As we enter a new year – 2021 – it may do a person some good to look back on our Nation’s history and to look forward on what history will say about our Nation in years to come.
It was 1776 when our Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence to define what our thirteen Colonies were fighting for – that being independence from England and freedom for the people of the colonies.
And it was 1789 when our Constitution was signed and thereafter ratified by the thirteen new States of the new United States. The United States Constitution defined the very limited powers of the Federal Government and assigned the rights and privileges of citizens of the United States.
There have been many changes to the Constitution over the years; in fact there have been TWENTY SEVEN Amendments to the Constitution so far. Most assigning more powers and privileges to the people.
Our Nation was founded as a Democratic Republic which means it would be controlled by a vote of the people who elect people to represent them in the Federal Government. A Democracy would entail a direct vote of all the people on every issue taken up by the Federal Government. As an example, in ancient Greece each City State would have regular gatherings of all the people (only males at that time) to discuss and vote on issues.
Since the founding of the United States two hundred and thirty two years ago United States citizens have enjoyed a standard of living and level of freedom found nowhere else in the world.
- The United States’ economy has been the leader of the world’s economy.
- The United States has been the model of freedom for peoples of the world who regularly come to the United States to enjoy those freedoms and opportunities.
- The United Sates has been looked upon to free peoples from tyranny and dictatorships around the world.
- And a terrible war was fought on the soil of the United States with 620,000 American deaths to free the American slaves. Slavery was an abomination that should never have been.
Now we are entering another new year – 233 years since the founding of our Nation. What will the future bring? It may be important to read one writing of Alexander Tyler:
“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. Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage.“
And so, what will our future bring? Elected officials who promise everything may have learned from Alexander Tyler and if that is so our Nation’s future is not bright.
Another quote, this time from a past President, should also be remembered:
“Ask not what your Country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your Country.“President John F. Kennedy
I believe these things are important for Citizens of our great Nation to think about and consider. The future lies in our hands – until our Democratic Republic is taken away and a dictatorship of the minority rules us.
One thought on “TOMORROW’S AMERICA”
I had to lookTyler up on Wikipedia as we didn’t cover him in my poly sci classes. He does have a cynical view of the ability of democracies to avoid corruption. Apparently his main thoughts were most focused on the selfishness of most leaders and the rarity of finding leaders of virtue.
His view touches on the theme in Plato’s Republic and the discussion of the desirability of finding a philosopher king, which is of course impossible.
Kennedy’s words are stirring, but they offer no real guideposts. In our two party system there has always been tension between factions. We have it now. It is not as great as in 1860, but it prevents much necessary work from being done. Especially at the Federal level. Will we collapse soon. It seems unlikely but we are not accomplishing the big tasks that need to be addressed soon. What will it take? I don’t know and I haven’t heard anyone offer a convincing opinion lately on what it will take to get us doing the right and necessary things-irrespective of what it may cost the treasury.
Just my two bits worth.