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Taps for Democracy?

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by Gene Scalf, Guest Columnist

 

"A democracy is always temporary in nature; it will continue to exist up until the time voters discover they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship."

 

          Right about the time our original 13 states were adopting their new constitution in 1787, these words were being written by Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburgh. Tyler wasn't writing about the New World Colonies. Instead, he was referring to the fall of the first known democracy, the Athenian Republic, some 2000 years earlier. And yet his words might as well have been written to the Colonies, and they are definately applicable to us today.

          I say this because it seems that our 2008 election was determined in the exact fashion that Tyler decried.  Consider all the election promises of handouts. Consider ACORN's ethically questionable campaigning and voter-registration tampering in the economically-challenged neighborhoods in Ohio and other states. Consider the bailouts and handouts of the new administration, not just to families but to greedy industries that have already pillaged the American economy.

         As Tyler observed, when candidates buy votes with promises of benefits from the public treasury, loose fiscal policies are sure to follow. And considering the major bailouts of the banking and auto industries as well as all the other give-aways on the horizon, I ask you, can our current government's give-away fiscal policies get any looser?

         Professor Tyler's observations didn't stop there. He went on to write: "The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the beginning of history has been about 200 years." Having studied the rise and fall of all the great democracies through history, Tyler explained that, within a time frame of around 200 years, great democratic nations always progress through the following sequence of changes:
 
1. From bondage to spiritual faith;
2. From spiritual faith to great courage;
3. From courage to liberty;
4. From liberty to abundance;
5. From abundance to complacency;
6. From complacency to apathy;
7. From apathy to dependence;
8. From dependence back into bondage.
           
        I believe the United States is now somewhere between the "complacency" and the "apathy" phase of Tyler's sequence of changes. With some 40 percent of our nation's population already having reached the "governmental dependency" phase--and with the recent socialistic policies and actions of the Obama administration--I believe it is just a matter of four to eight years before we arrive at stage seven, which is Dependency.

        Which means you and I are much closer than we think to the eighth phase in Tyler's sequence of changes, which will take us from dependence back into bondage.  What might that look like, I wonder? Might it include the welfare state becoming openly socialist and increasingly totalitarian? Could it include a dictatorship? How about communism?

         One thing is certain, under the bondage stage, our civil liberties will become extinct in the name of "public good" or "safety."  The progressively  liberal element of our government is already trying to remove many of our rights, including our Constitutionally-protected right to bear arms to defend ourselves from criminals as well as from the possibility of a hostile enemy's attempt to takeover our country.  

         It appears that none of these disturbing developments would surprise our founding fathers, if they were still around to see where we as a nation are today. Even as Benjamin Franklin pleaded with his colleagues on September 17, 1787, to sign their names to the Constitution of the United States of America, he acknowledged the possibility and even the probability that the form of government they were about to embrace was destined for failure.
          Here is part of Dr. Franklin's passionate speech to President George Washington:
           

Mr. President: I confess that there are several parts of this constitution which I do not at present approve, but I am not sure I shall never approve them.  In these sentiments, Sir, I agree to this Constitution with all its faults, if they are such; because I think a general Government necessary for us, and there is no form of Government but what may be a blessing to the people if well administered, and believe further that this is likely to be well  administered for a course of years, and can only end in Despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need a despotic Government, being incapable of any other.
           

        Agreeing that the corrupted, despotic end which Dr. Franklin foretold was a dangerous possibility, our Founding Fathers attempted to secure our inalienable human rights in the Constitution by mandating that all future laws and government actions must be kept in line with and conformed to the Constitution. 

        And yet, despite their precautions, it appears that Dr. Franklin's dire pronouncements are on the verge of coming true. This is happening because the very Supreme Court Justices who are sworn to uphold our Constitution are, instead, constantly hammering away to neuter the Constitution so that it can be manipulated to the changing motives of the politicians. More frequently than ever before, we see Supreme Court Justices making rulings that are not only contrary to the spirit of the Constitution, but which are often made despite vast majority of citizens that oppose their ruling (consider the tenacious efforts to legalize full-term abortions and gay marriages despite the objections of the majority!). Favoring a few rather than the majority as a whole, these decisions seem based on political agendas rather than what is good for our nation. The majority of Americans are God fearing law abiding citizens. They need to be heard and obeyed.
        Our rights as defined in the Constitution are being re-defined daily. The phrase "inalienable human rights" is supposed to mean "rights that are incapable of being alienated, surrendered, or transferred or removed in any way."
        Apparently, many of our politicians and justices didn't get Franklin's memo.
        The foundation of Democracy upon which our liberty and rights were carefully crafted is being eroded from beneath us and we are headed for national calamity.  Chances are good that you already know this because you feel it in your own spirit. I'm just confirming what you already know and encouraging you to do something about it.
         The truth is that, as I write this, Democracy as we have enjoyed it in the United States of America is no longer protected by the Constitution. Can we save our Democracy? Or is our Constitution already beyond repair? There comes a time when something becomes so broken and in such disrepair that there are no earthly resources that can put things right again. Just ask Humpty Dumpty. Are we so far fallen off the wall that we can't climb back up?  Pretty scary stuff, isn't it?
        I'm praying it's not too late. Corporately and individually, let's get off our seats and on our feet and start doing something (anything!) to recognize and empower good Supreme Court Justices and honest politicians who will protect our Constitution. Let's remove the lawyers and put God fearing, Biblically-principled men back in government and give them the power they need to reinstate the spirit and intent of our original Constitution.  I am praying that God will speak to His people and give us ideas and instructions (and unity) regarding how to save our country. If you pray, please join me and pray for our nation as if your life depended on it--because it does!  If not you and me, then who?  If not now, then when?
        Let's not be like the frog in the following story: A man caught a frog, took it home and put it in a pot of cool water and put the pot over a small fire. At first, the cool temperature of the water--not unlike the river water where the frog once lived--felt familiar and safe and the frog just sat there. The water warmed so slowly that the frog wasn't alarmed. And by the time the water started boiling, it was too late; the frog was too weak to jump out.  The rest is history: Frog Legs à la Parisienne for dinner. 

        Let's not give the enemies of our Democracy occasion to celebrate our demise. There's still time to take action and get our nation out of hot water before it's too late!
        As the Brits would say: "God save our Nation."  
        Finally, read "Hitler Came for Niemoeller" by Leo Stein with a foreword by Norman Vincent Peale. It sounds a wake-up call to the dangers we are facing.  I'm sure the library has a copy. 
        In the meantime, let's all keep this thought in mind: 

 

"A government big enough to give you everything you want,

is strong enough to take everything you have."  
~~~ Thomas Jefferson 

 

 

Gene Scalf is a businessman living in Colorado. Write to him at concerned4america@ymail.com.

 


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