“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government.
It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.
The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through this sequence: ”From bondage to spiritual faith; From spiritual faith to great courage; From courage to liberty; From liberty to abundance; From abundance to selfishness; From selfishness to apathy; From apathy to dependence; From dependence back into bondage.”
~ Alexander Fraser Tytler (later Lord Alexander Fraser Woodhouslee), in “The Decline and Fall of the Athenian Republic,” published 1776.
Quote via Crush Liberalism
While we’re fond of citing the above sentiment in cautionary tones, up until two months ago I think most conservatives were still clinging to the hope that America would prove the exception to this historical truth. Since November 6th that wishful thinking has pretty much dissipated.
Time to wake up and face facts.
I recently ran across an illuminating article by Rabbi Steven Pruzansky (Teaneck, New Jersey) written immediately after the election: The Decline and Fall of the American Empire.
Whether the Rabbi was more prescient than most and had already analyzed the outcome – or he was just suddenly inspired as the results started rolling in – he definitely managed to capture the depressing reality; America is now somewhere between selfishness and bondage on the civilizational timeline.
This is painfully obvious once we come to terms with the real reasons Romney lost ~
• The lure of free stuff is irresistible.
• Voters – a clear majority – are easily swayed by emotion and raw populism. Said another way, too many people vote with their hearts and not their heads.
• Low-information (ignorant) voters ~
One might reasonably object that not every Obama supporter could be unintelligent. But they must then rationally explain how the Obama agenda can be paid for, aside from racking up multi-trillion dollar deficits. “Taxing the rich” does not yield even 10% of what is required and does not solve any discernible problem – so what is the answer, i.e., an intelligent answer?
Ultimately, Romney lost because of a huge shift in core American values.
It turned out that it was not possible for Romney and Ryan – people of substance, depth and ideas – to compete with the shallow populism and platitudes of their opponents. Obama mastered the politics of envy – of class warfare – never reaching out to Americans as such but to individual groups, and cobbling together a winning majority from these minority groups. Conservative ideas failed to take root and states that seemed winnable, and amenable to traditional American values, have simply disappeared from the map. If an Obama could not be defeated – with his record and his vision of America, in which free stuff seduces voters – it is hard to envision any change in the future. The road to Hillary Clinton in 2016 and to a European-socialist economy – those very economies that are collapsing today in Europe – is paved.
The American empire began to decline in 2007 (I would argue the decline began centuries ago with Woodrow Wilson and the state-worshipping progressives), and the deterioration has been exacerbated in the last five years.
This election only hastens that decline. Society is permeated with sloth, greed, envy and materialistic excess. It has lost its moorings and its moral foundations. The takers outnumber the givers, and that will only increase in years to come. Across the world, America under Bush was feared but not respected. Under Obama, America is neither feared nor respected. Radical Islam has had a banner four years under Obama, and its prospects for future growth look excellent. The “Occupy” riots across this country in the last two years were mere dress rehearsals for what lies ahead – years of unrest sparked by the increasing discontent of the unsuccessful who want to seize the fruits and the bounty of the successful, and do not appreciate the slow pace of redistribution.
This election, more than any other event in the last couple of decades, clearly points to America’s inevitable demise. It’s only a matter of time (and God’s patience)…
Romney lost because the conservative virtues – the traditional American virtues – of liberty, hard work, free enterprise, private initiative and aspirations to moral greatness – no longer inspire or animate a majority of the electorate. The notion of the “Reagan Democrat” is one cliché that should be permanently retired.
The sad reality – as our nation slips back into bondage;
Ronald Reagan himself could not win an election in today’s America.
“If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under.”
~ Ronald Reagan ~