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.
This statement is attributed to being penned by Alexander Tytler, a Scottish born British attorney, over 200 years ago. From observing what goes on in America today, one can see America is well on her way to becoming a dictatorship unless elected officials are forced to obey the United States Constitution and individuals stop soliciting government favors.
Today the electorate votes on practically everything under the sun. In Yuma citizens will vote on whether to allow its government to finance a sports arena. Voters in the state of Arizona are to vote on whether the state government ought to pay for a road and public transportation program. It looks like the voters of Arizona are also going to vote on whether payday loan operations will be allowed to exist. In a democracy that is what the electorate does; vote on every issue with the majority dictating to the rest.
However, America was established as a republic. The Constitution guarantees a republican form of government, not a democracy, to each state. In a republic the rule of law supersedes any majority. In other words government officials are to obey the limits of power put upon them by the Constitution, and the majority of the public are not allowed to take from some to give to others.
In a republic every individual is entitled to his legally obtained income and assets and can spend them any way he wishes so long as he is not committing criminal activity such as murder, theft, or fraud. In a republic government has no authority to decide whether gambling, food stores, or health care exist. Individuals vote with the expenditure of their income and assets through the free market whether any of these activities and many others are to be created or perpetuated.
In a republic the function of government is to be sure that the players, the electorate, do not initiate force against another; not use the force of government to get what they want. In a republic it is not the responsibility of government to provide anything to anyone. The reason is because it is impossible for government to provide anything to anyone without forcing others to pay. There is no room for peaceful negotiation or persuasion when government acts. This is why a democracy has such a short shelf-life and deteriorates into a dictatorship as Mr. Tytler states.
Today, the electorate votes on many issues in order to gain financial favor from government taxation including voting for the candidate that will deliver the most money from the public treasury as Mr. Tytler also states.
Government is not about what it can do for the voter. Government is about using its force to make sure that the populous does not commit crimes of aggression against one another. Government is not about using its force to obtain money from some to give to others. That type of activity is reserved for the free market where the peaceful activity of trade takes place.
Whether it is education, medical care, food, housing, or any of the other myriad of needs that individuals possess, government is to stay out and just make sure no one commits fraud, murder, theft, and the like.
If an arena is built then a market exists whereby individuals through their ability to freely choose partake in such an activity. If education is desired it is paid for through the free choice of the individual. Money does not need to be forced out of one pocket and put into another. Individuals in a government free trade zone also decide medical care, housing, and other issues of human needs.
If individuals are to vote on any issue it is one where government activity is severely restricted.