Many Daily Jot readers write that they feel their voices are ignored when it comes to the national dialogue on politics and the decline of our nation. Others say that they feel helpless because they want to see our nation turned around, but no matter what they do–letter writing, faxes, phone calls, petitions, meetings, town halls–seems to have little, if no, impact on elected officials. They believe the government has gotten so big and overreaching that it no longer represents the people, but rather its own self-interest. Alexis de Tocqueville, a French philosopher and author of “Democracy in America” in two volumes (1835, and 1840), identified exactly why these readers feel the way they do.
Tocqueville wrote about the vibrance of the American system of government and how the virtue and spirit of the American people made government and freedom work. In his second volume, he astutely described, however, how “democracies” fall into a tyrannical reign through years of deception and growth of government. Tocqueville wrote of the resulting power of such a government toward its citizens: “That power is absolute, minute, regular, provident, and mild…it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, regulates the descent of property, and subdivides their inheritances…”
“…The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent and guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd…By this system the people shake off their state of dependence just long enough to select their master and then relapse into it again.” He wrote that this is a “compromise between administrative despotism and the sovereignty of the people; and they think they have done enough for the protection of individual freedom when they have surrendered it to the power of the nation at large…”
Does this not describe today’s America? The key accelerator of this brand of government is deceit. As Jesus said in Matthew 24:4, “Take heed that no man deceive you.” This type of deception has been longstanding and enduring. It is not only practiced by political leaders, but also by those in the pulpit, who use vain words to preserve their own interests. This happens when leaders are not virtuous and they do not hold to the one and only truth–the Word of God. It also happens when followers are convinced they have no right to hold leaders accountable, and because of false religious teachings, they believe they must submit to wicked authority. If we were making true disciples of Christ, our nation would reflect such.