(This post is a continuation of “Trump His Fall, Part 1.” We list evidence to support the contention that the American Empire has fallen.)
- We reward actors, ballplayers, pimps and corporate thieves with immense amounts of money. We prize them in ways we never dream of recompensing teachers, police officers, fire fighters or military veterans.
- In their speeches and television appearances, our politicians regale us with either quotes from pop artists or sad fragments of tired presidential rhetoric. Most of them never read Langston Hughes or Mark Twain; many of them never heard of Emily Dickinson or Gertrude Stein.
- We complain of drug pushers, but consume their drugs. We do not tolerate undocumented immigrants, but we are quick to hire them as construction or domestic workers.
- In our major cities the homeless, the poor and the mentally ill are thrown out on the streets to fend for themselves. The picture of the elderly and unproductive pushing their belongings in shopping carts past our BMWs and Escalades is a faithful portrait of our time.
- In his book Decadence, Richard Gilman summed up the prevailing vision of the causes of the fall of Rome: “the overextension of physical resources, internal political and social discord, the loss of military élan and cohesion due to the large numbers of mercenaries and subject peoples in her armies, inferior will and decisiveness in the face of the vitality and untroubled consciences of her enemies.” Sound familiar?
- Liberals are surprised by the adoration of American Evangelists for a political leader whom liberals consider a liar, a fraud, a rascal and a bum. They forget our infamous backing of Latin American dictators based on FDR’s dictum about Somoza: “He’s a son-of-a-bitch, but he’s our son-of-a-bitch.”
- Both national political parties propose that we go “back” to a greatness that never existed and a Golden Age riddled with flaws. Our Empire’s fall was due to a “collapse of volition” caused by “habits of luxury and self-indulgence brought about by times of prosperity.”
- Meanwhile, we force the poor and the patriotic to carry the endless burden of our endless wars, while we tolerate the “flamboyant, despairing immorality of rulers like Nero and Caligula.”
We are living at the end of days. Everywhere we go, just like the divine voice that was heard at midnight throughout Rome warning its citizens that the Gauls were coming upon them “from Ocean’s shores,” we hear the voice of the Spirit addressing the Angel of the church of the Laodiceans in the Book of Revelation:
Thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.
(KJV, Rev 3:17)
And yet there is a consolation, for even the Wise Men from the East lost sight of the Star of Bethlehem during some days. They rejoiced when they found it again, after they fled Herod’s power in the city of Jerusalem.
 Richard Gilman, Decadence: The Strange Life of an Epithet (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1979), 53.
 Gilman, 49.
 Gilman, 36.