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Democrat Party socialists are a threat to freedom

By Rep. Mark Green
web posted April 22, 2019

On a December night in 2003, as the emergency medicine physician assigned to an elite special operations team, I had the unique opportunity to interview Saddam Hussein on the night of his capture.

Over the course of almost six hours with the reviled dictator, I was reminded of Lord Acton's old adage, "Absolute power corrupts absolutely." It's hard to imagine what has to happen in a man's heart to blacken it to the extent of Saddam Hussein's. However, a clear contributor was the lack of accountability, or as our Founders put it, checks and balances. Without that system, freedom was only a dream in Saddam's Iraq.

The idea that is America centers on that word: freedom. Our Founding Fathers understood that with freedom, citizens are released to innovate, create, and expand prosperity greater than any other form of government. Influenced by the French philosopher Montesquieu, our Founders built a government where power was dispersed as much as humanly possible — a government where one person could operate independently of the other.

Thus, we have three equal but separate branches of government. Perhaps more importantly, we have some power enumerated in the Constitution set aside for a federal government, with the remaining powers divested to the states. With the freedom that resulted from this arrangement, Americans have created a prosperity unprecedented in human history.

Today, however, that freedom — and the system that ensures it — is under massive attack. Socialism is a system of government where power shifts from the people to a monolithic, centralized bureaucracy that promises to take care of its citizens equally. It is a system that ignores the diversity of the population and administers blanket, one-size-fits-all solutions to every problem in life.

Rather than self-organizing, socialism offers a direct and complete relationship between the individual and the federal government. And more consequentially, it concentrates power in the hands of a few elites.

Leftists are openly supporting socialism. With their "Medicare for All" plan, the federal government takes control of all health care away from the states. Power is concentrated, and freedom in the health care markets and freedom of choice are lost. The proposed Green New Deal seizes control of state and local government housing and building codes, and worse, a version of the plan even pays people unwilling to work a salary, gives them a home, free health care, and education.

Perhaps, in the future, your freedom to take a vacation will be lost to a tax that allows someone else to sit at home. The vacation you worked hard for has to wait. Socialism is freedom lost.

In what she hopes will be her crowning achievement, Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi introduced House Resolution 1 on the day the 116th Congress gaveled into session.

Usually the majority party makes whatever bill they introduce as HR-1 their priority initiative. The Democrats HR-1 legislation for the 116th Congress, is an exceptionally dangerous measure to seize control of state elections, telling states they essentially have to conduct their elections in the same fraudulent manner as California. So much for federalism, as states lose the freedom to run their own elections.

Some might argue that as power is shifted to Washington and further concentrated there, benevolent leaders will provide better care for the American people. Assuming for the moment that our current leaders truly are benevolent, history has shown us repeatedly that without the dispersed power outlined above, tyranny is the eventual and inevitable result. And the road that tyranny leads down is dire.

We needn't look far for a modern-day example of such tyranny. To our south, in the once-prosperous oil-rich country of Venezuela, we just saw its president block relief supplies from entering the country while protesters were shot.

Concentrating power into fewer and fewer hands leads to tyranny. And absolute power corrupts absolutely.

As it concentrates power into the hands of fewer and fewer people, it's time we see socialism for what it is: a threat to the founding principles of this nation, a threat to freedom. ESR

Rep. Mark Green is the U.S. representative from Tennessee's 7th congressional district and was a former Army special operations flight surgeon. A version of this op/ed also appeared in The Tennessean

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