The city was ravished by rival gangs who robbed and pillaged freely; citizens feared walking the streets. The wealthy lived in villas; the rest survived in squalor. Spending by the government was directed into foreign military operations. Politicians squabbled and plotted to gain more power. An opportunistic leader considered overthrowing the establishment. Ordinary people wondered if the Republic could survive.

The answer: It did not. Caesar crossed the Rubicon, ending the Roman Republic after a run of almost 500 years.

Does the environment sound familiar? Is this our future? Vote in the 2020 elections.

Fred Alkire, Seattle