Every form of government of every kind requires moral and virtuous citizens. They all, inevitably, fail in that regard.
Government, then, needs to be protected from the citizens as much as the citizens need to be protected from the government. I don't mean that the government or the citizens should be beyond reproach, only that the checks and balances in the constitution are a huge step in the right direction there. The people can't be allowed to vote themselves more benefits; the government can't be allowed to swell it's own power.
The idea of a Republic is a good one, and one that Franklin explained exceptionally well when he said,"A Republic, if you can keep it." I don't know that any civilization can truly "keep" a Republic. People, whether in government or as parts of the citizenry, will find ways to pollute, pervert and destroy whatever system they find themselves in.
It will take a change in the way our people think, act and behave for it to work. I believe in the people. I have to. I don't have another choice. Fatalism gets you nowhere. Let not your heart be troubled. Do right by your kids, be the best guy you can be, and forget about it.
Would I have your support if/when I start this thread?