I found this really amusing. I was searching for the source of this quote, which I have seen attributed to both Alexander Fraser Tytler and Alexis de Tocqueville at various points.
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.
I stumbled upon an interesting essay by a lawyer in Georgia named Loren Collins who had apparently done the same exercise. Having found no source for the quote himself, he concludes:
Who, then, is the author of these quotes? Even after all of my research, I am afraid I still cannot say for certain.
All of this extraneous information is merely prologue for an odd side note about Mr. Collins. In 2006, he ran for Congress in Georgia as a member of the Bull Moose Party.
You may be surprised to learn that anyone other than Teddy Roosevelt ran as a Bull Moose (ok, technically, Roosevelt ran as a member of the Progressive Party – but not in the dirty hippie sense of that word.)
Well, the Bull Moose Party is trying to organize from the ashes of its former self and describes itself this way.
We are conservatives, libertarians, and liberals (in the classical sense) who, like Roosevelt, have seen the Republican Party move ever further in practice from the principles it ostensibly supports in theory.
They also throw in a brief not explaining who would be attracted to the Bull Moose philosophy.
If you’ve ever felt that you were too “conservative” for the Democratic Party, or too “liberal” for the Republicans, too socially and environmentally conscious for the Libertarians, too economically conscious for the Greens, too grounded in common sense for some of the smaller parties and not xenophobic and isolationist enough for the others, then the Bull Moose Party might be for you.
Well, that covers just about everyone, doesn’t it? Sure, there may be a few people hanging out in the wings of both parties, but everyone to the right of Ted Kennedy/John Kerry and the left of Alan Keyes should feel right at home in the Bull Moose Party.
Granted, their website hasn’t been updated in nearly two years and may have been set up solely for the purpose of Collins’ long-shot Congressional race. That should not dissuade you from entering “Bull Moose” on that voter registration form the next time you update it. After all, if it was good enough for Teddy, it should be good enough for you.