What if ...Christie hadn’t embraced Obama

Some post-election pundits are placing the blame for the GOP’s loss on Chris Christie. His lavish praise for Barack Obama in the aftermath of Sandy was a moment that could not be purchased with tens of millions of dollars of political advertising. The biased media, hungry for anything positive, portrayed the incumbent as Presidential and bi-partisan. As if one brief moment could erase four years of vicious partisanship.

What if Chris Christie refused federal aid? What if he decided to rely on conservative principles and self reliance? What if he asked the people of America for help?

The outpouring of support would have been overwhelming because conservatives know how to give. It would have served as a huge teaching point and helped to dismantle the myth that the federal government is the answer to all of our problems.

Instead, Chris Christie acted like a politician. He extended his arms and asked for a bailout. He embraced it with a big bear hug. He knew this stunt would be popular with the folks in Jersey and would garner national headlines. But by doing it, he betrayed conservative principles.

No one will ever really know if Christie’s decision played a decisive role in the outcome of the Presidential election. If some voters were actually swayed by this Presidential photo opportunity, it is a sad comment on America. Because it foreshadows America’s decline from apathy toward dependency, as predicted by de Tocqueville:

“A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, 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.” The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:

“From bondage to spiritual faith; spiritual faith to great courage; courage to liberty; liberty to abundance; abundance to selfishness; selfishness to complacency; complacency to apathy; apathy to dependence; and from dependence back into bondage.” — Alexis de Tocqueville

Meyer Lowry

Peachtree City, Ga.

mudcat
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Well Mr. Lowry, time to pick a dictator then

Our 200 years is up. We have certainly zoomed through the apathy to dependence stage, so bondage is next. Only question is exactly when that occurs and who gets to be dictator.

I can see our exalted leader who has a huge sense of entitlement suspending the 2016 election and trying to declare martial law so the redistribution of wealth and assets can continue without interference under his strong leadership.

But I can also see a strong military leader or powerful governor mounting a coup in conjunction with the 2014 elections to take the country back. Let's see, strong general, powerful governor, hmmmmm, who can it be? who can it be?

JeffC
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Alexis de Tocqueville said no such thing
Quote:

“A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, 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.” The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:
“From bondage to spiritual faith; spiritual faith to great courage; courage to liberty; liberty to abundance; abundance to selfishness; selfishness to complacency; complacency to apathy; apathy to dependence; and from dependence back into bondage.” — Alexis de Tocqueville

What a wonderful quote! There's Alexis de Tocqueville his own self summing up the crux of the right-wing political philosophy. Democracies only exist until the "takers" (in the modern conservative vernacular, meaning Democrats) vote themselves all the money. Not only that, but the timeline is surprisingly 200 years and the United States is thus overdue to collapse, another right-wing precept. And not only that but the next inevitable step after the takers doom civilization is dictatorship. You really could not make up a greater quote by de Tocqueville to sum up the end of our civilization in exactly the sequence and for exactly the causes as the wingnuts so fervently wish.

Unfortunately, there's not a shred of truth to any of it. Alexis de Tocqueville never said anything at all that remotely resembles this.

The first part of the quote, from the oh so tenuous grasp that democracy has in nature up until its inevitable dissolution into dictatorship after the takers take over isn't by Alexis at all. The earliest known attribution of this quote was December 9, 1951, in what appears to be an op-ed piece in The Daily Oklahoman under the byline Elmer T. Peterson who attributed it to Alexander Fraser Titler a Scottish born British Lawyer; although the quote is not found in any of Titler's works. Apparently Peterson just made it up.

The last part is great: “From bondage to spiritual faith; spiritual faith to great courage; courage to liberty; liberty to abundance; abundance to selfishness; selfishness to complacency; complacency to apathy; apathy to dependence; and from dependence back into bondage.” I love the sentiment and agree that we should be viligent to assure that this sequence of events isn't followed.

But it isn't Alexis de Tocqueville who warned us. It was [WARNING TO PEOPLE WHO WRITE IN CAPITAL LETTERS AND SEND LETTERS IN MULTI-COLORED INK, PLEASE SKIP TO THE NEXT PARAGRAPH], the quote was from a 1943 speech reprinted in "Industrial Management in a Republic" by H. W. Prentis, president of the Armstrong Cork Company and former president of the National Association of Manufacturers. A UNION guy. Horrors! In his speech, Prentist said, "From bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to apathy; from apathy to dependency; and from dependency back to bondage once more. "

The quote that Peterson made up and attributed to Titler, and the quotes from Prentist were segued by the 200 year timeline in a manufactured email by some nut who made it up as a preamble to a fictional evaluation of the Bush-Gore election whereby the email proves that the Gore voters were essentially human garbage complete with statistics.

And the statistics is what makes this interesting enough for me to comment on because the statistics were challenged by Snopes which mentions that the research was done by Fayette Citizen editor Dave Hamrick in 2001.

The Fall of the Athenian Empire

Also, about that part that says :

Quote:

The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence: “From bondage to spiritual faith; spiritual faith to great courage; courage to liberty; liberty to abundance; abundance to selfishness; selfishness to complacency; complacency to apathy; apathy to dependence; and from dependence back into bondage.”

When you read that, does it seem plausible? The greatest civilizations only last 200 years? Really? And we are over 200 years and thus inevitably doomed to the next phase of dictatorship brought on by the takers.

Excuse me please. Back to does that seem plausible? The greatest civilizations only last 200 years and then devolve into dictatorship? Ancient Egypt lasted about 3000 years, The Kerma Civilization lasted from 2450 BC to 2050 BC. The Kushiite Kingdom lasted at least 1150 years, from around 800 BC to 350 AD. Ptolemaic Egypt lasted from 332 BC until 30 BC. Carthage lasted over 425 years. The First Babylonian Dynasty lasted over 300 years. The Assyrian Empire lasted 340 years. The Persian Empire lasted 3000 years. The Xia Dynasty in China lasted 500 years. So did the Shang Dynasty. The Minoan Civilization lasted from 2200 BC until 1450 BC. The Mycenaens lasted 400 years. The Etruscans lasted roughly 400 years, the Roman Empire lasted about 520 years. The Olmecs lasted 500 years, the Aztecs lasted 550 years.

And about that sequence from bondage through various stages back into bondage that "these nations always go through"?

What poppycock! Name a single nation that went through that sequence. What happens in history is that people are living along and then there's a war and they are living under the winners until there is another war. Where in history has that not happened? Only when your country was conquered by one other country in history. The United States of America.

None of this quote alleged to be by Alexis de Tocqueville is his. It was totally fabricated by the right so that they could claim that Alexis de Tocqueville, hero of liberal Democrats, is somehow aligned with their ideologies.

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