In 1887, Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburgh, stated quite prophetically, “A democracy is always temporary in nature… A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury…” He further stated civilizations go through several phases traveling down the “Road to Serfdom.”
Phases that he states start with bondage to courage, then liberty, then abundance, to complacency, to apathy, to dependence and back again to bondage. These phases seem painfully familiar to the history of our country. We’ve become apathetic, as evidenced by our low voter turnout, even in the face of so many of our military making the supreme sacrifice to defend our right to govern ourselves. Dependency also seems too prevalent when one thinks of so many on unemployment and welfare voting for those that promise them even more. Also, we have an ever-increasing growth of federal employees almost certain to vote for those that promise even more government.
Must we end up way too soon in bondage again?
Michael A. Smith
From the Nov. 23-29, 2011, issue