This year’s political climate confirms my belief that this country is now beyond the point of no return. When Obama was elected, I told my friends and family that the country we were born and raised in no longer exists. Not because I thought Obama was going to be a bad president at that time, but because it signaled that the minorities and majorities have switched. The United States is no longer controlled by white, Anglo-Saxon protestant males, although many want to believe it is. When was the last time you spent the night in a motel, or bought gasoline from a business that was not owned and operated by a mid-easterner? But it’s not just that immigration has filled country with folks of every national origin; nor is it the racial discontent that keeps us reeling. It’s bigger than that.
The following quote is frequently used by people that see the direction our country has taken: “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 thoughts are usually attributed to Alexander Fraser Tytler (15 October 1747 - 5 January 1813) who was a Scottish lawyer, writer, and professor. Tytler was also a historian, and for some years was Professor of Universal History, and Greek and Roman Antiquities, in the University of Edinburgh.
If there is no truth to Tytler’s quote, then why do our elected representatives always seek newspaper headlines when they get us a federal or state grant for this or that? “Pork” used to be the domain of the Democrats, but now, here in Alabama at least, is the “Republican way.”
The Tea Party, rightly so, has pointed out the financial crisis of The United States. There is no way out of our country’s national debt. It’s far too big. Whose fault is that? Well it is clear many blame the Republicans and are supporting a narcissist clown because they have no confidence in career politicians. Or, even worse, are supporting a socialist progressive “Democrat.” But I submit that just maybe the fault lies with an electorate that has fallen into the trap defined by Tytler, above. Uh, I think that is you and me. We got where we are by the way we vote… or don’t vote. Those of us 50+ years old have never seen such a political climate. Yes, there are a few parallels in history but our current situation is mostly unique.
It really doesn’t matter who we elect at this point. We’ve already passed the 200 year mark Tytler spoke of, and I’m afraid we are already in a irreversible freefall. I probably won’t be around to see the final outcome, but I’m afraid my grandchildren will.
- Lanny Capps