Benjamin Franklin astutely observed that "[o]nce the people find out they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the Republic." Thus goes the history of the greatest, most successful constitutional republic the world has witnessed.
Actually, Franklin was off in his prediction by only about a hundred years; we did not start our journey down the slippery slope of socialism until the turn of the 20th century -- the period known as the Progressive Era. The history of progressive largesse can be traced back to that great Republican -- Theodore Roosevelt -- who in the grand Northeastern Republican fashion believed in government action to mitigate social ills at any cost, as encapsulated in his Square Deal program, and in the courts to yield to the executive branch on anti-trust matters.
T.R. was the father of American progressivism, but he was by no means the only personification of the great progressive tradition that has come to undermine our constitutional republic. With the exceptions of Presidents Coolidge and, to a lesser extent, Reagan, all American presidents in the modern era have carried the water of progressivism, with the worst offenders being Wilson, FDR, LBJ, and the current resident of the White House.
Be it the New Deal, the War on Poverty, or many other ill-advised pieces of legislation passed by progressives from both parties, the great American experiment in self-governance may have finally borne its bitter fruit in conformance with human nature, which seeks security at any cost. The ultimate cost of dependence on the state, in terms of losing one's liberties, is lost on all but the few who have had the benefit of developing critical thinking skills, which our educational system has purposefully neglected thanks to the systematic implementation of cultural Marxism in schools since the 1950s. Progressive politicians realize and capitalize on this fact with policies that increase dependency on the state, thus robbing any trace of individuality left in an ever-increasing segment of the society. All the while, progressives elsewhere -- most notably in education, culture, and courts -- have been steadily eroding the traditional value system of society, which must be gradually replaced with a modern, utilitarian progressive outlook if the transformation to utopian collectivism is to be successfully implemented.
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