Officially, freedom in representative government ended when the Federal Reserve was formed by unconstitutional executive fiat early in the last century. But let us put aside that depressing little fact (and the attendant story, which is too long to tell here) and break down the death of democracy the only way a modern mind can conceive: Let us make a list.
Having watched for the signs, I believe I can with confidence elucidate the
4 horsemen of Democracy's Apocalypse.
1) THE CHILD. When educated, stable, caring, responsible people are having 1.5 kids per household, and abusive, classless, ignorant, drug addled, publicly dependent households are DOUBLING that (by the most conservative estimates), there is simply no hope. When those who depend on the government are simply outbreeding those who contribute to it, Doom is automatic. There is no politically correct polish you can put on this. And no label you slap on the prophet pointing it out will alter the outcome. Every individual has an inherent nobility and an infinite potential blah blah blah. When this imbalance occurs, it's over.
2) THE PRESS. When the fourth estate is beholden to the government it was set aside by the framers to monitor, all is lost. When those ostensibly charged with dispensing information to an informed electorate are motivated by ideology, by partisanship and profit, only a fool hopes that the system can survive. Where you just caught thinking of Keith Olberman? of Sean Hannity? They are simply the extremes that reinforce each other, and they are only a symptom, hemorrhoids, if you will, resulting from a deeper imbalance of pressures from a constipated core.
3) THE FAT ONE. With sincere apologies to the beautiful overweight people all over America who get up everyday and contribute to society in dynamic ways, it must be observed that no government has ever existed that can govern a sedentary citizenry. Greece, Rome, and everyone before, between and since has crumbled when Prosperity became Opulence. In that sense, fat and sassy spells the end. Blame television. Blame the fast food industry. Blame the video games. The why doesn't matter.
4) THE CONTROL FREAK. Not me. The other control freak. A.K.A. THE LAWYER, THE NANNY STATE, or the Suer. (Hey, rhymes with sewer!). It appears in many forms: the government that wants to take care of you and the people who think that's OK; the litigious bastavich who thinks an arm broken on a neighbor's trampoline, or a lung full of cancer, or a blistered belly from coffee that was hot is a ticket to easy street; the ambulance chaser and the system that supports the fleecing of good people for honest mistakes, setting up money as the arbiter of justice. Beware of this one. It is the most subtle of all the horsemen. It admits to being evil, but rightfully calls itself necessary in a nation of laws. Once it has enough avatars and acolytes in society, the people might (for a time) be very well protected and provided for, but NO ONE IS TRULY FREE.
Luckily, these harbingers of impending doom remain far off, in a nightmare future.