HomePrinceton PacketPrinceton Packet OpinionOpinion: Americans are not engaged in processes of government

Opinion: Americans are not engaged in processes of government

Some have written about the slowing down of our court system during the pandemic. The history of Rome shows us how bad our current situation really is.

In its early days, Rome suffered from a terrible epidemic. Rome’s public affairs depended on everyone being involved. The epidemic sickened not only public officials and militia members, but also brought the justice system and elections apparatus to its knees, says historian Livy.

The problem in America today is that our people are not engaged in processes of government like Romans were. Rome rebounded to watchful civic engagement. When our epidemic is over, we will rebound to our usual indolence.

American election campaigns, lobbying, government oversight and political party work are all typically done by professional experts, while our citizens sit on the sidelines gorging on food and entertainment.

Our losses in civil and criminal justice, and even elections, may well be permanent due to the nation’s advanced state of decline even before 2020.

Kimball Shinkoskey
Former Princeton resident

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