“The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” – Alexis de Tocqueville
ELDER PATRIOT – With the United States debt currently hovering in the vicinity of $18T, another $110T+ in unfunded liabilities on the horizon, and those in Washington ignoring their Constitutional limitations, the time for saving our Republic may have passed us by.
Who was de Tocqueville and what other political observations did he write about? Alexis de Tocqueville was a French political observer and historian whose most celebrated work was a two-volume analysis named “Democracy in America.” One hundred and eighty years after publication de Tocqueville’s work, De Tocqueville’s observations are still prescient:
“Americans are so enamored of equality, they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.”
Now comes a study from the Mercatus Center of George Mason University whose “mission is to generate knowledge and understanding of the institutions that affect the freedom to prosper…”
The study is titled, “Ranking the States by Fiscal Condition.” The findings are scary: the 17 most fiscally irresponsible states control 243 electoral votes. With 538 total electoral votes, only 270 electoral votes are required to win national elections. That means any hopes of returning to balanced budgets, or imposing even some increased degree of responsibility to federal spending hinges on 92% of the remaining 33 states electoral votes being made in opposition to the spending insanity of the other 17 states. What is the probability of this happening?
These free-spending, debt-laden states have something else in common. They rank among the most secular states of our republic. States under secular control authorize the government to collect and direct a greater percentage of their charitable efforts rather than leaving that function to the people and their churches. The result is excessive cost in the delivery of essential services by government agencies focused on their own perpetuation rather than solving the problems of those in need. These government agencies are almost uniformly rife with corruption, misallocation of benefits, and over-paid employees.
De Tocqueville stressed the importance of morality through faith if a republic is to endure:
“Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith.” And, “America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”
He goes on to explain how America may be brought down by the relaxing societal mores:
“When the taste for physical gratifications among them has grown more rapidly than their education . . . the time will come when men are carried away and lose all self-restraint . . . . It is not necessary to do violence to such a people in order to strip them of the rights they enjoy; they themselves willingly loosen their hold. . . . they neglect their chief business which is to remain their own masters.”
Career politicians and recent court decisions ignoring the will of the voters have hastened our national descent by adding trillions of dollars in additional obligations to the American taxpayer. No man burdened by debt can be truly free. No nation burdened by debt that exceeds its annual production capacity can be comprised of truly free men.
For a country teetering on the brink of fiscal collapse there may yet remain two paths forward for the preservation of our freedoms:
- Follow the lead of our least secular states – those that still embrace traditional American values – and demand your state officials to abide by sane fiscal policies.
- Replace everyone in Washington regardless of the rhetoric they spew. They have led us to the brink of fiscal ruin from which we may never return. Career politicians have proven to be over-rated. We can do better.
To those who say their experience is invaluable I’d respond that the greatest and most pure leadership ever to convene in America did so with absolutely no experience when they came together in the spring and summer of 1787 at our historic Constitutional Convention.