I've been watching the early positioning for the 2016 presidential race and noticed something interesting. It seems that one presumed nominee is again watching her lead dwindle. Hillary Clinton was supposed to have been crowned in 2008 and she was bushwhacked by a young untested U.S. Senator, Barack Obama. And now it seems she's losing ground to another U.S. Senator, Bernie Sanders.
Senator Sanders is drawing massive crowds, just like Obama, and there is another common thread between Sanders and Obama - their socialist philosophy of governance. Now, I have to give it to Senator Sanders, he is man enough to admit what he is: he has "come out" as a Democratic Socialist.
Obama, well, his rhetoric and writings proved he was, but if you dared to utter the words that he was a socialist, you were immediately branded racist. Even after comments such as "I think it's better for everyone if we spread the wealth around" and "if you have a business, you didn't build that," America still refused to admit Barack Obama held a core believe system antithetical to that of our Constitutional Republic. Hence why we needed to "fundamentally transform" America - and now we know what that means.
Or do we?
Sir Winston Churchill described socialism in this way: "Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery."
Even a Time Magazine cover recently stated, "We're All Socialists Now." Well, not yours truly, but it should concern our nation that we've signed up for something so contrary to why we celebrated 239 years of independence just last weekend.
Then again, has anyone ever articulated to the American people what socialism is as a governing philosophy - and that it has failed every time it's tried? Perhaps the GOP nominees should stop with the circular firing squad and just do a simple comparative assessment between the ideals of a Constitutional Republic and a Progressive Socialist state.
So I figured this old southern fella would give them a helping hand, with five facts about socialism you need to share with every American you know.
First of all, socialists believe in wealth redistribution. This is the most threatening principle for a free market/free enterprise opportunity economy. It seeks to punish those who have worked hard to earn and achieve and believes that it is the job of the state to "level a playing field." We hear the poll-tested marketed lexicon of fairness, fair share, economic patriotism, and other gimmick words that sound nice. My question is simple; when will progressive socialists share their iPhones, iPads, and all the other niceties they have?
Wealth redistribution does not work because it basically says the indomitable individual industrial entrepreneurial spirit does not (and should not) exist. And if anything has built this great nation to its impeccable level of exceptionalism, it has been individual industrialism. But if socialists have their way, success and achievement become targets of envy.
You know, this past weekend the USA Women's Soccer team won their third World Cup - unprecedented. Carli Lloyd completed a first ever hat trick in men's and women's World Cup history. Every team from all the nations represented had the chance to win the World Cup, but one team was the champion. It was the most widely viewed sports event and we even watched in our home. It brought out all Americans because we like winning. Socialists don't like winning, they like believing they can choose the winners. Socialists would have redistributed goals from Team USA to Japan in order to promote fairness. We don't accept that on the soccer pitch - why do we accept that as a governing principle for our nation?
Socialists believe in nationalizing the economic production of a country, they do not believe in the private sector, the free marketplace of ideas. They believe in their control and I remember one Rep. Maxine Waters making a mistake and saying that we should nationalize the airlines - she caught herself.
When you consider legislation offered such as Obamacare, it's about government having a preeminent role and competing against the private sector. You hear the liberal progressive socialists of the left talk about government investments - that is simply not possible. Government does not invest, it spends, and it spends other people's money.
And the fallacy of socialism is that it works out REALLY well until you run out of other people's money. If the government gets into the business of public sector growth and engagement in the marketplace, you end up with crony capitalism. You end up with a government that believes it can pick those winners and losers in the marketplace - Solyndra anyone?
What's worse, the private sector cannot compete with government nationalization of production because government can just raise taxes to increase capital, or print money. Folks out in the free enterprise world cannot do that - thank God.
But just as we saw the shares of three healthcare companies skyrocket after the recent SCOTUS decision in King v Burwell - government should not be able to mandate to individual citizens that they MUST purchase a private sector commodity - inconsistent with the Commerce Clause - but very beneficial to the business that the government has chosen to coddle. In these past Obama years, we've seen an incredible intrusion of the federal government into the private sector - case in point, college student loans. It never ends up well - but that's what Obama, Sanders, and presumably Hillary Clinton embrace.
Socialists believe in the creation and expansion of the welfare nanny-state. That is the purpose of wealth redistribution: the move away from the opportunity society to the dependency society. And all one has to do is look at the increase of Americans in poverty and on food stamps in these past six years. Consider the Great Society programs of Lyndon Johnson, especially the REALLY nutty idea of government providing checks to women who have children out of wedlock with an interesting caveat, no man in the home.
So government removed Dad from the home and that especially affected the black community which 50 years ago had almost 77 percent two-parent households - today that number is barely 25 percent. Socialists come up with these GREAT ideas - mostly billed as free - but the truly intended consequences are detrimental for the society. As Wall Street Journal editorial board member Jason Riley pleads in his book, Please Stop Helping Us. But that is the issue, in that socialism is emotional in its core and these elitists truly believe they can feel better by helping someone - when actually they are promoting the soft bigotry of low expectations.
The dependency society that results from the expansion of the welfare state breeds a lack of drive, determination, and initiative. Socialists do not believe we need a safety net for those who slip off the ladder of success and achievement, which advocates for the individual to get back up and climb. Socialists believe in a hammock - which eventually dry rots.
Socialists actually believe in social utopianism - they call it social justice. What this means is that socialists believe it's not the individual who has the unalienable right to the pursuit of happiness. It is a collective right granted by the state to guarantee happiness. Which is why socialists believe they must redistribute wealth, nationalize production, and give everyone a hammock.
Socialists do not believe in individual exceptionalism - as a matter of fact, “you did not build that” — someone else made it possible. And therefore justice is the sharing of what you THINK you have achieved - you can bet Hope Solo and Abby Wimbach are not about to give up that World Cup!
Socialists do not believe that if you work hard you can have a better life. They believe you must work hard in to spread it around — shared prosperity — because that is what makes a society happy — and makes them feel good, the essence of collectivism as the individual is lost.
Heck, it was MSNBC commentator Melissa Harris-Perry who even stated that parents do not have their own children - that they belong to all of us. Way wrong answer there, Mel.
I don't need reparations. I just wanted to be a part of the opportunity society, not one based on classifying me as a victim needing standards to be altered to achieve justice for me. Socialists don't believe individuals can be a victors - not on their own. The State exists to provide its version of justice - which is horribly unjust. Socialists like Julian Castro believe Fair Housing means socially engineering neighborhoods, and if you do not fit their definition — a utopian vision — you are in violation of being socially just.
Lastly, Socialists embrace the secular society. Why? Because faith has to be rooted in the State. Here in America, if God is removed from the public sphere, then who becomes the grantor - and subsequently the taker — of your unalienable rights, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?
The recent SCOTUS decision on redefining marriage - well, it has resulted in a State punishing citizens for their religious beliefs. That is exactly why folks fled Europe for America in the first place — religious freedom and liberty. There is a reason why we sing God Bless America — and He has, but that is not what socialists prefer.
It was Karl Marx who termed religion as the “opiate of the masses.” Nah Karl, we just know you should never put your faith in man. The Founding Fathers invoked Divine Providence as they signed their 56 names to the Declaration of Independence. They realized King George III was a flawed human being and the divine rights theory was not the way towards individual liberty — freedom comes from the natural rights theory. And that is why our individual rights are granted from our Creator, God — not Obama, Sanders, or Clinton.
It is a time for choosing, America. This socialism stuff may sound enticing but let me end again with the words of Churchill: “Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”
I hate being miserable, and I certainly don't want to share misery with anyone. That's not how we roll in America folks!