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. And in the environment of a heated and divided government, it seems unlikely Trump’s ambitious infrastructure fix can work.
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. And much like Rome’s republic, the infighting has resulted in an abysmal transportation system. The “progressive” Marxists of critical theory have been busy the last 40 years tearing down our nation and its institutions from the inside out in search of their own terrifying utopia. Thus, who cares about roads? Let us eat cake, for tomorrow we die.
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 our passenger rail system at least 50 years behind other developed nations.
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. 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.”
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 execute Trump’s ambitious $1 trillion infrastructure plan. Not only is Chao expected to implement Trump’s plan, she is going to oversee 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.
Our infrastructure has languished over the Bush and Obama years, and in this case, all roads lead 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.”
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 New Right as fighting Islamist and globalist, but it is surely the canary in the coal mind on the pulse and health of a nation.