Donald Trump, announcing a major theme of his 2020 campaign, declared war on socialism during his SOTU Tuesday night:
We stand with the Venezuelan people in their noble quest for freedom — and we condemn the brutality of the Maduro regime, whose socialist policies have turned that nation from being the wealthiest in South America into a state of abject poverty and despair. Here in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country. America was founded on liberty and independence — not government coercion, domination, and control. We are born free, and we will stay free. Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.
You would think, given the situation in the aforementioned country, socialism would be in disrepute, but no. In the United States, at least, it appears to be more popular than ever.
Witness the glum expressions on the faces of so many Democrats–nearly all of them–when Trump made his statement.
Bernie Sanders looked as if he had swallowed the bowl along with the goldfish. No doubt he would assure us that socialism can be “democratic.” But is that true? Is it just an accident that the three greatest mass murderers of all time — Hitler (17-10 million), Stalin (40-62 million), and Mao (45-75 million) — all began with socialist ideologies? No non-socialist has even come close.
Is the excuse that we can escape the allure of so-called scientific socialism and the consequent drift to communism?
Not so fast. No less than Alexander Solzhenitsyn told the BBC: “For us in Russia, communism is a dead dog, while, for many people in the West, it is still a living lion.” Reason: we haven’t experienced it yet. They have, as have the Eastern European countries who are more resistant to communism these days.
Socialism is something that plays better in the classroom than it does in real life. In real life, state power tends to expand almost biologically and pretty soon you have communism or something close, if not with all those bodies, then like Venezuela with everybody leaving.
Socialism is great for elites, not so for the sainted (actually impoverished) proletariat. Castro died a billionaire. Nicaragua’s Ortega is said to be worth a cool fifty million. And so on. Maybe that accounts for the sour expressions on the Democrats’ faces. They didn’t want to be deprived of all that loot.
More seriously, the reason Trump’s outspoken opposition to socialism is so timely, more necessary than ever in our country, is the classroom mentioned above. While few were noticing, our educational system — from the earliest years through college — has been turning, indeed has turned for the most part, into a virtual indoctrination program for socialism.
Democratic college professors outnumber Republican 10 to 1 in a recent study. In another, four out of five colleges don’t employ even one Republican. And those Democrats are scarcely Blue Dogs. These professors largely come from the Kamala Harris/Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party or something to the left of them, sometimes quite far to the left. Those of us who have sat in college classrooms recently know that in the majority of cases what is being taught in non-STEM courses from anthropology to English lit is some version of cultural relativism and/or critical theory — in other words, the most recent versions of Marxism. Little else is countenanced.
Forget entertainment and the media, as biased as they are. If we let Marxist theory dominate our educational system much longer, we will be a socialist state by fiat. AOC will be elected president by proclamation as soon as she is of age, if not before. We will have had a revolution without a shot being fired.
By making resistance to socialism a lynchpin of his 2020 campaign, Trump will be helping to right this extremely dangerous situation, giving cover to students being indoctrinated in our classrooms and to their increasingly alarmed parents. It won’t be enough, because this is the great hidden crisis of our society. But it will be a start.
Roger L. Simon — co-founder and CEO Emeritus of PJ Media — is a prize-winning author and an Academy Award-nominated screenwriter.