Was Alexis De Tocqueville Right?

I wonder — was our recent election really just one more choice of one more president for one more term, or did we just pass a tipping point?

Some 175 years ago, when our democracy was still a rare form of government, a Frenchman, Alexis de Tocqueville, traveled widely throughout our United States preparatory to writing a book best known as Democracy In America. In that book he wrote that 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."

I wonder — have we just proved de Tocqueville to be correct?

I hope not, but I do wonder. I also fear.

 

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