It was inspiring of President Donald Trump to say, during his State of the Union, that America would “never be a socialist country.”
But the thing is: America could.
Only by acknowledging that, can America protect against it.
How else to explain the rise of open socialists in Congress — the embrace of socialism among millennials — the growing acceptance of this form of government as an alternative to America’s democratic-republic? These things do not happen in a bubble.
They’re warnings of where America is headed.
A September 2018 BuzzFeed News and Maru/Blue online survey of 1,006 randomly selected 22- to 37-year-olds found 18 percent self-identified as a democratic socialist and 8 percent as a socialist, and 28 percent said they’d be either “much more likely” or “a little more likely” to vote for a political candidate who wore the socialist tag.
An August 2018 Gallup poll found 57 percent of Democrats viewed socialism in a positive light, and 47 percent saw capitalism as a negative.
“For the first time in Gallup’s measurement over the past decade,” Gallup News reported then, “Democrats have a more positive image of socialism than they do of capitalism.”
And the Democratic Socialists of America, a party that used to have no place in American politics — that truly should have no place in American politics — has made some dramatic gains in membership the last couple years, from 7,000 to a reported 50,000-plus since 2016. Those are the years Sen. Bernie Sanders really came out of the socialist closet; those are the years entitlement minds of millennials really started to grow; and those are the years border wars really heated.
And that last raises a crucial point: If America really wants to save itself from turning socialist, the borders must, must, must be maintained.
It’s hard enough keeping America free with the leftist forces currently in Congress, presently lobbying and demanding on Capitol Hill, already pressing for ever more progressive policies in the U.S. political system. It’s tough enough keeping America as the democratic-republic founders intended when those being raised as citizens aren’t being taught the core, key civics and history classes they need to not only understand the concept of American Exceptionalism, but to also embrace its values as their own.
Now add foreigners into the mix who don’t want to assimilate, who come from countries where socialism is the norm and government hand-outs the expected — foreigners who vote for today’s leaders and who then birth and raise the next generation of the political class. See where this headed?
Kudos for Trump for standing strong against socialism.
But he can’t do it alone.
It’s going to take a strong border and committed citizenry to keep this country on a constitutional track. America is only one generation away from socialism. And if truth be told, if these polls and surveys and political trends are taken with the seriousness they deserve, socialism in its softest form — the smiley-face giveaways, the social justice bumper stickers — is already here.
Take heed: When the money runs out, it’s always the fisted, forced and enforced version that comes next.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter, @ckchumley.
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