Paul Lampru celebrated the 4th of July with a letter claiming that the Democratic Party isn’t flirting with extreme socialism.
He helpfully defines America’s two major parties for us. According to Mr. L, Republicans, a majority in Cherokee County, advocate “for the big business and the wealthy.” In case you missed it, then, your very neighbors are presumably made up mostly of gazillionaires, media moguls, Hollywood stars and their most vocal fans and fanatical wannabes. The Democratic Party, on the other hand, “advocates for low and middle income individuals.” So when Mrs. Clinton disparaged Mr. Trump’s “deplorables,” was she, being a Democrat, criticizing Harvey Weinstein, George Soros and Tom Steyer? Mr. Lampru and Mrs. Clinton are sending mixed signals.
Mr. L goes to great lengths to distinguish socialism from communism. Disregarding his sophistry, I took the time to do a little research. I went to the website of the Communist Party USA (www.cpusa.org). It’s very clear what their priorities are. I would challenge any Tribune reader to do the same, and then to identify a significant number of major priorities listed there which have not been advocated by several high profile (even “moderate”) Democrats and Democratic presidential candidates, or even included in the official Democratic platform, in the past few years.
Certainly socialism, like any other political philosophy, covers a spectrum of causes and levels of ideological intensity. Not every Democrat is a socialist (though they are more prominent in his party than ever before.) And not every socialist is a communist. But Democrats have for decades been obsessed with “slippery slopes,” situations that, if not addressed were supposedly going to lead to catastrophe. So how can they ignore the danger in the chaos and radicalism now enveloping their party? No less than Tom Perez, head of the DNC, recently said of self-professed New York socialist/Democrat, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez that she is “the future of our party.”
Socialism is especially dangerous because when fully implemented it manages societies in not one way but two. By directing both political and economic life it ensures a much higher level of control is exercised over its subjects. In the guise of promoting economic and social equality it inevitably destroys individual freedom. In most of the 20th century, socialism in its various flavors went down two ultimately similar slopes, Communism and Nazism. Socialism was a worldwide disaster, giving us 70-plus years of revolution, war, injustice, starvation and social disintegration.
Ask the Cubans and the Venezuelans, who, with high hopes, put “socialist reformers” into power.