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reliable means of succession and Canada and Mexico begin to eat away at our territory, the story of our decline is not going to track closely with that of Rome, a vastly different polity, at a different time.
By all means, study the history of Rome for its own sake and for the insights it affords into human nature and the roots of the Western world. But the moral of the story needn’t be about 21st-century America.
Rich Lowry is editor of the National Review.