"A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.
The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the beginning of history has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:
- From bondage to spiritual faith;
- From spiritual faith to great courage;
- From courage to liberty;
- From liberty to abundance;
- From abundance to complacency;
- From complacency to apathy;
- From apathy to dependence;
- From dependence back into bondage."
There is some debate as to where the above quote originated, but in any case the United States seems to be in the seventh step of the sequence. Without a significant change in direction, we will regress to the eighth step. Is there any hope for us?
“We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” — Barack Obama, October 30, 2008
Few could predict just how prescient his words would be. Leading up to the presidential election in 2008, most Americans had "Bush fatigue". The people were tired of war and lost trust in the president. Voters were wary of the massive bailouts and huge amnesty that Bush was proposing, and yearned for new leadership. Sure enough the Democrats' rock-star candidate, Barack Obama, was elected five days later with a comfortable majority over the flaccid Republican candidate, John McCain.
Fast-forward seven years and the American mood isn't much different than it was leading up to Obama's election. Both our politicians and the electorate are more politically and ideologically polarized than anytime in memory. Race relations have regressed by decades. Trust in government remains at a cringe-worthy low. The national debt has ballooned to nearly $19 trillion, over 56% of which was accrued during Barack Obama's presidency. Workforce participation is at the lowest level in 38 years, and most people continue to believe that America is heading in the wrong direction.
We've endured a spate of mass shootings and terrorist attacks, both at home and abroad. Marriage was redefined and the rights of gays effectively trump religious freedom, while Christianity is marginalized and attacked like never before. Government took over 11% of our economy -- the health insurance industry -- which helped the poorest among us afford healthcare, but continues to cause even more financial hardship for many working and middle class families. Before Obamacare, they couldn't afford insurance. After Obamacare, they still can't afford it, but get fined as a result. Meanwhile, actual healthcare costs continue to rise.
The administration doesn't hesitate to involve itself in local issues, vilifying police for "acting stupidly" while giving tacit support to violent criminals that attack others. Obama insists that "climate change" - not terrorism - is the biggest threat facing America.
Our nation's institutions of higher learning have devolved into daycare centers. Speech that could possibly offend delicate sensibilities is quickly squelched, with the offender subjected to punishment. Distinguished graduation commencement speakers have been rejected, and even comedians steer clear of today's campuses. Professors are forced to issue "trigger warnings" in advance of any assignment that may expose students to potentially uncomfortable ideas, and administrators are forced out whenever a screechy, petulant but small minority of students suddenly decide that their school isn't a "safe space”.
Many of us have been extremely frustrated and angry, worrying that we're witnessing the end of America as we once knew it. Hell, I've even gone so far as looking into the expat life in case the unthinkable (Hillary) happens. But, there are emerging signs of hope.
Despite withering attacks from leftist politicians and well-funded anti-gun organizations, our right and ability to keep and bear arms has not only survived, but strengthened. State restrictions have been struck down by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional, and legislatures have expanded "castle doctrine" and right-to-carry laws. Even though the president angrily calls for more gun control over and over again, claiming that "commonsense" restrictions would result in fewer mass shootings, people reject this view because they understand that no laws restricting the ability of law-abiding citizens to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights will stop criminals and terrorists who are determined to shoot up schools or movie theaters. All is not lost when it comes to the Bill of Rights.
As more time passes without a single catastrophic prediction coming true (according to Al Gore, the poles should be completely ice-free today, for example), global warming has continued its steep slide down the list of things people are concerned about, to the point it rarely even appears anymore. Its hustlers and pimps, determined to keep the narrative alive, rename it from "global warming" to "climate change" to "climate disruption", so that any anomalies in the climate -- no matter how benign or temporary, regardless of direction -- can be blamed on the climate change narrative. The warmists frantically issue even more dire predictions borne of fiddled and diddled, faked and baked "data". But people are tired of hearing about it, and don't consider it an imminent problem. Thankfully this shows that we're not beyond the point of no return when it comes to critical thinking.
As the 2016 election season started heating up, Donald Trump went from familiar sideshow clown to overwhelming favorite in the Republican polls almost overnight after his fiery announcement speech sharply critical of amnesty and illegal aliens. Devoid of any political correctness whatsoever, he has clearly tapped in to deep-seated anger among voters whose vehement opposition to another amnesty has been utterly ignored by establishment politicians on both sides of the political aisle. His messages continue to resonate with the electorate and despite daily media predictions of his demise, Trump continues to reign supreme in the polls -- and it's not even close. Meanwhile, pale-pastel establishment candidate Jeb Bush has fallen to 3% support after being seen as the inevitable Republican nominee early on. This may be one of the most encouraging signs that we can turn the country around.
I don't want to live in an America where the majority of people are either apathetic, ignorant, or who reject our founding principles...and act (or don't act) accordingly at the polls. We can't just stand by and watch the country swirl down the drain…we must actively work to bring about a better future. There are a lot of things seriously wrong right now, but thankfully there are some signs of hope for America.