So now socialism is off and running. In just the last century, opportunistic prosecutors with ties to the House Un-American Activities Committee could put you in jail for advocating "Communism with better table manners," which is how socialism was viewed back then. Yet, regarding the last presidential election, there's an argument to be made that if Sen. Bernie Sanders had not been out-rigged, and had been awarded the Democratic nomination (which many intelligent people believe he'd earned), and if Hillary Clinton had not been granted royal prerogatives, and if the Trump phenomenon hadn't surged and soared – then avowed socialist Bernie Sanders would be president today. Sure, there are a lot of "ifs" there, but the point is that Bernie's stomp-down avowal of socialism neither landed him in jail nor cost him votes. One glance at the millennial numbers and you'll have to acknowledge that his socialism helped Bernie gain votes!
This raises the question: Is America ready for socialism? And that invites the negative response from this American. And that negativity has nothing to do with "Cold War hysteria" and everything to do with eternal truths, with human nature and with on-site experience with socialism in the Soviet Union, Hungary, Cuba and the once-great Yugoslavia (which is now broken up into six different countries. One of those countries, Slovenia, is where our First Lady Melania grew up).
A socialist is someone who can't see a fat man alongside a thin man without concluding that the fat man got that way at the expense of the thin man. Socialism looks good on paper and attracts some of the finest people in the world, namely people who care about people. A wise observer recently said, "To a conservative the other side is merely wrong. To a liberal the other side is evil." When conservatives in large numbers view socialism as evil it's useful to examine why. More lives have been taken, more cruel prisons filled to capacity and more human kindness shattered imposing socialism on unwilling subjects than in any other political endeavor on earth. It's absurd to try to measure evil merely by the number of lives taken. Dictators take as many lives as necessary to achieve their goals. Many millions more lives have been taken to enforce socialism than were taken by Hitler's Holocaust. We know the Nazis murdered 6 million Jews. The Soviet socialists killed that many Ukrainians alone by deliberate starvation. And that doesn't begin to portray the human calamity of socialism.
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The political equivalent of the invention of the wheel came after the collapse of the Soviet Union, when some embattled socialist somewhere said, "Hey, Comrades! Let's give up secret police, torture, gulags, the post-midnight bashing down of the door, phony trials, lying propaganda and all that other ugly stuff. We don't need it. Let's talk about all the good things everybody will get if we win!"
So now we have not just Sen. Sanders but a new socialist star, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who unseated the No. 4 leader in the House in an early summer Democratic primary. And Bernie and Alexandria are busy letting us know of "Medicare for all, free college tuition to all whose parents earn less than $150-a-year, guaranteed minimal income, guaranteed jobs for all" and more. When asked where the money will come from, they speak of "enhanced revenues through taxation" and other spray-deodorants that conceal the outrage against the taxpaying class.
Socialism guarantees everybody a bed, but not much reason to get up out of it. As Margaret Thatcher, the famous prime minister of the U.K., said, "The trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money!"
When Bernie and Alexandra were at a rally they were greeted with the little-known fact that there's never been a successful socialist economy. Not one, and they were pelted with the names of the better-known failures, like Russia and Venezuela. They countered with, "What about Scandinavia?" At the last New York World's Fair, the Swedish pavilion had a huge banner out front that declared, "Sweden: Land of Free Enterprise." There was a time when the Scandinavian example gave socialists a lot of hope, but that era is over 0 – and it's no longer a "gee-whiz!" thing when conservatives win throughout Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland.
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I count 39 socialist economies tried in various places around the world since the Russian Revolution of 1918, without one single success. There may be plenty more because I'm not including the many African nations that proclaimed their conversion to "African socialism" after the post-World War II breakup of European colonies, principally those of Britain and France. We can argue about the number of failures, but there's no argument about the number of successes. It's zero.
If you had a cat that had torn up 39 of your sofas, would you thereupon buy him number 40 upon which to cavort?