Saturday, January 20, 2018

A Republic at Risk

“The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.”
― Alexis de Tocqueville

The French diplomat, Alexis de Tocqueville, wrote a lot about America and the Republic for which it stands. He had some pretty good observations. Sometimes it takes an outsider to see what those on the inside cannot see. Tocqueville’s America was the early-mid 19th century America. He saw it, warts and all. He saw a land of great promise, but with its problems. All in all a grand experiment, the outcome of which Tocqueville reckoned would depend upon the people having a strong moral foundation and sharing common principles and values. Even still, the shadow of slavery, the treatment of Native Americans, the American obsession with money and the ultimate consequences of equality were just a few of the issues Tocqueville pointed out. He admired the idea of America, but recognized that there was no guarantee of success.

So here we are in 2018 with a government that doesn’t work. An economy that sort of works, at least for now for some of us, in spite of the government. A people divided, with fundamental differences about right and wrong, how lives should be lived and the role of government in those lives. And professional politicians who take our money and use it against us. I fear Tocqueville may have been right about Congress bribing the public with the public’s money.

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