"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 the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over lousy fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average of the world’s great civilizations before they decline has been 200 years. These nations have progressed in this sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; from faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to Complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependency; from dependency back again to bondage."Here's the thing that I find amazing. First right wingers want their candidates to constantly tell them how exceptional they are and woe unto the candidate who doesn't do it repeatedly. Once is not enough.
But then they find fault with the very government they claim is weak, unable to do anything right, and should be downsized to the point where it only does the things they particularly like. The United States is exceptional except for half its people (or even more) and not at all its government? It's exceptional for a document written at its beginning which has limited information for today but somehow is nearly gospel to a certain bunch.
Ask a rightie what should be cut in terms of spending and it's easy for them-- anything they don't personally use, know that they benefit from, are ignorant about what it does, and never about something that might hurt them. So nothing about cutting the military and a lot about cutting education for the masses. Why should the masses need educating? And yet the very point by de Tocqueville was that a democracy can only survive with an educated populace-- and that doesn't mean just the elites.
Then comes this paradox. While they see that quote as meaning the rabble, the poor, the weak, they do not appear to see it being about the rich and powerful using their money to influence voters and issues. Hence they don't fight for an end to oil subsidies but will fight for an end to anything for the poor. The poor don't need it but the rich do?
Righties don't see the rich in the above quote. Whatever the rich have, they deserve, and they would never abuse the country or not do what is best for us all *gagging*. The rich value clean air and water, hence need no regulations. They also do not need any financial regulations because the rich, well they'd never take what they didn't deserve; BUT not so where it comes to the poor or even the middle. Those folks don't know what's good for us all. They are the ones who prove it isn't good to have a democracy because they will constantly vote themselves more benefits. The rich, oh no way would they do that!
*taking a deep breath and saying a few ohhhmmmmmsssss* because I am really angry and the more time I spend with my grandchildren, wondering what their future will be, the madder I get!