Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders didn’t run away with the Super Tuesday Democratic primaries, as some thought he would, but the intemperate socialist is still a legitimate contender. While his ascent should be shocking to a nation founded on freedom, it has provided something of a public service, having drawn millions of closeted authoritarians into the open. There they can be identified, and hopefully politically marginalized.
Much of the Vermont socialist’s popularity is due to his promise of redistributing wealth, from those who have earned it to those he believes need it more than its rightful owners. It’s played well among Democrats, who have played the politics of jealousy for decades. As the Manhattan Contrarian has said, “if you’re the party of free stuff, why shouldn’t the guy who offers the most free stuff win?”
But Sanders also appeals to another base instinct: The desire to grind a boot on others’ necks and run their lives.
Socialism is a coercive system, with no real limits on raw power, an ideal arrangement for those who want to dictate to others. It is, says former congressman and retired U.S. Army Lt. Colonel Allen West, “the philosophy of the control freaks.”
“Everything about the socialist rhetoric is about controlling some aspect of your life. It is about disavowing you as an individual and making you part of a collective will. If there is anything abjectly anti-American, it is socialism.”
Sanders has railed against the wide selection of deodorants and sneakers available to consumers and would like to pare that down. But the authoritarian urges of socialists go much further than that, far deeper than NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s many restrictions on freedom, including outlawing big soft drinks. We have in this country, which was founded on the then-unimaginable-for-most principle of individual liberty, many who want our personal choices to be under the control of a power structure. They would tell us what sorts of automobiles we can and cannot drive; what types of homes we can and cannot live in; where our home thermostats must be set; and how much remains in our paychecks after government plunders our earnings.
Those examples are merely a start.
Forcing every American into a socialist health care system, whether it’s called Medicare for All, or anything else, is an authoritarian act. Such a regime requires the conscription of doctors, and nurses, as well as the forced participation through their taxes of all 330 million Americans. It’s the antithesis of freedom.
Socialists want to shut down free speech and dissent on college campuses, street corners and in restaurants, where wearing a MAGA hat can result in violence from those on the political left.
Further evidence that we have authoritarians inside the gate are the Sanders staffers who were taped by Project Veritas. Their appetite to riot when things don’t go their way, march political foes into re-education camps, guillotine the rich, and kill the enemies of the revolution is what we’d expect to hear in banana republics and unenlightened hellholes. Not in America. Yet there they are, lined up behind Sanders.
Sanders swears his version of socialism is really just a neighborly welfare state. But don’t assume that he missed Vladimir Lenin saying “the goal of socialism is communism.” His campaign has emboldened and enabled those who would follow that progression.
The inescapable fact is that socialism cannot be implemented without authoritarian action, even if it’s supposedly a “democratic socialism,” in which majorities decide how life is to be arranged. Even a “soft” authoritarianism, a “democratic” mob rule that rejects the views of his “revolutionary” staffers, will grow into a malignancy.
Sanders’ popularity shows us that more Americans than we had dared guess have authoritarian streaks. They are at the table next to ours at the Olive Garden or Applebee’s, in line behind us at the grocery store, waiting for a prescription at the pharmacy, and stopped beside us at a traffic light in that car overflowing with bumper stickers promoting leftist causes.
Of course the Sanders-Biden-Obama-Clinton side of the aisle, and its wing in the media and academia, have been shrieking that President Donald Trump’s supporters are the authoritarians. None, however, would institute any of the government invasions listed above. Most would prefer to simply be left alone to lead their lives without interference from the state and the elitists who dominate our current culture. The Tea Party and Antifa are worlds apart.
But the political left lacks self-awareness and is accomplished at projection, the “art” of “attributing one’s own unacceptable urges to another.” Not much longer though can it conceal its real intentions.
— Written by J. Frank Bullitt
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