This is a video released by the Washington Post covering Presidents Trump’s comments relating to the FBI raid on the offices of his personal attorney, Michael Cohen. As I ponder all of the political intrigue surrounding this presidency, I cannot help but recall two books I read a few years ago: The Peloponnesian War, by Thucydides. and The Histories by Herodotus.
Both books describe the situation in Athens about 500 years before Christ. Athens, a democracy, had decayed into absolute chaos, although it was at the height of its military power. Great political and military leaders were being brought up on what appears to be false charges.
This chaos and disunity led the the disastrous military campaign for Athens in Syracuse, Sicily, where the Spartans wiped out an army of about 80, 000 Athenians. The Peloponnesian War was essentially over for Athens at that point.
In the time frames, more or less, of when the books by Thucydides and Herodotus were written, many famous people were either put to death, exiled, or put to flight by the dysfunctional government in Athens. Here is a list of some people accused of things from impiety to treason: Socrates, Aristotle, Alcibiades, Thermistocles, Demaratus (Spartan) and Thucydides.
With regard to political machinations, Athens had a cute little system called “Ostracism”. This is where every year names were written down on pieces of broken pottery and placed in a collection. The name picked from the collection would be exiled for 10 years. Ostracism was not a punishment. The system was invented because it was believed that if certain people were gone, then political stability could be maintained.
At this point in time, the USA has many, many, many important issues: homelessness, the budget, health care, national security, immigration. I just hope this country never has to face a Peloponnesian War nor a Syracuse.