“We’re on the edge of the cliff, and we have got to start fixing it now. Otherwise, we’re leaving a disaster to our children’s and our grandchildren’s future,” he said.
Wolf spoke with Perot as part of an interview for C-SPAN, where additional clips have been posted (the full interview is set to air Monday night).
In it, Perot talks about his fear of the United States being taken over.
“If we are that weak, just think of who wants to come here first and take us over and the last thing I ever want to see is to see this country, our country taken over because we’re so financially weak we can’t do anything and we’re moving in that direct. … We could even lose our country if we don’t get this fixed and straightened out and nobody that’s running really talks about it, about what we have to do and why we have to do it. They would prefer not to have it discussed.
On both sides of the political spectrum, we have the idea that representative government (usually but not precisely characterised as democracy) is the best for ourselves and everyone else. We overlook, however, the simple fact that a functioning representative government requires a citizenry responsible enough to sustain it. Our Founding Fathers were well aware of this but we have forgotten it, to our peril. (That was, as I’ve said before, George W. Bush’s key error in Iraq: trying to bring “democracy” to a people totally unprepared for it).
Perot, perhaps without meaning to, brings up a key question this time around: are we capable of sustaining the form of government we have? Given the way we’ve run up our unsustainable debt and the other irresponsible things we have done, that’s a legitimate question. If we are not, as he warns, there are plenty of others who would like a crack at running this country in our place.
And there are some of us who would, depending upon who ends up doing it, come out ahead with someone else doing the governing. Would you?