Auferre Trucidare Rapere Falsis Nominibus Imperium, Atque Ubi Solitudinem Faciunt, Pacem Appellant

I am of course quoting Tacitus:

To ravage, to slaughter, to usurp under false titles, they call empire; and where they make a desert, they call it peace.

It is a quote that he attributes to a speech by Celtic chieftan Calgacus, in his biography of his father in law,  Gnaeus Julius Agricola, though the whole speech is almost universally considered to be a literary creation of Tacitus.

The Agricola is more than a history though, it is a critique of the corruption and lack of freedom of the Roman Empire.

I also see it as a metaphor for Hillary Clinton, whose history evokes the Calgacus speech.

Whether it’s her failure as Chair of the Task Force on National Health Care Reform, her support of the Iraq war well past its sell by date, her advocacy for the destruction of Libya, her vociferous support of gutting welfare and making war on minorities through the crime bill, her 2008 campaign, her 2016 campaign, etc. she is an avatar of a hapless ruling class in a corrupt empire.

She is unable, and likely unwilling, to think beyond the conventional wisdom, she values loyalty over competence, and her staff has been the proverbial bucket of crabs, where internal conflict results in the failure of all.

This has created a record of failure, and generate a reputation for intellect, that rivals that of Richard Bruce Cheney.

She is a marker of imperial decay.

The same cannot be said for Donald Trump.  He is the very archetype of the barbarian at the gate.

He’s is like the Visigoths who sacked Rome.

If you are wondering why I am drawing parallels with the decline and fall of Rome, it is because I see the something very similar going on now in the United States.

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