- The Washington Times - Friday, August 31, 2012

Forty-eight years ago, I reported to my first active-duty assignment with the U.S. Army’s Berlin Brigade. The Berlin Wall had been erected three years earlier, and West Berlin was being called the “outpost of freedom,” recognizing that it was completely inside the borders of the socialist state of East Germany and surrounded by unfriendly military forces, including 20 Russian army divisions. As part of my duties, I periodically drove through Checkpoint Charlie into East Berlin for the purpose of observing activity at the several Soviet and East German military installations within the city.

One would think East Berlin would be the shining example of the benefits provided for the citizens of the glorious socialistic state of East Germany. After all, the communist government had almost 20 years to establish a cradle-to-grave welfare state with free health care, nearly full employment (with the help of labor camps) abortion on demand and complete freedom from religion. But instead of being a wonderful place to live, it was a place where the people I saw walking the streets were hardly ever smiling and joyous laughter was almost always notably missing. This was a visible and sharp contrast to life observed in West Berlin.

It was apparent that life in East Berlin and socialist East Germany was difficult at best and dehumanizing to the extent that hundreds of citizens of East Berlin and East Germany lost their lives trying to get into West Berlin. They were desperate to seek those personal freedoms they could no longer exercise within the socialist state and its communist-run government.

It should be apparent now to anyone who has the capacity to understand what is happening within this country that there are obvious actions being implemented that are taking this country down a path that would destroy our constitutional form of government and transform this country into a socialist state.

This November’s election will be the most important election in the nation’s history. It will determine if we continue down the path to socialism or return to the principles of our Founding Fathers and a government that truly serves the people, not the state. Americans should think before they vote.

LT. COL. JAMES C. FARGO

U.S. Army, retired

Locust Grove, Va.