Alexis de Tocqueville lived from 1805 to 1859. He was an incredible political thinker, having great understanding of what was happening in his day as well as an eye to the future. In his work, "Democracy In America," he wrote, "There are now two great nations in the world, which starting from different points, seem to be advancing toward the same goal: the Russians and the Anglo-Americans... Each seems called by some secret design of Providence one day to hold in its hands the destinies of half the world." That's some amazing insight, coming from his day. He also had a few other famous quotes... consider the following:
America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.
Americans are so enamored of equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.
As one digs deeper into the national character of the Americans, one sees that they have sought the value of everything in this world only in the answer to this single question: how much money will it bring in?
Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.
In no other country in the world is the love of property keener or more alert than in the United States, and nowhere else does the majority display less inclination toward doctrines which in any way threaten the way property is owned.
A democratic government is the only one in which those who vote for a tax can escape the obligation to pay it.
In the United States, the majority undertakes to supply a multitude of ready-made opinions for the use of individuals, who are thus relieved from the necessity of forming opinions of their own.
Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith.
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.
The health of a democratic society may be measured by the quality of functions performed by private citizens.
And one of my favorites... a great reason to study history:
When the past no longer illuminates the future, the spirit walks in darkness.