All the political discussions here have got me thinking...Is democracy self-sustaining? The US was created by people who left their native lands to seek a better life for themselves. They had various motivations:religious freedom, economic opportunity, or just plain old adventure. One thing they all had in common was the desire to have self-determination. That is, to be able to make or break their futures with their own hands. Generally speaking, that's what they got when they came here. People were able to rise as far as talent, ability and effort would take them. The rise of this country as a power is almost Darwinian in that aspect. Those who were able to produce eventually came to prominence and directed the path of the country. Fast forward 230 years, and what do you see? I see the work and success of past generations enabling the current generation to live a life of ease and luxury that previous generations never dreamed of. Sure, there are many disadvantaged people who would argue with that, but I'm sure 90% of people living now have a better life than their parents in terms of wealth, possessions, and opportunities. Unfortunately, they also have a sense of entitlement, less motivation, and apathy. As long as we can get 157 channels on the satellite, who cares, right? How did we get here? Does this prove that a society made up of people determined to succeed, who are given that chance to do so and prosper in it are bound to create such wealth and plenty that succeeding generations will find their living gradually easier and easier until they all just turn into big fat lazy blobs incapable of doing anything for themselves? Have we been resting on our "laurels" for so long that we refuse to acknowledge that we are in decline? And if so, what do you think it would take to change the situation? Major economic collapse? Military defeat on a catastrophic scale? Political revolution?