This Story From The 3rd Century Will Sound Quite Familiar To You with what we have in the U.S. right now.

When Publius Licinus Valerianus (known as Valerian) became Roman emperor in September of 253 AD, people across the empire must have breathed a sigh of relief.
"Finally," many Roman citizens probably thought, "There's an adult in the room."

The Roman Empire at that point was in the midst of its infamous 'Crisis of the Third Century'. The Empire was recovering from a nasty pandemic known as the Antonine Plague. Inflation was soaring. Conflict with their enemies-- especially in the Middle East-- was intensifying. Social tensions were growing. Crime was rising. Trade was declining. The economy was on the ropes. Taxes were going up.

And there had been far too many years of political instability in the Empire prior to Valerian's ascension.

But Valerian was a guy with decades of experience. He was a longtime Senator, plus he had previously held one of the top positions in Rome's executive branch. So, people naturally thought he would be the solid leader that Rome needed.

Unfortunately, Valerian turned out to be a complete disaster.

Valerian continued bankrupting the Roman treasury and running sky-high deficits. He zealously demanded ideological conformity and persecuted anyone (most notably Christians) who expressed philosophical or intellectual dissent.

He promoted his son-- a moronic, free-spending playboy-- to a position of high power.
And perhaps most importantly, Valerian was completely incompetent when it came to Rome's border, and the empire became overrun by barbarians during his rule.
By 260 AD, after seven years of Valerian's destructive reign, Romans were fed up… especially those who lived near the border.

Fortunately, the emperor traveled East to personally supervise Rome's war against Persia (modern day Iran), a rising power that had grown more belligerent.

So, with Valerian distracted in Iran, a Roman military officer who was in command of the empire's key border on the Rhine River decided to take matters into his own hands.
The commander's name was Postumus. And in 260, he fought back against the barbarian invaders who had been coming across the border for years. In fact, Postumus delivered such a decisive blow that the barbarians wouldn't dare try crossing the Rhine for another ten years.

Finally, someone had taken real action against the migrant threat after years of the Emperor doing nothing. Citizens in the border provinces (modern day France and western Germany) were thrilled.

So thrilled, in fact, that they declared independence from Rome and made Postumus their leader.

Valerian was powerless to stop it. Literally. At that point he had been captured by the Persians and spent the rest of his life in captivity. True story.

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