To the Editor:
Edward Watts’ Lessons in the Decline of Democracy from the Ruined Roman Republic chronicles how Rome was decimated by partisan gridlock, political violence and pandering …
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To the Editor:
Edward Watts’ Lessons in the Decline of Democracy from the Ruined Roman Republic chronicles how Rome was decimated by partisan gridlock, political violence and pandering politicians. He states that, “A population once devoted to national service and personal honor, was torn to shreds [and they] chose to let their democracy die ...”
Watts writes: “So what does the story of the Roman Republic mean for the United States? The comparison is not perfect. The U.S. has had its share of political violence over the centuries and has more or less recovered. Politicians used to regularly duel one another ... and [there was] the near murder of Charles Sumner in the Senate chamber.”
He details author Joanne B. Freeman’s research of Congress prior to the Civil War in which she found at least 70 incidents of fighting among legislators, including a mass brawl in the House in 1858. Those conflicts meant duels, fistfights, and brandishing of guns and knives on the Capitol floor.
For me this history highlights the idiocy of [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi’s Jan. 6 committee. Pelosi treats the event as an absolute in American history; like nothing similar has ever happened before. It’s political pandering at its worst.
When all of this is blended with President Biden’s disturbing and totally embarrassing decisions and outcomes of the past several weeks, what Pelosi needs to do is have Congress look at itself in the mirror as provocateurs, not victims.
The Jan. 6 incident could prove to be a good thing. Let us hope it magnifies the hypocrisy, ineptness, partisanship and plain dishonesty of those in the Executive and Legislative branches of our government.
Philip H. Johnson