I fear you're right, the country is in jeopardy of falling in the next few decades, but it will not be because of states rights, or gun laws. It will be as Alexander Tyler said in the early 1700's:

A democracy is always temporary in nature: it simple cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority will always vote for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a dictatorship.
That might be true, except for the "voting" part. It's more like "buying," and it's not the majority of the voting populace that's doing it. It's the banks, defense contractors and international corporations--- the people who fund the electoral campaigns. The voters get squat nine times out of ten. Just look as HSBC, the international banking corporation, which just THIS MONTH was written off scott-free for violating the Trading With The Enemy Act, among other federal and international laws, making billions off of drug deals, money laundering and direct funding of foreign terrorist activity. This is what the Department of Justice said in their official statement, explaining why they won't prosecute:

"Had the US authorities decided to press criminal charges, HSBC would almost certainly have lost its banking licence in the US, the future of the institution would have been under threat and the entire banking system would have been destabilised.

"HSBC, Britain's biggest bank, said it was 'profoundly sorry' for what it called 'past mistakes' that allowed terrorists and narcotics traffickers to move billions around the financial system and circumvent US banking laws. . . .

"As part of the deal, HSBC has undertaken a five-year agreement with the US department of justice under which it will install an independent monitor to assess reformed internal controls. The bank's top executives will defer part of their bonuses for the whole of the five-year period, while bonuses have been clawed back from a number of former and current executives, including those in the US directly involved at the time."
And not long before that, we had Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase, who lost billions (estimates are between 2 and 5 billion) in risky gambling, dealt a huge blow to the economy, and is still sitting Chair of the Board of Federal Reserve because he is defended as "the best banker they've got."

These people pay NO price for their mistakes and crimes. How many years in prison do you think a normal citizen would get if they were found to be part of an international drug ring and money laundering scandal? Or if they were found to be funding foreign terrorists against the US? Or if they were trading with the enemy in violation of international law? Or if they lost 2-5 BILLION dollars of investors' money? It's ridiculous to say that the citizenry has any real say in the decisions which most drastically affect our economy; we have influence, but it's slow and clumsy, and it works from the bottom up (from the local level to the federal level); banks and major corporations/contractors can influence elections directly by using massive amounts of capital to sway officials who are *already elected* (and thus beyond the people's immediate influence), or even influence candidates as they're running by threatening to overfund their opponent's campaign if they don't take the "right side."

A prime example of this is the Obama/Biden campaign --- Biden can be quoted from the debates, just a month prior to election day, as saying, "Mark my words: we will NOT TOUCH Social Security and Medicare!" And yet, look what's happening: not only are they trying to cut Social Security, but this plan was proposed by Obama. If you vote for a candidate in principle, there's no guarantee that you will actually get what you voted for because, as soon as he or she takes office, he or she can just flip-flop and do whatever his or her donors want. To ascribe responsibility to the people alone for this deception is just dishonest; the people can do more to monitor and learn the true views of their elected officials, but they can only do so much --- there comes a point where politicians need to be taken to task for their betrayal of trust.

This meme of "the people voting themselves benefits" is nothing more than a PR scam by libertarians and Tea Party Republicans, to try to detract blame from the real flaws in this system, which is that money --- not the people --- control the system in the ways that matter the most --- and instead convince the people who are being cheated the most to blame each other for petty differences.