Historian and author Arnold Toynbee concluded in his seminal work, A Study of History, that when the roads in Rome began to crumble, the republic had already fallen. It would be hard not to compare the deteriorating roads and aqueducts of Rome to the deplorable state of our own highways and morally bankrupt institutions. In an environment of a heated and divided government, Trump’s push to fix our crumbling infrastructure is more important than ever for our economy and our future.
As Hong Kong built mega highways and skyscrapers over the last several decades, the United States remained mired in a great recession that spanned more than 30 years following the passage of NAFTA and GATT. And as international corporations flocked to the red dragon and India, our own infrastructure began to slowly crumble from neglect and hostility to a nation state. And like Rome, our once great industrial cities were no longer shining cities on a hill, but empty industrial shells and crumbling inner cities of a once great republic.
Since the 1960s, there have been two governments at work and at odds with one another inside the federal swamp—traditional nationalists and those that infiltrated the bureaucracy via the “long institutional march” of Frankfort School devotees, who tirelessly seek a one world government. And much like Rome’s republic, the infighting has resulted in an abysmal U.S. transportation system. The environmentalists want to believe that we all live in urban areas and, therefore, good roads are unimportant. Thus, they successfully and consistently block funding initiatives to expand and build roads. In their urban, utopian world, we should all be renting a bike or catching a train to work. Never mind that most of America resides outside of urban areas and their solutions to transportation are impractical. In their elitist and imaginary world, it matters little to them how long the average American worker must sit in traffic each day to get to work and feed their family or how efficiently companies can transport their goods across state lines.
As a powerful Western nation, our roads are, quite simply, an embarrassment to American ingenuity and progress, particularly our highways. In a February 2017 hearing in Washington, D.C., FedEx CEO Fred Smith told the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee that his company is using twice as many tires than it did two decade ago due to the poor condition of our roads. And it’s not just the state of the roads that are so worrisome. Our roads have not kept up with the increase in population, rendering economic and leisure travel a nightmare. And despite the progressive dream of integrated and fuel-saving rail systems, our passenger rail system remains practically non-existent, although the promise of a sleek and high-speed rail system has been repeated every year by political candidates for the last 50 years. Anyone who has ever had the displeasure of catching an Amtrak train knows we are lagging half a century behind other Western nations like a fatty in a race.
Elaine L. Chao, the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the same Bush-era neocon who was so ineffective in repealing Obamacare, was tapped by Trump to be the next U.S. Secretary of Transportation. Chao is a long-time Bush appointee and former U. S. Secretary of Labor. Despite the good press Chao received at her nomination, she served the neocons every year during the George W. Bush era. That’s a long time with no measurable change. Chao was also recently criticized in the press for keeping her six-figure amount of stock in an infrastructure company called Vulcan Materials, where she once sat on the board.
And despite the media’s portrayal of Bush as a bumbling idiot, he was a Harvard graduate who firmly believed, as did his father, in a “new world order.” The Chaos of the world are not the same people who rely on roads to grow industry or who understand how inefficiency affects how profitable and responsive U.S. companies must be to compete. And did I mention that transportation has not improved under Chao’s long and distinguished career?
So call me a skeptic, but I fail to see how appointing an entrenched bureaucrat who served under a died in the wool globalist president to head the Transportation Department is going to ever execute Trump’s ambitious $1 trillion infrastructure plan. Not only is Chao expected to implement Trump’s plan, she will also be overseeing the Federal Aviation Administration, the Federal Railroad Administration, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, all which have military implications that affect the safety of the Motherland and have entrenched institutional problems. They are outdated, ineffective and cumbersome. And did I mention an embarrassment?
Our infrastructure has languished over the Bush and Obama years, and in this case, all roads don’t lead to Rome but to the Washington barnacles bent on the atrophy of our highways and systems rather than making our country great again. It remains to be seen whether Trump can shake up a broken system and actually launch a successful infrastructure plan, but one thing is sure, roads, particularly Roman roads, were developed and maintained for the benefit of the state. General George Washington said in 1785 before coming president, “The credit, the saving, and convenience of this country all require that our great roads leading from one public place to another should be straightened and established by law… To me these things seem indispensably necessary.”
President Trump said in September 2018 that former President George W. Bush is responsible for the biggest mistake in American history in an interview with The Hill, “The worst single mistake ever made in the history of our country: going into the Middle East, by President Bush.” Trump then tweeted: “This will be a big week for Infrastructure,” he wrote on Twitter. “After so stupidly spending $7 trillion in the Middle East, it is now time to start investing in OUR Country!”
History is clear that when the state becomes so economically irresponsible, divided and corrupt, the fall of a great empire is near. The state of our nation’s infrastructure isn’t nearly as sexy to the right as fighting the swamp, but it is surely the canary in the coal mind on the pulse and health of a nation. We cannot expect heavy industries to be globally competitive if they are routinely getting a flat tire on the way to the port. Trump doesn’t just want American industry to succeed, he wants big, beautiful stations and highways. And so do I. I want to be a proud American again. How about you? #Reignwell