A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largess 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. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years.The above two quotes (original sources unknown) have been popular among conservatives since the 1950s. Obviously foreseeing a nation's decline and avoiding it are two different things.
Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage.
I think that the Democrats have overplayed their hand. The 2010 elections will probably be a repeat of the 1994 elections. But I doubt our president's health plan will be repealed. The Republicans have not repealed Social Security or Medicare, so why do they think they'll repeal "Obamacare"? In another 20 years the voters will be so hooked on government health care that any talk of privatizing it will be quickly quashed. President Obama may even win reelection in 2012 (as Clinton did in 1996) if he manages his political capital more wisely from now on.
We are quickly entering the "dependence" stage of decline. Ironically, our "dependence" is (ultimately) a result of our attempts to become independent from God. When we shake off the yoke of Jesus, we find ourselves in the yoke of sin. But the yoke of sin is not "easy" and "light" like Jesus' is. (Matthew 11:28-30). As we refuse to bow to Jesus as Lord, we may find that Caesar (our government) becomes increasingly intrusive.