Is the “empire” that is America on the wane?

Many believe that is the case.

Among those who see our demise is Vladimir Putin.

The Russian president, speaking at the Valdai forum in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi, criticized the U.S. for implementing sanctions against Russia and other nations, arguing that doing so undermined trust in the dollar as the world’s universal currency.

“It’s a typical mistake of an empire,” Putin said. “An empire always thinks that it can allow itself to make some little mistakes, take some extra costs, because its power is such that they don’t mean anything. But the quantity of those costs, those mistakes inevitably grows.”

Putin believes he is hastening our demise by helping to put Donald Trump in office as president.

Don’t believe it?

Russia chose Donald Trump as the U.S. presidential candidate who would be most advantageous to Moscow, and online tactics to win him the presidency, according to a former agent of the Israeli intelligence agency the Mossad.

The news was reported in a recent Newsweek magazine.

“Officials in Moscow looked at the 2016 U.S. presidential race and asked, ‘Which candidate would we like to have sitting in the White House? Who will help us achieve our goals?’ And they chose him. From that moment, they deployed a system [of bots] for the length of the elections, and ran him for president,” former Mossad chief Tamir Pardo told the audience at the Marker’s digital conference in Israel, where experts gathered to discuss online disinformation campaigns and bots.

It is becoming increasingly clear that Trump is a puppet of Putin. Trump has made regular visits to Russia since 1987, and he doesn’t pass up the opportunity to thank Putin and Russia for this or that.

Does Putin have something on Trump? Something serious? Who knows? Perhaps Trump believes as Putin does that the “American empire” is on the decline and hastens the rise of the Russian empire with its anti-American characteristics.

Must all empires fall? Seems to be the case. The great Roman Empire fell, and its splendor declined quite rapidly.

What caused the fall of the Roman Empire? The main cause for its fall is still a topic of debate among historians.

There are many different theories about why a superpower that ruled for 500 years crumbled and fell, but most scholars agree that it wasn’t one event, but a series of factors that caused a steady decline.

Alexander Demandt, for example, had 210 different theories and even more emerged after him.

From a steadfast superpower to absolute chaos is a complex path, as the fall of the Roman Empire proves.

The question is: Can we stop the decline and fall of America? Not while Trump is in office and while Putin and others are nibbling away at the glory that is (or was) America.

Remember this: Russia and Putin, the man in charge of the country, are enemies of America. And from the looks of things, Trump is not an enemy of Russia nor is he willing to treat Russia as an enemy. But Russia is an enemy all the same.

The fact Putin and his oligarchs have set their sights on the destruction of all that America means to the world is proof enough that Russia wishes us ill and has set its sights on being the new empire.

Maybe the fall of any empire is inevitable. But we shouldn’t hasten that fall by clinging to a leader who hastens the demise.

But that is exactly what we are doing by clinging to Donald Trump. And if he is re-elected, it will be even more harmful for America.

Dave Peyton is on Facebook. His email address is davepeyton@comcast.net.

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