Democracy as practiced in our constitutional Republic is fragile. It is not the natural state of humanity. Look around the world and see how many nations come close to America in economic strength, endowed rights and standards of morality. What we have is not inherited, as from a will. It must be fought for, sometimes in war, but always against our lower nature, which too often succumbs to the temptation to give people what they want, rather than what they need; to trade goodies for votes, preserving not the country, but political careers.
A self-indulgent nation cannot long exist, at least not as the nation delivered to us by our forefathers. Our ancestors learned to do without in order to retain things of real value. I was taught that excessive debt was a great evil because it contributed to a loss of freedom. If that is true for individuals, it is truer still for our country.
America is slowly descending into a kind of economic slavery. We are increasingly in servitude to others who are financing our debt. We are shackling our posterity with a debt load we are unlikely to pay off.
Things might be different if the president and Congress saw themselves as stewards. Instead, they behave as they do because they have little or no skin in the game.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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