Rome’s Emperor (Nero) and Donald Trump have A Great Deal in Common: Ineffective & Absent in time of Crisis.

By DL White

America continues in a tailspin as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic and ironically President Donald J. Trump’s behavior during the crisis mirrors that of the Rome’s Emperor Nero (64 A.D.), which was reported to have been playing his fiddle as Rome burned.

Trump in similar fashion is out golfing, demonstrating zero concern for the pandemic or the devastation and loss of American lives and spreading false information inflaming his base along the way. 

It has been a discouraging week to say the least as 3,600 deaths were reported on December 16, shattering the previous record. With the Christmas holiday knocking at the door and New Years right around the corner, it is projected the aforementioned numbers might be shattered.

More than 320,000 Americans have died from the virus and an unprecedented 18.3 million have tested positive all while President Donald Trump has continued to spread false and inflammatory conspiracy theories about the recent Presidential election having been stole from him?

Trumps post-election behavior has deteriorated and is very similar to a child throwing a temper tantrum for not receiving a toy or candy while shopping with a parent……. (Clean up needed on aisle 4).

Of equal concern to Trumps behavior is that of the GOP leadership, Senators’ Mitch McConnell’s, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Susan Collins, Lamar Alexander, Corbin from Texas, Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham from South Carolina and Murkowski from Alaska have all been silent and even supported Trumps baseless claims for recount after recount.

“This is unprecedented and has never happened in American history,” noted Michael Brown a California native now residing in Phoenix.

Said Brown, “I believe Trump will not be satisfied until something real crazy breaks out.”

“Four years ago then Presidential candidate Hilary Clinton had every right to speak up and oppose the election,” noted Benjamin Johnson, an educator residing Maricopa, AZ from Virginia.

Johnson noted,

“There was clear evidence of Russian interference, collusion, and even Wiki leaks involvement. Clinton could have gotten as ugly as Trump with rightful cause. She did not, she cared more for the country (America) and bowed out graciously.”

Trump has sent his attorney’s lead by the shameless former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani across the country to file cases of improper proceedings during the 2020 President election. All of the claims have been tossed out of Courts from the mid-west, to the east, and southwest. The United States Supreme Court also tossed Trumps claim out stating it lacked sufficient evidence and facts. Trump on clue used colorful and discrediting tweets to blast the Court, three of which are his appointments.  

The much anticipated vaccine by Pfizer was approved and as of Monday, December 21, is being distributed and dispensed across the country. A second vaccine by Moderna was recently approved as well and is being distributed. The vaccines could not have been approved and released soon enough as the numbers from the Thanksgiving Holiday was reported recently and the results were disturbing, 47,000 Americans have died, and failed to heed the warning by the CDC and others about staying home.

California leads the U.S. with 1.97 million cases and an unfortunate 23,254 deaths, followed by Texas 1.63 million cases and 26,363 deaths, and Florida rounds out the top three states with one million plus cases and an equally high rate of deaths as reported by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).  Arizona has had over 400,000 of its population reported cases of the virus and 8, 133 deaths. ICUs across the country are filling up. The hospitalized rate as of December 22 stands at 117,777 a plus 13% rate according to the CDC (Center for Disease).

Notable similaries: The former Roman Emperor Nero very much like Trump was considered a distant and even cruel leader. He was not liked and had many enemies; however fear kept them in check for the most part.

 A great fire ravaged Rome for six days, destroying 70 percent of the city and leaving half its population homeless during Nero’s rule. According to a well-known expression, Rome’s emperor at the time, the decadent and unpopular Nero, was said to have played a fiddle while Rome burned. The claim has been challenged throughout history as the fiddle was not developed until the 11th Century (

 If Nero played anything, it would probably have been the cithara; a heavy wooden instrument with four to seven strings—but there is still no solid evidence that he played one during the Great Fire?

When the Great Fire broke out, Nero was at his villa in Antium, approximately 35 miles from Rome. 

In Trumptonian fashion, Nero blamed the Christians, a rising religious sect at the time for the fire, and had many arrested and executed defecting blame for his lack of attention to the matter.

In 68 A.D., after a turbulent 13-year reign, the Roman Senate acted and grew tired and weary of Nero and declared Nero a public enemy. Nero fled and on June 9, (68 A.D.), at the age of 30, Nero committed suicide. His death ended the Julio-Claudine dynasty. (

 Just as Nero is remembered negatively for his cruel reign, only time will tell how history recalls Trumps four years in the oval office. The best part, those four years are now up! Time to really make America great again. It has been lacking.

D.L.White, can be reached via email at [email protected]. White  currently lives in Phoenix, AZ.  He is the author and creative lead for the Sensational letter “S”, a children’s book focused on early reading comprehension and word development. He is also a Adjunct faculty member at Maricopa College, and staff reporter for the Arizona Informant.

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