Clinton's Democrats and Sanders' Socialists
By Michael Alexander
Hillary Clinton is fighting an unanticipated battle for her political life against an unlikely fringe opponent, 74-year-old Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders. Indeed, Sanders clobbered the Clinton machine 60-39 in the New Hampshire primary.
According to conventional political wisdom, Clinton's bid for the Democrat presidential nomination, and her ascension to the throne of Barack Obama, would be unimpeded, despite her 30-year record of malfeasance. But as Republican contenders rudely discovered when confronting another native New Yorker, Hillary's friend Donald Trump, there's nothing "conventional" about this presidential election cycle.
Sanders and Trump were considered marginal candidates, but their populist appeal has built disgruntled constituencies that refuse to be marginalized. And in head-to-head competition, reliable polling indicates that Sanders would defeat Trump.
For Clinton, the assumption was that Sanders, who openly wears the "Socialist" label, would not be able to garner support beyond the Leftist NeoCom cadres of "Occupy Wall Street" and other socialist groups. But the fact is, Obama has paved the way for Sanders' class warfare rhetoric, and Clinton is playing catch-up.
Sidebar: It's no small coincidence that both Sanders and Obama are products of the "Chicago Marxist Mafia," both having their radical roots in the Windy City's leftist movements, and neither having ever created a private sector job. It's no small irony that, while they lament "the rich" living off the labors of the poor, both Sanders and Obama have spent the vast majority of their adult lives living off the labors of taxpayers.
While there remains a stark contrast between "liberal" and "conservative," the gap between the "New Democratic Party" of Obama and Sanders' socialist platform has narrowed to the point that only the labels are different.
In January, Leftmedia talkinghead Chris Matthews asked Clinton to distinguish between "Democrat" and "Socialist." But she couldn't articulate the distinction, opting instead to respond, "I'm a progressive Democrat." Notably, Matthews had earlier asked the same question of Democrat National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who likewise was unable to make the distinction.
"I used to think there was a big difference," Matthews lamented.
Clinton assumed her "progressive Democrat" label would distinguish her from Sanders' "Socialist" label, and that he would be marginalized as such. The truth, however, is that the distinction between "progressive Democrat" and "Socialist" is now largely in name only — a distinction without a difference.
The same can be said of Clinton and Sanders, with the exception being that Sanders has the integrity to call himself what he is — a Socialist. Sanders is abundantly clear about the enemy of "equality," insisting that we must "take on and defeat a ruling class whose greed is destroying our nation." If by "ruling class" he means the socialist administration controlling the executive branch, and the many statists in the legislative and judicial branches who support similar views, then yes.
Of course, what Sanders really means by "ruling class" are the free-market wizards behind the curtain, who endlessly endeavor to subvert what he would argue is a moral imperative to establish "economic equality." Can you feel the bull, I mean, "Feel the Bern"?
This is a page right out of BO's "ruling class" playbook, except Obama is perfectly content to hobnob with the rich and famous on his taxpayer-funded all-expense-paid vacations at the most lavish resorts on the planet.
Endeavoring to promote their egalitarian goals, Clinton and Sanders are in a race "to see who can spend and borrow the most taxpayer money," as economist Stephen Moore notes. "These days that's how you win the Democratic nomination for president."
In fact, that's been the way Democrats have done it for almost a century — it's the "FDR model" for buying presidential victories. And Sanders has pulled out in front of Clinton with his promised tax increases of $20 trillion. However, Clinton will most assuredly announce new measures to out-tax and out-spend Sanders.
On the campaign trail, Sanders boldly invokes Franklin Roosevelt's statist vision for America, noting that he "redefined the relationship of the federal government to the people of our nation" and "restored their faith in government." Actually, what FDR did was promote a populist wealth-redistribution Ponzi scheme based on this dubious classist assertion: "Here is my principle: Taxes shall be levied according to ability to pay. That is the only American principle." If that sounds vaguely and disturbingly familiar, it's because Roosevelt was merely paraphrasing Karl Marx, whose maxim declared, "From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs."
Unfortunately, neither Sanders' nor Clinton's legions of "useful idiots" have the ability to discern that this is another distinction without a difference. FDR's New Deal was the rawest of raw deals, and its stepchild, Lyndon Johnson's so-called "Great Society," is largely responsible for today's urban poverty plantations on which millions of Americans have been generationally enslaved.
Sanders recently lamented, "There is something profoundly wrong when ... the average American is working longer hours for lower wages and we have shamefully the highest rate of child poverty of any major country on earth." But why, then, is he advocating for more of the same?
While there is little difference between Clinton the "progressive Democrat" and Sanders the "Socialist," it is ominous that the same can be said about Socialism and Communism.
Russian-born philosopher Ayn Rand, who immigrated to the United States after the Bolshevik Revolution, is best know for her treatise against statism, "Atlas Shrugged." Rand observed, "There is no difference between communism and socialism, except in the means of achieving the same ultimate end: communism proposes to enslave men by force, socialism — by vote. It is merely the difference between murder and suicide. ... There is no difference between the principles, policies and practical results of socialism — and those of any historical or prehistorical tyranny. Socialism is merely democratic absolute monarchy — that is, a system of absolutism without a fixed head, open to seizure of power by all corners, by any ruthless climber, opportunist, adventurer, demagogue or thug."
It has been Obama's objective since 2009 to "fundamentally transform" the U.S. economy into a socialist state by breaking the back of free enterprise. He has succeeded in many respects, as demonstrated by the latest economic report. And his last tax-and-spend budget, which congressional Republicans will defeat, sets the bar for his socialist successor.
Sanders seems to be the poster child for the New Democrat Party. Most of his supporters can't even define socialism, and many of Clinton's constituents are proving to be equally dullard. Perhaps they should all start with a basic economics lesson on capitalism v socialism from Nobel Laureate economist Milton Friedman.
It has always been The Patriot Post's mission to ensure that a majority of grassroots Americans understand the primacy of economic freedom over statism in order that they reject socialism at every turn and instead endeavor to extend Liberty to the next generation.
Ronald Reagan once observed, "Socialists ignore the side of man that is of the spirit. They can provide shelter, fill your belly with bacon and beans, treat you when you are ill, all the things that are guaranteed to a prisoner or a slave. ... Throughout the developing world, people are rejecting socialism because they see that it doesn't empower people, it impoverishes them."
His contemporary, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, keenly observed, "Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people's money. ... Then they start to nationalize everything."
Most often, Socialists start by nationalizing health care — sound familiar?
The failure of misguided socialist welfare programs has been documented for centuries. In his famous 1766 letter to the London Chronicle, "Management of the Poor," Benjamin Franklin wrote: "I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer. … Repeal that [welfare] law, and you will soon see a change in their manners. St. Monday and St. Tuesday, will soon cease to be holidays. Six days shalt thou labor, though one of the old commandments long treated as out of date, will again be looked upon as a respectable precept; industry will increase, and with it plenty among the lower people; their circumstances will mend, and more will be done for their happiness by inuring them to provide for themselves, than could be done by dividing all your estates among them."
Mark Alexander is the executive editor of the Patriot Post.