The Founding Fathers built this country with the Roman Republic’s model in mind and were even more concerned about what caused its fall than how it rose to prominence. Rob Goodman, author of a new Cato the Younger biography, Rome’s Last Citizen, recently wrote an article in Politico discussing the historical comparison between the United States and the last days of the Roman Republic.
Though the former speechwriter for Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) must be commended for attempting to bring classic Roman history back into modern discourse and for writing the first major biography of Cato since Plutarch’s Parallel Lives, his analysis generally missed the mark.
The modern connection between the Tea Party, Founding Fathers, and Roman republican statesmen is apt, but his idea that intransigence and opposition to D.C. politics is the cause for America’s current dysfunction is inaccurate. American dysfunction comes from the deep divide in values and the destruction of the constitutional safeguards designed by the Founders.