An hour before Pres. Donald Trump’s State of the Union Address, I opened my mail. It included a thank-you note regarding a contribution I had made to a right-wing organization. The author of the note quoted Nikita Khrushchev, who said, “You Americans are so gullible. No, you won’t accept communism outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of socialism until you finally wake up and find you already have communism.” The author of the thank-you note was revolted by this remark by N.K. and knew I would be as well.
I grew up during the Cold War and understood that communism was not merely an alternative theory of politics and economics to that held by most Americans, but was a living and breathing threat to our freedom emanating 24-7 from the USSR, the PRC, and a determined fifth column of traitorous leftists living in these United States. Our conflict with communism was not a mere academic or drawing room debate between gentleman-scholars. Rather, the ardent supporters of communism wished to extract the essence of our freedom and opportunities from our society.
In the name of curbing the rich, they wish to curb us all, grab power, assert governmental force over every area of our lives, and make themselves arbiters of every life decision we make – where we live, what kind of work each of us does, where and when we can and cannot travel, how to heat our homes or even build our homes, where to go to school, how many children to have, how long we live and under what conditions we live, and even the thoughts we think. Almost all that we now consider “private” they would refashion and reconfigure to be seen as “public.” Our individual rights would be subsumed under collective rights.
As Richard Overy relates in his remarkable volume, The Dictators: Hitler’s Germany, Stalin’s Russia, under the Soviet Union system of law, a person could be deemed guilty of a crime simply because he was documented to have had thoughts similar to the thoughts of those who actually plotted and committed a crime even if he had had no part in planning or carrying out the crime. Thus, when I see Bernie Sanders’s bespectacled face, I see not just another person with whom I have some differences of opinion, but, behind his college professor visage, a hideous expression of hatred for all that we hold dear. In like manner do I perceive the other leftists of the Democratic Party with their pro-communism agenda despite their attempts to present those views as mainstream or make them sound less threatening by calling them socialistic.
Pres. Donald Trump spat in the face of the socialists and socialists in sheep’s clothing of the Democratic Party during Tuesday evening’s State of the Union address. “America was founded on liberty and independence and not government coercion, domination, and control,” he said to Republican applause. He continued, “We are born free and we will stay free. Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.” These sentences cleared the air. There is no hiding from the truth encapsulated in these words. Fresh air blew through the hall and could be felt over the airwaves.
The Democrats should be repudiating the extreme leftists in their party; instead, they are embracing the far left ideology. During the 1930s and 1940s, the Democrats went through a crisis where they had to repudiate the extreme left wing of the party, which roughly can be designated as those led by Henry Wallace. President Harry Truman fired Wallace from his position as secretary of commerce because he perceived Wallace as being too conciliatory toward the Soviet Union. Wallace subsequently formed the Progressive Party and ran for president against Truman and the Republican candidate, Thomas Dewey, in 1948 but garnered only 2.4% of the vote. Here was a case where the Democratic Party’s leader repudiated the far-left wing of that party. Nevertheless, it was an ironic and striking reality that a large percentage of the Socialist Party platform of 1912 had been implemented in the U.S., including the graduated income tax, by the time Wallace was rejected. Most of the implementation came during the New Deal under President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Only in their program of “Collective Ownership” were the goals of the Socialist Party not met over time. The people of the U.S. decided on regulation instead of ownership. The socialists wanted ownership of all banks, all transportation, all mines, all means of communication, and all land.
Similar trends can be seen in the labor movement in the 1940s era. Many unions that had been strongly supportive of Pres. Franklin Roosevelt because of his initiative in getting the Wagner Act through Congress at the same time tried to purge their ranks of communist leadership. My own father was a union activist with the Transport Workers’ Union. That union had been formed both by men who were communist unionists and by non-communist unionists. Under the leadership of Michael Quill, whose base was staunchly Irish Catholic and still held many so-called “bourgeois values,” repudiated and kicked out the communist wing of the union, also in 1948, as the Cold War picked up a head of steam.
Earlier in the century, Eugene V. Debs had run for president three times as leader of the Socialist Party, but his aggressive objection to World War I led to his imprisonment and severely set back the socialist-communist agenda in the U.S.
Make no mistake about it: the Socialist Party was adamantly against private ownership of property. One need only read its platform of 1912 to see that. Labeling themselves socialists to distinguish themselves from communists should be taken with a grain of salt. Early on, the socialists realized that the word “communism” had so many negative connotations for Americans that the term “socialism” would be more palatable to the citizenry. However, their desire to control (not merely regulate) all major industries was explicit, with control of smaller industries and businesses implied.
By the last presidential election of 2016, the platform of the socialists had morphed into 248 bullet points, a veritable stew of negativism that advocated for intense federal controls to invade almost every area of American life. Today’s Democrats are no longer repudiating communist ideas and ideals, but are embracing in ever greater numbers its calls for universal Medicare, universal free higher education, open borders under the rubric of compassion, elimination of the electoral college, and an embrace of worldwide climate change agendas with a massive redistribution of wealth to the Third World and ever increasing government controls over every detail of daily life. These policy themes that would require a tremendous curtailment of freedom are being embraced and advocated by Democrats rather than repudiated.
The communist focus of 1948 was repudiated by the Democrats of 1948, but it is being incorporated as the mainstream ideas and ideals of that party today, and individual choice and individual property rights are disparaged. During the State of the Union address, President Trump spoke forcefully and directly into the faces of subversion. Although many on the left were dressed in white, they represented the dark side of humanity. All the purity was in Trump’s liberty-loving remarks.