As America plunges headlong into the socialist abyss, thinking it is actually discovering something new, it’s time to examine some history and relearn the mistakes of the past.

Before we lose all vestiges of liberty, listen to a warning from Sir Winston Churchill June 4, 1945. He had just emerged from leading England to victory over the Nazis and was now wary about a confrontation from another evil socialist monster, Josef Stalin. But Churchill had to be re-elected as prime minister – and the people were tired of sacrifice and war.

His political adversaries at home in the Labor Party were offering the people peace and socialism – much as Barack Obama and the Democratic Party did in 2008. Incredibly, Churchill, who had rescued his nation from Neville Chamberlain, a man whose very name today is a synonym of “appeasement,” lost the election. But, before he did, here’s his warning from an election speech delivered on radio:

“No socialist government conducting the entire life and industry of the country could afford to allow free, sharp, or violently worded expressions of public discontent. They would have to fall back on some form of Gestapo, no doubt very humanely directed in the first instance.

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“And this would nip opinion in the bud; it would stop criticism as it reared its head, and it would gather all the power to the supreme party and the party leaders, rising like stately pinnacles above their vast bureaucracies of civil servants, no longer servants and no longer civil.

“And where would the ordinary simple folk – the common people, as they like to call them in America – where would they be, once this mighty organism had got them in its grip?”

Britain, fresh from defeating socialism in Germany, was about to embrace it at home. Does that sound familiar?

In the early 1990s, the Soviet Union finally imploded of its own dead weight and its inability to keep pace with freedom and free enterprise in the West. Who could have imagined then that less than 20 years later the United States, the most formidable adversary of communism in the world, would embrace the same kind of soft tyranny Churchill astutely predicted for his own beloved homeland in 1945?

Just as post-war western Europeans traded freedom for the false promises of peace and security, too many Americans are ready to make the same mistake today.

It comes at a huge price, Churchill warned.

Not only does a nation trade prosperity and individuality and personal initiative in the embrace of uniformity and central planning, it also loses the most basic freedoms – like the right to dissent, the right to speak one’s mind, the right to march to the beat of one’s own drummer.

Churchill saw it more than 60 years ago.

How many more socialist failures has the world witnessed since? And, yet, socialism still has allure. The Big Lie is still effective. Dumb down the public enough, as the government-controlled mis-education system has, and you can persuade people of anything, apparently.

So, mark my words. First they came for the banks. Then they came for the automakers. Next they will come for the opinion-makers.

The machinery is already in place.

They will do it under the guise of “diversity.” They will do it under the guise of “tolerance.” They will do it under the guise of “hate crimes.”

As Churchill suggested, it will sound very humane at first. But then comes the Gestapo.

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