For people who dared to start their lives again from scratch in order to become citizens of this great country — as I did, and as did those millions who have patiently waited in line for their immigration papers — America is “the Canaan of capitalism, its promised land,” as prescient German economist Werner Sombart called it in 1906. This “Canaan of capitalism” was not created by Jeremiah Wrights; it was created by a long procession of American presidents who were capitalists like Mitt Romney, men who were daring enough to become successful in business and to earn sizeable fortunes. George Washington’s assets are estimated in today’s dollars at $525 million, Thomas Jefferson’s at $212 million, Theodore Roosevelt’s at $125 million, Andrew Jackson’s at $119 million, James Madison’s at $101 million, Lyndon Johnson’s at $98 million, Herbert Hoover’s at $75 million, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s at $60 million. John Fitzgerald Kennedy may not have earned his own fortune, but he inherited an estimated $1 billion. Some of these presidents were better than others; none has ever been called a “heinous capitalist.”
Europe generated two world wars along with Nazism and the Holocaust; our “Canaan of capitalism,” led mostly by capitalist presidents in the Romney mold, defeated them.
After World War II, our “Canaan of capitalism” generated an unprecedented technological explosion that pampered the whole Western world with a flood of cars, household appliances, and nutritious foods, throwing open the gates to an unimaginable new era of television, automation, and computerization. Concurrently, Eastern Europe devolved into one of the most destructive dictatorships the world has ever known, a behemoth known as the Soviet empire, which killed some 94 million people and waged some forty long years of Cold War against freedom and democracy. In the end, it was our “Canaan of capitalism” run by capitalist presidents that assumed the burden of freeing the world from the Soviet boot.
Now, the president insists on denigrating America’s uniquely successful capitalism as he attempts to change our country into a debt-ridden socialist realm. I have no reason to doubt the patriotism of our president and of the Democratic Party leaders. Nevertheless, I can see a frightening similarity between the Democratic Party’s electoral tactics aimed at discrediting American capitalism and the Kremlin’s plot to damage the United States by portraying its leaders as capitalist monsters during the years I was at the top of the Soviet bloc’s disinformation community.