Gary Hart: The New Caesars. The United States cannot be simultaneously republic and empire. For evidence, see Rome (circa 65 B.C.). We salute the flag of the United States of America “and the Republic for which it stands.” Since the time of the Greek city-states, republics have shared certain immutable qualities: civic virtue or citizen participation, popular sovereignty, resistance to corruption (by special interests) and a sense of the common good. Empires consolidate power in the hands of the few; seek expanded influence, by force if necessary; export centralized administrations to foreign lands; dictate terms to lesser powers, and manage foreign occupied peoples for their own political and commercial advantage.
more people should read thucydides…. i've taught thucydides 4 times, and i have to say, more and more people should realize that empire is antagonistic toward democracy, and thucydides makes this argument pretty clearly in his representations of certain dialogues (go look em up, you'll find em).