Bernie Sanders is a nice, avuncular character who seems to be harmless enough — a nostalgic throwback to another era — but his espousal of socialism, “democratic” though it may be, misleads an entire generation of American youth who have absolutely no idea of the economic or social ramifications of the senator’s ideology.
Lovable Bernie is essentially propagandizing a generation of gullible American young people who don’t have anything near the education or experience to understand what is happening to them. His task is made simpler because his Democratic Party opponent is demonstrably and obviously corrupt and in danger of prosecution. She has also been pushed so far to the left by Bernie’s success (and her own fears) that no serious questions about socialism are even asked.
Our educational system, which, even at the college level, rarely looks at socialism from a results-oriented perspective, exacerbates this situation. Yet those results sit just below our southern border in catastrophic form for all to see, though few, especially among the young, have the background or, frankly, even the interest, to look.
Despite having the world’s second largest oil reserves, Venezuela — a socialist economy — is in complete and utter free fall. A Wall Street Journal article from a couple of days ago — “Venezuela’s Collapse Brings ‘Savage Suffering’” — says it all.
Here in the capital [Caracas], the crisis has turned ordinary life into an ordeal for nearly everyone. Chronic power outages have prompted the government to begin rationing electricity, darkening shopping malls. Homes and apartments regularly suffer water shortages.
Rosalba Castellano, 74 years old, spent hours this week in what has become a desperate routine for millions: waiting in long lines to buy whatever food is available. She walked away with just two liters of cooking oil.
“I hoped to buy toilet paper, rice, pasta,” she said. “But you can’t find them.” Her only choice will be to hunt for the goods at marked-up prices on the black market. The government, she said, “is putting us through savage suffering.”
People are fleeing Venezuela at the rate of one million a year. According to Forbes, the South American country’s inflation rate is a staggering 808%! But don’t blame the USA for this. Unlike with Cuba, we are still the number one importer of Venezuelan oil and the number one exporter of goods to that benighted country. We essentially support Venezuela, even though it has been led sequentially by rancid America-hating despots like Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro.
But what about Cuba, that other socialist disaster? Aren’t we responsible for its horrible condition? Nonsense. Although we have, until recently, boycotted the island nation, we were virtually alone in this. Tiny Cuba had nothing but trading partners around the globe, if it had anything to trade. Other than a few cigars and erratic supplies of sugar, it didn’t. What was the reason for that? Socialist economics (not to mention a despicable repressive government that jailed dissidents and gays and made life miserable for everyone else, if you weren’t in the nomenklatura).
Perhaps Bernie hasn’t been paying attention — or is deliberately ignoring it — but even his vaunted Scandinavian countries have been deserting socialism for years because of the economic woes it brought on them. Sweden is in such bad shape that its central bank was just now the first to go into negative interest rate territory.
And this sad economic tale doesn’t even touch on what we know about socialism and its incestuous relationship with the most mass-murdering totalitarian regimes in human history — Mao’s China, Stalin’s Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, Mussolini’s Italy, Cambodia — responsible for well over a hundred million innocent deaths between them through gulags, concentrations camps or mass starvation. Was it accidental that they all began as socialisms, many utilizing “democratic” rhetoric?
I’m not saying that Bernie Sanders is the next Pol Pot. He most decidedly is not. What I am saying is that he is a pompous morally narcissistic fool who is misleading the American public about socialism, most specifically our youth, and adversely affecting the future of our country and the world. As a potential president, he must be confronted now. Do not rely on the assumption, as many do, that he will be laughed off in a general election. Mass movements can be seductive and easily run out of control, as the above-referenced countries should remind us. If you’re looking for a simple refresher course on socialism vs. capitalism as a guide for young (and old) people around you who might be “Feeling the Bern,” here’s a place to start.