- - Monday, February 11, 2019

A growing segment of the left-of-center electorate, having been roused by the noxious idea of free services for all and the Green New Deal fantasy, is now comfortable with a feel-good approach to complicated societal problems rather than fact-based analyses. Socialism and its handmaiden, autocratic governance, is attractive to this cohort of voters who do not understand that this is the quicksand that sinks the historically illiterate.

Of course, if you are politically energetic and dissatisfied with the same old, same old, if you are brimming with the conceit that, as Barack Obama believed, “we are the ones we have been waiting for” and you have been taught that capitalism ravages and rigs America, then you may believe, even if Margaret Thatcher did not, that the socialist enterprise will never run out of other peoples’ money.

Newly elected progressive Democrats have filled the policy larder with all manner of Green New Deal freebies: Medicare for all, free college tuition, student loan forgiveness, universal basic income, uniform minimum wage, guaranteed employment for all. Why not? Many of our young people have indicated they think socialism may be worth a shot and, if the aging bench of more centrist Democrats cannot stay the fantasy with common sense, they may try to float the leaky ship once again.

It is not enough for centrist Democrats, Republicans, libertarians and thoughtful independents to assume that the nascent socialist movement will simply sink with the weight of history. A free lunch is a mighty tasty meal, after all, even if it bankrupts us in time. The socialist merry-go-round, accompanied by attractive carnival music, may start up once again until the delusion is shattered by reality.

PAUL BLOUSTEIN



Cincinnati

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