A friend of mine recently sent me the following e-mail, which I will share in its entirety. My comments follow.
"How Long Do We Have?
About the time our original thirteen states adopted their new constitution in 1787, Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburgh, had this to say about the fall of the Athenian Republic some 2,000 years earlier: '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 they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always vote 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, those nations always progressed through the following sequence:
1. from bondage to spiritual faith;
2. from spiritual faith to great courage;
3. from courage to liberty;
4. from liberty to abundance;
5. from abundance to complacency;
6. from complacency to apathy;
7. from apathy to dependence;
8. From dependence back into bondage'
Professor Joseph Olson of Hemline University School of Law, St.Paul, Minnesota, points out some interesting facts concerning the 2000 Presidential election:
Number of States won by:
Square miles of land won by:
Population of counties won by:
Gore: 127 million
Bush: 143 million
Murder rate per 100,000 residents in counties won by:
Professor Olson adds: 'In aggregate, the map of the territory Bush won was mostly the land owned by the taxpaying citizens of this great country. Gore's territory mostly encompassed those citizens living in government-owned tenements and living off various forms of government welfare.'
Olson believes the United States is now somewhere between the 'complacency and apathy' phase of Professor Tyler's definition of democracy, with some forty percent of the nation's population already having reached the 'governmental dependency' phase. If Congress grants amnesty and citizenship to twenty million criminal invaders called illegals and they vote, then we can say goodbye to the USA in fewer than five years. Pass this along to help everyone realize just how much is at stake, knowing that apathy is the greatest danger to our freedom."
Now, I haven't independently checked the facts outlined above. I recall seeing that Red and Blue map shortly after both Bush victories, and the concentration of color by county was the most striking.
I just found a great link - go take a look for yourself: you can see the map by county for 2000 and 2004. Curious as to why I keep emphasizing the words "by county"?
While I acknowledge that there is a threat to our Republic from electoral apathy and illegal immigration, the bigger threat that goes unrecognized is our imbalanced government. We have densely populated centers of dependency dragging the rest of the nation kicking and screaming towards socialism.
I'll re-iterate one of my strongest governmental convictions: people should have the right to decide how much government they want, but only at the most local of levels; the smallest of spheres. If the people of Chicago, IL decide they want universal health care and education provided by "the government" that's fine with me if the residents of Cook County are the ones who pay for it. So it should be for any domestic matter - be it health care, retirement security, jet skis or gold chains. As long as the burden is shouldered by the residents of the same area where the beneficiaries reside, my philosophy is: have at it.
As I've also said before, I think that a properly balanced government will lead naturally, and eventually inevitably, to a limited government. Although I doubt it, there's a chance I could be wrong about this. Isn't giving it a try worth the risk, especially when what we're currently doing is obviously not working and when "giving it a try" is really just another way of saying "following the Constitution"?