Anyone tuned into last week’s Democratic debate in Des Moines, Iowa, would have been stunned at the sight of Democratic presidential candidates attempting to sound like constitutional scholars before the entire world.
That’s right: Like something straight out of “The Twilight Zone,” socialists like Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts began referencing Article I of the U.S. Constitution at every imaginable turn — as if they wouldn’t happily shred the document into a million pieces if it meant sinking the nation even deeper into bankruptcy all because they thought Karl Marx told them to.
Indeed, it seems the age of Trump has brought out the best (or the worst) in some people. Regardless, this kind of “have your cake and eat it too” attitude from the Democrats cannot be mistaken for some sort of newfound conviction in the Constitution. For eight years, these same Democrats did absolutely nothing as Barack Obama danced all over the Constitution with endless drone strikes in seven countries, miles of new regulations every day and (last but not least) the infamous Obamacare.
And now, from so-called Medicare for All to the Green New Deal, the nanny-state policies steadily taking hold of the Democratic platform represent a direct assault on the liberties the American people so uniquely enjoy.
Despite what Mr. Sanders and Ms. Warren have to say, universal health care is not a bold, new idea; numerous countries have experimented with such programs to the hardship and misery of millions. Just look at Venezuela — formerly the wealthiest nation in all of Latin America. Simple medical supplies like soap, gloves, gauze, bandages and syringes exist only as commodities. Moreover, the death rate among new mothers admitted to Venezuelan public hospitals increased fivefold from 2012 to 2015, with the death rate among babies less than 1 month old increasing a hundredfold during that time frame.
But a top-down health care system in this fashion is exactly what socialists like Mr. Sanders, Ms. Warren and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York have in store for the American people. Similarly, pushes for what the Democrats now call “environmental justice” constitute a similar risk, as calls for a Green New Deal now penetrate rhetoric on every level of liberal politics (including the mainstream). This progressive power grab, in an effort to make the U.S. “greenhouse gas emissions neutral,” would cost taxpayers a flabbergasting $93 trillion, according to a study from the American Action Forum. This, coupled with a new wave of carbon taxes and bans on crude oil exports, would send the American economy at least as far back as the Obama-era Great Recession days.
Fortunately, at the end of the day, the American people recognize one simple truth that the Democrats evidently do not: Without exception, socialism is incompatible with freedom.
• Patrick Neville is a member of the Colorado House of Representatives, where he serves the people of the state’s 45th District.