry and cavalary not specificially trained and armed aganist them, it often became a rout.

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I had already posted that Hannibal had 34 elephants. In the battle of Cannae they were not even used. That battle is his supreme achievement and one of the most complete victories in warfare. Elephants were used for shock value -as Derek stated even Alexander's armies while amazed at the beast were able to win victories against the Hindi armies. Elephants were useful supply trains as well.

The elephant story is off topic - the thread discusses the decline of the US - and it was posted that the comparison to Rome is invalid for a number of very good exogenous and endogenous reasons. I would submit that the US is not an empire in the traditional sense and not interested in the spoils of empires of ages past. This makes comparison, i believe between the US and past empires even more difficult. The British hegemony might be used, but even there, significant differences can be pointed out. I just don't think Paul Kennedy's concept which was in vogue during the 1980s is now relevant. All respects to Mr. Kennedy notwithstanding being the very bright historian that he is.

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Fast Ned is right. There is too much name calling going on in this board and not enough about the topic. If anyone can remember, the topic was about comparing Rome to America and how NewGlory thinks America will fall. The fact that America will fall is INEVITABLE. The question is really when this will happen. Many things need to be factored in to find the answer and the argument about inferior/superior weapons is a major one in this world. But if it continues at this rate, i don't see an answer coming anytime soon. Right now, it is obvious that America has better weapons. But why is this so? Because of years of devlopment and research. Not many countries can compare with the time that has been spent in this area. This goes for the Romans too. They did have superior weapons and they did have superior strategies. Unfortunately, enemies like Hannibal found out ways to beat them. The use of war elephants and his encircling tactic worked well against the Romans but they still could not be defeated. But that was only on the battlefield. It was said before that many Romans were killed at Cannae but the Romans still won...on the battlefield. However, the effect that this battle had upon the Roman people was a great factor in its decline. The citizens didn't want to fight in the army anymore. This could easily happen to America. In vietnam, hundreds of thousands of soldiers died. Of course this had a negative effect on American citizens wanting to enter the war. Even soldiers already in Vietnam wanted to get out. Many thought it lucky to step on a landmine and get their leg blown off just so they could get back home. If we keep getting into wars, America's army will virtually disappear just like Romes. But wars and armies are not the only factors of a countries decline.

Another reason for Romes decline was corruption in the government. Many people may not think that this is true with America but it is, just in a different way. This is the same principle of minority groups taking over but with corporations. Aren't corporations choosing the elections of today? Politicians aren't for the people anymore. Most don't even say what they want to say anymore. They are told what to say by the people who give them the most money. A good example of this is in Florida. Florida's big crop is sugar. Huge fields of these line the roads in some places. To care for these fields, phosphorus is sprayed in overwhelming (and very wasteful) amounts. This phosphorus builds up and in the next big rain, is washed away to the Everglades. Environmentalists have tried hard for this to stop because it is killing off this national park. Many times, legislations have been proposed but then they have been crushed. Is this because they were bad for the people? No, it is because big corporations (like Florida sugar) can feed off the peoples ignorance. Not only that but they have the money to do whatever they want with our government.

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Um, US troops prefered the AK for numerous reasons even when they had use of the M16. They prefered its stopping power

What does "stopping power" mean, Nova?

I know that you are utterly uninformed about this subject so I don't think we need to take your rifle discussions very seriously. "Guns" do not "jam".

ability to fire many type of ammo

What, 7.62mm as opposed to 5.56mm NATO? Great. What a selling point.

The War elephant and Legionnaire

THE WORD IS "LEGIONARY!" A "Legionnaire" is a soldier of the French Foreign Legion. What is wrong with you? You want us to take you seriously and ignore Craig for "lying" but even your language belies that you have no idea what you are talking about. It's also interesting to note that while Craig has conceded debate, revised his position and admitted errors of judgement, when you have been proven wrong you simply desert the thread and then turn up in another spouting the same rubbish.

Yes, a War elephant cannot patrol or search house to house, but a legionnare cannot stomp or trample infantry by the dozens.

Sure, but you could never field elephants in the numbers required to do that. The logistics alone are prohibitive. What you are saying is akin to, "Hey, if we could make a man-portable particle beam weapon, infantry could defeat tanks!" Yes, they could, but you can't get a man-portable particle beam, which moots the point. You see?

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Will you people please stop being so childish about everything. All that this thread is doing is reinforcing my belief that American politics is full of name-calling and slandering. The point of this site is to discuss topics of interest not repeatedley put down your opponent and continuely state that you are right trying to prove yourself with facts. Facts are nothing, principle is everything.

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Of course, Plato, you are right. I am just growing tired of the vendetta Nova has against Craig, myself.

In answer to your points, I would like to say that the America of Vietnam and the America of today are very different. The US military is now an all-volunteer force and it is virtually impossible that morale would ever be as low as it was in Vietnam. Furthermore, the days of industrial-scale warfare are over as the industrial age itself is. Automation and technology have made possible amazing things. A modern cruise missile can do alone what a flight of bombers crewed by hundreds of men could not do in a week during WWII. Even since Gulf I, technology has progressed to the state where the US military, in Gulf II, could unleash many times the firepower it did in Gulf I, yet still using far fewer troops.

Corporations are not particularly deciding US politics. As an example, many Congressmen did not support the Trade Promotion Authority even though they had received large donations from member companies. Of course, corporations can donate money, but they can't vote, and to get re-elected an American politician does have to serve or at least appear to serve his electorate, or they'll vote for someone else. The problem with American democracy that I see is not that corporate interests are over-riding, but that voters do not take a keen enough interest in politics.

In a comparison to Rome, one should note that Rome was never anything close to a democracy and the people never had a say in the government. The American people still do have a say in their government and the voice of the ballot box is heard more loudly than the voice of corporate donations.

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Yes you are right Hugo, many Libs will say most congressmen are greedy and self-centered, some are, most arent.

Nova needs to stop TRYING to put people down also, it is plain pathetic.

Rome was a republic, they are not a democracy, the only thing they had close was a sentate, but that was its courts and governing system. We shouldn't try comparing rome to the Us anymore on how they are alike.

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Of course, corporations can donate money
but that voters do not take a keen enough interest in politics.

Corporations put more money into politics than anyone else in America. And in my opinion they do have a major effect in the outcome of elections. Maybe not the big elections but at least enough of the small things to be noticed. There was, in fact, a law that was going to be passed that stated that no person (or corporation) can donate more than $2,000 to a single canadite. This would greatly put a stop to corporations ruling over the standard citizen because most people in the U.S. can afford that kind of money. However, many corporations did not want this to happen (for, hopefully, obvious reasons) and crushed this with an advertising campaign that fed off of our peoples ignorance.

Yes you are right Hugo, many Libs will say most congressmen are greedy and self-centered, some are, most arent.

I don't think that congressman are greedy and self-centered, but they certainly want to be elected. If politics were you lifes work wouldn't you want to be elected into office? Even though anyone can be a politician, some don't have the funds to keep up with the fast paced advertising of America. These congressman need the money so that next time they come up for election, they can beat their opponent. The best way to do this is to accept donations, and the best donators are the ones with all the money. The corporations. But to keep the flow coming, they need to push for laws to be passed that the donating corporations want passed. Its a simple win win situation with a little stomping on the little ones along the way.

We shouldn't try comparing rome to the Us anymore on how they are alike.

Maybe Rome isn't all that like America. So maybe that isn't what we should be comparing. Rome was a huge empire that eventually messed up a led itself to its own downfall. Following the same principle, America is a modern-day empire that could very easily mess up and lead itself to downfall. We should discuss what problems we are faced with and how they could affect America in later years.

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