Gov. Palin Notes Alexis de Tocqueville’s 210th Birthday
This past week was Alexis de Tocqueville’s 210th birthday. This brilliant Frenchman’s insight into our national character still rings true nearly two centuries after he wrote his famous book “Democracy in America.”
Ever insightful and prophetic, Tocqueville understood the dangers of big government. He feared that over time big government would strangle the free will of citizens, diminishing our capacity to think and act for ourselves and reducing us to “a herd of timid and industrious animals of which the government is the shepherd.”
But he offered solutions! "He hoped that those having read his prescient book would come to understand… democracy require(s) great attention and careful management. Specifically, he hoped, we would strive ‘to preserve for the individual the little independence, force, and originality’ that remains to him. In other words, when looking at any given policy, our lawmakers might look not at the benefits for their home district, or vainly calculate attention from the next media hit, but rather look at what any given policy proposal’s long-term effect will be on securing freedom and rights. Making individuals stronger, more independent, more able to resist the tyranny of the majority and of a constantly growing administrative state is the goal."