With apologies to our founders.
Gallup conducted a poll asking, “If your party nominated a generally well-qualified person who happened to be a_______, would you vote for that person?” If you fill in that blank with Catholic, Woman, Black, Hispanic, or Jew, over 90% of respondents said, “Yes.” That’s good news.
The bad news is 47% OK’d voting for a Socialist! Given the Democrats have one, Bernie Sanders, running to snatch up their presidential nomination, we can assume it was his party’s faithful giving the nearly 50% thumbs up.
As troubling as that may be, what’s more worrisome is a large number of voters really believe socialists are well qualified to hold office in a market based, representative republic.
Here’s an exercise the 47% might find problematic. Ask them to identify the criteria they’ve used to make this choice, then challenge them to apply those principles to a brief list of historic figures who “cut their teeth” on socialism.
Valdimir Lenin-He encouraged violent insurrection, believed in the overthrow of capitalism, and was head of the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic. Lenin’s influence spanned some of the bloodiest years in Russian History.
Joseph Stalin-Followed Lenin and initiated the concept of “Socialism in One Country”. His plans of a command economy and collectivization were so extreme they turned deadly for many millions who died in gulag labor camps, were executed, or succumbed from starvation.
Mao Zedong-In 1949 this Chinese leader felt his victories opened the door to “uninterrupted progress to Socialist revolution by stages.” During one of those “stages” Mao figured 10% “of the peasants (about 50 million) would have to be destroyed” to implement his vision of farming reform. Here’s just a tiny sample of Zedong’s bloody scorecard:
Campaign to Suppress Counterrevolutionaries-At least 1 million killed The Great Leap Forward-2.5 murdered or tortured to death Cultural Revolution-1.5 slain
Fidel Castro-He huffed and puffed, “Do you really want to write that this is Socialist revolution? All right, write it.” Cubans have suffered terribly under his reign for over 55 years.
Adolf Hitler-Before this mass murderer of many millions was The Fuhrer, he was head of the National Socialist Party, AKA, National Socialist German Worker’s Party, AKA, Nazi Party….from 1921 until the day he descended into Hell.
Can those 47% be so ignorant of history they’d actually choose candidates supporting a system of government endorsed by the above mentioned “murderer’s row”? How can they possibly match their own lofty, likely utopian precepts to the abhorrent, criminal actions of Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro, or Hitler?
That Bernie Sanders isn’t another Lenin is not the point. It’s that his descriptor, far from evoking the kind of highly justified concern we’d seen in the recent past, is now too easily accepted.
Sadly, Gallup has shown lots of Americans don’t understand that to remain a free, prosperous, society, we’d be much better off identifying the term “well qualified socialist” as the oxymoron it truly is.