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When Thomas Jefferson said that "people get the government they deserve," it was more than just a clever turn of phrase. It also was not an isolated insight but a timeless truth, one expressed by many. William Cowper said,
"When was public virtue to be found when private was not?"
Benjamin Franklin stated,
"Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters."
Truth be known, I could probably fill a book with the words of wise ones who have spoken in kind. But, you know, I understand this principle well. I know that people get the government they deserve; what bothers me is that I'm going to get the government they deserve.
You should be bothered, too. With the "people" changing radically through Third World immigration (Ted Kennedy's 1965 immigration act ensures that 85 percent of immigrants come from the Third World and Asia), it's legitimate to wonder how demographics influence democracy. And it's not hard to understand how these folks will shape government, for they have done so before - in their own lands.
Since our largest immigrant group hails from Mexico, let's look south of the border. Mexico is a thoroughly corrupt country, not at all unique in the Third World but certainly emblematic of it. For instance, they have the dubious distinction of possibly having the most corrupt police force in the world, as Mexican authorities enforce whatever law pays them the most. According to a documentary on the subject, you can buy your way out of a fatal hit-and-run for 450 dollars.
But the corruption is so systemic that many of us have heard the stories ourselves. I remember being told of a man who traveled to Mexico and was mugged by the police (a documented example of theft by Mexican police can be found here). Then I heard about a hapless soul who had to sell his home to pay tribute to a family with more clout and a grudge against him; the police payed him a visit and told him he'd be shot if he didn't. Most recently, an acquaintance told me how he was pulled over for running a stop sign that didn't exist and had to pay the crooked cop a bribe so he could continue on his way. And this corruption is mirrored in every aspect of Mexican society, in the bureaucrats, the courts and, of course, the politicians.
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