Non-institutional factors which help to maintain freedom in the United States are the right of association, the freedom of the press, and‹most importantly‹religion. Associations are an excellent tool to combat individualism and to allow people to exercise their freedom by taking a part in politics. The press is intimately connected to associations in that associations need a means of communicating with their members and also a means of spreading their message to the public as a whole. In America, religion is much more than another type of association and is highly beneficial both politically and societally. Religion teaches people how to use their freedom well. Since the government provides no absolute standards, it is necessary that religion provide some moral boundaries. As Tocqueville remarks, "Despotism may be able to do without faith, but freedom cannot. . . . How could a society escape destruction if, when political ties are relaxed, moral ties are not tightened? And what can be done with a people master of itself if it is not subject to God?" (Chapter 9). By bringing people together in a community of common belief, religion also combats individualism. Furthermore, religion is practically the only means of counteracting the materialistic tendencies of democratic peoples. Religion turns peoples minds beyond the physical, material aspects of life to the immortal and eternal. So strongly does Tocqueville see the necessity for such a force in democratic society that he warns society's leaders not to try to disturb the people's faith, for fear that "the soul may for a moment be found empty of faith and love of physical pleasures come and spread and fill all."KT had a great graphic that spells out Obama's vision, it is satire of course, but contains truth as well:
When Obama goes off teleprompter his real thoughts towards what most people believe is good about this country come out. His famous "bitter clingers" remark was an early example. His remarks about how we should be grateful to government for building roads and therefore pay more taxes is part of a larger narrative that we need to give more power to government.
This is what I find so disturbing about the President, he unapologetically believes that government is the real source of all that is good in this country and we believe otherwise. It is a an argument over the philosophical foundation of society. This makes the election in November very important. The promise to fundamentally change America is a promise to make government central to every aspect of American life.
For the record here is what he said, note the class warfare rhetoric and the assumption that government must fix the problems of the middle class.