While the ancient Greeks and Romans are seldom studied in the modern American polity, their societies possessed distinct civic virtues and standards of excellence that formed the basis of the United States. The authors argue that the Founders and Framers of the U.S. created a nation based on the juxtaposition of ancient principles, which helped cultivate a population of civic minded, excellent citizens. The history of the U.S. is far from perfect, but the idea of America, at its origin, was revolutionary. In modern times, however, the authors argue that the American people are forgetting what it means to be American. The decline of both civic virtue and standards of excellence in today’s America is responsible for the rise of poor political leadership. Under President Donald Trump, America’s ability to maintain peace throughout the world, known as Pax Americana, was deteriorated, which worsened the integrity, stability, and longevity of the country. While many scholars have attempted to explain the rise of Trump, the authors argue that if American citizens want to know how Trump rose to power, they need only look into a mirror.
Justin P. DePlato is an expert on the American Presidency and American Founding Theories.
Alex C. Minford has previously worked as a legislative intern in the U.S. House of Representatives, and he is now earning an MBA.
Chapter 1: Civic Virtue in Greece and Rome
Chapter 2: The Foundations of American Citizenship
Chapter 3: Trump Rises from the Ashes of the Elites