It is depressing when I reflect on the fact that whoever wins the upcoming presidential election, our two options are 1. an increased rate of growth in our level of dependence on a central power OR 2. a slightly slower rate of growth in dependence on a central power. I will always choose the latter of the two options. And, hopefully, we can slowly reverse the trend.
It has been widely believed by great leaders throughout our history that if the great experiment of the United States is to fail, it will be by our own devices. Some of the best words that describe our country at this point in history were actually written over 200 years ago by French historian and political thinker Alexis de Tocqueville. His work, “Democracy in America”, is eerily on point in its warning and it will take much more than one election cycle to reverse the undeniable direction we are heading.
Indeed, we have chosen to be… “reduced to be nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd…
…That power is absolute, minute, regular, provident, and mild. It would be like the authority of a parent, if, like that authority, its object was to prepare men for manhood; but it seeks, on the contrary, to keep them in perpetual childhood: it is well content that the people should rejoice, provided they think of nothing but rejoicing. For their happiness such a government willingly labors, but it chooses to be the sole agent and the only arbiter of that happiness; it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industr, regulates the descent of property, and subdivides their inheritances: what remains, but to spare them all the care of thinking and all the trouble of living?
It is vain to summon a people, who have been rendered so dependent on the central power, to choose from time to time the representatives of that power; this rare and brief exercise of their free choice, however important it may be, will not prevent them from gradually losing the faculties of thinking, feeling, and acting for themselves, and thus gradually falling below the level of humanity.”