OPINION: Socialism promises but never delivers

A condensed version of this opinion piece appeared in Issue 7

“America will never be a socialist country,” President Trump said to Congress and the country at his second State of the Union Address. As some Democrats are moving more and more towards radical socialism, President Trump made the right call to denounce and expose the extreme leftist view. The former capitalist country, Venezuela, and its ruthless, people-harming dictator, Nicolás Maduro, serve as an example to the world of the destruction that socialist policies bring.

During the 2016 presidential election cycle, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders successfully normalized his drastically socialist policies in the “Democrat party,” as President Trump calls them. These views were further cemented when New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez upset a prominent incumbent in her primary and went on to win her district’s seat. Her first bill in Congress, the Green New Deal, with speculative and illusory benefits, would cost trillions of dollars annually with no way to pay for it. Meanwhile, President Trump wants only a one time payment of about five billion dollars for a wall, which would have an immediate, tangible, profitable, and proven benefit.

In the Green New Deal’s Frequently Asked Questions sheet released by Representative Ocasio-Cortez’s office, it says one of its goals is to give “economic security for all who are unable or unwilling to work” (emphasis added). The hard-working average American taxpayer should not be forced into paying for the lazy and “unwilling.” Ocasio-Cortez then played a major role in getting Amazon to cancel its plans for building its second headquarters just outside of her district, losing thousands of jobs for the New Yorkers whose interest she is paid to protect.

The Green New Deal also promises medicare, government run health insurance for the elderly, for all. Medicare for all is medicare for none. Private hospitals and health insurers that people like would go out of business if extreme liberal candidates like California Senator Kamala Harris got their way. Look at the Department of Motor Vehicles, a government run system that is the epitome of inefficiency. Privately owned, competitive capitalist hospitals are what keep American healthcare the highest quality in the world. We cannot let our hospitals become second-rate like Europe or our DMV’s. Removing competition and the profit motive is a recipe for inefficiency, corruption, and declining quality – a result that has been proven time and again in other countries as well as the United States.

President Trump’s call to reject extreme liberalism is a warning to which we should all listen. There is too much at stake. Abortion kills tens of millions of people annually, more than automobile accidents and gun violence. New Yorkers celebrated legalizing abortion on demand when it was, at best, a difficult, controversial decision. This new law permits the unborn to be given the death penalty, but not pedophiles, school shooters, rapists, or serial killers.

“Moderate” Virginia Governor Ralph Northam condoned legislation that would legalize post-delivery termination, or infanticide, saying “the infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the family desired… a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother” on whether the doctors would try to save a surviving baby’s life. Immediately after his comments, Republicans in both the House and Senate tried to condemn infanticide, not abortion, and Democrats blocked it. This should not be a partisan issue. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness should apply to all people, especially born-alive babies at their most vulnerable stage of life.

Border security is at stake. Enough drugs have come over our southern border annually to kill every single American, according to the White House. If that is not a crisis, nothing is. Anti-wall fanatics will argue that roughly 90% of illegal drugs are confiscated at ports of entry and not at the portions of the border consisting of open, borderless territory. However, this point bolsters the argument for a wall. It is no wonder that the majority of illegal drugs are stopped and confiscated at areas of the border that have walls and numerous border patrol agents, and that the unprotected areas of open border allow illegal drugs to pass freely without detection. If a city decides to heavily monitor one particular stretch of road in the city, and 90% of the speeding tickets are written for speeding on that stretch of road, it doesn’t mean that drivers are magically not speeding on other roads in the city; it just means that they are not being caught.

A physical barrier has dramatically reduced illegal crossings in San Diego, El Paso, Yuma, Tucson and Israel, with illegal crossings dropping over 90% according to the Department of Homeland Security. Now, prospective presidential candidate “Open Borders Beto” Robert O’Rourke is advocating to tear down existing walls that immigration officials say helps them significantly do their jobs. Another candidate, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, wants to fire all of those immigration officers. There are still weak spots at the border. There is no harm in trying a proven successful and effective wall that Democrats have voted for in the past, but the obstructionist liberals cannot bear to let President Trump fulfill another campaign promise that could help him in 2020.

Gun rights are at stake. Another prospective presidential candidate, Representative Eric Swalwell, went as far as to say that law-abiding citizens must give up their assault weapons, leaving only criminals with the most powerful guns. Liberal politicians argue that anti-abortion laws will not stop abortions, but will only drive citizens to break the law. Yet for some reason they reject the same principle with respect to gun laws, ignoring that outlawing guns would only result in guns being held by criminals, some well-meaning citizens not willing to give up their constitutional rights, and some real violent criminals with no regard for the law in the first place.

As rapper Ice Cube said in one of his famous songs, “What they’d do, go and ban the A-K, but my [gun] wasn’t registered any … way!” Responding to a concerned citizen that wants to keep his gun, Representative Swalwell tweeted that “the government has nukes.” The people must never give up their right to defend themselves, especially to a government official that threatened to nuke American citizens. Gun violence is an issue, but not one that can be solved in such an extreme, forceful manner.

The economy is better than it ever was during the Obama Administration. The unemployment rate is the lowest it has been in over fifty years. President Trump’s deregulatory, capitalist policies are working, especially for women and minorities. President Trump’s greatest legislative achievement, The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, lowered taxes for 80% of Americans, according to the Tax Foundation. Unlike what “Crazy Bernie,” Elizabeth Warren, and other presidential candidates might tell you, this was not a tax cut for the rich. It was a tax cut for modern, middle class America. The Democrat socialist, tax-raising agenda will undo the economic progress that has been made.

With the Democrat party swinging dramatically to the left, liberal politicians are being called moderates, and moderates are being called conservatives. The new Democratic party is socialist, and that is something of which America should be very cautious. To stop the radicalism, the first step is to vote. Whether voting Democrat or Republican, vote for a capitalist or a moderate in the primaries and general elections. So far, no Democratic presidential candidate fits that description.

Socialist extremism must and should be rejected by Americans and instead be replaced with true moderatism, so that we avoid the path Venezuela took. As President Trump said, “Socialism promises prosperity, but it delivers poverty… Socialism promises a better future, but it always returns to the darkest chapters of the past.”