At the UN, Pro-Freedom Donald Trump Stares Down the World's Deep State
In September 2017, speaking at the United Nations, President Donald Trump decried the abject failure of socialism as a form of governance, and more broadly, as an ideology:
The problem in Venezuela is not that socialism has been poorly implemented but that socialism has been faithfully implemented. From the Soviet Union to Cuba, Venezuela -- wherever socialism or Communism has been adopted, it has delivered anguish, devastation, and failure. Those who preach the tenets of these discredited ideologies only contribute to the continued suffering of the people who live under these cruel systems. America stands with every person living under a brutal regime.
During his speech at the UN today, Trump returned to the subjects of socialism, communism, and Venezuela, where he noted that “more than 2 million people have fled the anguish inflicted by the Socialist Maduro regime, and its Cuban sponsors.” He added: “Not long ago Venezuela was one of the richest countries on earth.” Trump observed: “Today socialism has bankrupted the oil-rich nation and driven its people into abject poverty.” And he concluded with another denunciation of socialist/communist totalitarianism as a predatory, liberty-crushing ideology that produces despair:
Virtually everywhere socialism or communism has been tried it has produced suffering, corruption, and decay. Socialism’s thirst for power leads to expansion, incursion, and oppression. All nations of the world should resist socialism and the misery it brings to everyone.
Three years earlier, campaigning at the Iowa Family Leadership Summit in July 2015, Donald Trump gushed about Norman Vincent Peale (d. 1993), a staunch anti-Communist and his family’s pastor at the Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan:
Norman Vincent Peale was my pastor -- “ The Power of Positive Thinking” [Peale’s 1952 book]. Everybody has heard of Norman Vincent Peale? He was so great. He would give a sermon -- you never wanted to leave. I’m telling you, I still remember his sermons.
Peale minced no words about where he stood on the totalitarian menace of Communism in his 1952 bestseller, penned at a critical juncture in the Cold War: “No one has more contempt for Communism than I have.” Indeed, a Nashville Banner, January 20, 1951, front-page story featured coverage of an enormous anti-Communist rally, where Peale was the keynote speaker: “Dr. Peale Tells Thousands Here -- The Future Belongs to Christ Not Communism.”
David Brody’s 2018 biographical analysis, The Faith of Donald J. Trump: A Spiritual Biography, elaborates on Peale’s earlier opposition to collectivism more broadly, encompassing both Communism and fascism. Two weeks after Trump’s birth in 1946, Peale opined in a newspaper column:
There are small-minded people who have the idea that to be a Christian today, one must lean way over to the left or right: either to take Communism on the one hand or something else on the other. For the life of me, I have never been able to understand how a man who regards himself as a leader of the Christian Church can attempt to deprecate the teachings of Jesus as to try and get them into the thinking of Karl Marx or of some Fascist. Those puny little fellows compared to the colossal mind of Jesus Christ, pale into mere insignificance.