The socialism deniers and the "Better Deal"
By Mark Alexander
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), still reeling from the electoral thrashing put on them by Donald Trump and the Republicans last November, announced a major charade last week. Their Democrat Party is, once again, attempting to reboot and rebrand itself into something it's not.
The party is adopting a new slogan for its policy props, "A Better Deal." Yes, it's a cheap knock-off of Franklin Roosevelt's 1933 "New Deal" slogan and is an updated do-over of FDR's failed socialist policies while cloaking them in the language of Donald Trump's middle class appeal.
Barack Obama used FDR's model to buy two presidential elections, so why not try it again? So what if the Democrats' last grand national experiment with centralized statist policies, the so-called "Great Society," was also an abysmal failure. All that's important to Pelosi, Schumer and the rest of their party is a return to power. And if they can fool enough people at the ballot box with false promises based on economic centralization and wealth redistribution, they'll accomplish their mission.
Of course, the best contemporary case study in the failure of Democrat regulatory schemes is the so-called "Affordable Care Act" — ObamaCare — or what's left of it today.
According to Schumer, "When you lose an election with someone who has 40% popularity, you look in the mirror and say, 'What did we do wrong?' And the number one thing that we did wrong is ... we didn't tell people what we stood for. ... A bold, sharp-edged message, platform [and] policy that talks about working people and how the system is rigged against them is going to resonate."
Actually, I'd argue that the number one thing the Democrats got wrong was Hillary Clinton. And I'd also argue that people knew exactly what her party stood for.
Schumer hopes the new message will "resonate" because it will include some proposals (plagiarized from language in Trump's playbook) "that are quite different than the Democratic Party you heard in the past [when] we were too namby-pamby." (I suspect the last Democrat leader to use the term "namby-pamby" was FDR.)
The full focus-grouped slogan is "A Better Deal: Better Jobs, Better Wages, Better Future," and it includes a list of 26 populist promises. However, no "Better Deal" list can be found on the Democrat Party website — because not all Democrats are on board.
"Talking about 26 separate issues before an election to an electorate is overwhelming," said Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA), vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus. "You have to punch through the clutter of what everyone else is saying."
Fact is, the new and improved "Better Deal" will prove to be nothing more than all the previous Democrat's socialist Raw Deals over the past century.
How do I know?
The first clue is that it's being promoted by Democrats. Dead giveaway.
But the second clue, the more substantive one, would be a century of failed socialism that has left hundreds of millions of victims in its worldwide wake of devastation and destruction.
On November 7th, Sen. Bernie Sanders and his socialist legions of misinformed millennial serfs across the nation, who were all sandbagged by the Democrat Party in 2016 to clear a path for Hillary Clinton, will be celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the Great Socialist Revolution of 1917.
That's the date when Vladimir Lenin's band of Bolsheviks overtook the Russian Provisional Government in Petrograd, which led to the establishment of the Soviet Union in 1922 and the vision for the spread of socialist communism worldwide. And indeed it did metastasize.
The USSR's horrific Marxist-Leninist-Stalinist state endured until the mid 1980s, when the last of its socialist dictators, Mikhail Gorbachev, implemented dramatic economic reforms through his free-enterprise glasnost and perestroika policies. It was an effort to avert a complete socialist meltdown.
Gorbachev attempted to head off the total collapse of the Soviet Union after Ronald Reagan helped him see the light. But it was too little, too late, and as President Reagan was leaving office in 1989, the Soviets' Eastern European satellite states were being overthrown by democracy movements. When Gorbachev resigned from what was left of the USSR in 1991, it reconstituted itself as the Russian Federation.
(Begin Sarcasm) Notably, the Federation is now headed by Donald Trump's best buddy and biggest campaign booster, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. According to socialist Democrats in our country, in collusion with their mainstream media propaganda machine, Putin managed to win the 2016 election for Trump. (End Sarcasm)
More than 25 years since the USSR's collapse, the Federation's economy is largely dependent on energy exports, antiquated industry and struggling service sectors. It will take many more years to build a healthy economy on the toxic trash heap of Soviet socialism.
For those of us who were on the ground in the former USSR, and then again after 1990 assisting early Federation reformers, the devastation of 70 years of socialism was and remains apparent in every corner of every quarter of the former Soviet states.
But the socialists now heading the Democrat Party here in the U.S. are either in complete denial about the consequences of the state-planned and regulated economy they seek to implement, or blinded by their own insatiable quest for power.
These party leaders, who label anyone questioning their socialist "climate change" agenda "science deniers," are themselves socialism deniers.
While Sovietologists and Sinologists can explain the historic consequences of socialism in Russia and China (and its puppet state, North Korea) in great detail, any amateur observer with an ounce of acumen can discern those consequences unfolding in real time in what was once the most prosperous nation on the South American continent, Venezuela.
Three short years ago, the Leftmedia proclaimed that Venezuela was socialist Hugo Chavez's "economic miracle."
Recall how Bernie Sanders proclaimed, "The American dream is more apt to be realized in ... Venezuela," adding, "Who's the banana republic now?"
Well, while I appreciate the fact that Bernie is the only Democrat honest enough to call himself a socialist, he is now eating heaping helpings of crow as more than 30 million Venezuelan men, women and children starve while "Feelin' the Bern" of the unfettered socialism he advocated.
I dare Bernie, or any of his mindless millennials who embrace the profoundly ignorant opinion that socialism works, to vacation in Venezuela's now-imploding capital of Caracas. (Travel tip: Bring your own toilet paper.) And while there, they might want to try the newest weight-loss fad, the Venezuelan diet! If they hurry, maybe they can get there by Sunday, in time for Chavez's socialist successor, Nicolas Maduro, to impanel his fake "constituent assembly" for rubber-stamping his socialist policy directives.
Ignorance is bliss — at least until you run out of toilet paper.
Make no mistake, Democratic Socialism, like Nationalist Socialism, is nothing more than Marxist Socialism repackaged. It seeks a centrally planned economy directed by a dominant-party state that controls economic production by way of taxation, regulation and income redistribution, and control of public opinion by way of its mainstream media propaganda machine. The rise of Democratic Socialism therefore depends upon supplanting Liberty — the rights "endowed by our Creator" — primarily by denying that such an endowment even exists.
After the defeat of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi (National Socialist German Workers' Party) regime, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill observed, "Socialism is the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance and the gospel of envy. Its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery."
Four decades later, as the USSR was on the verge of collapse, Ronald Reagan observed, "Throughout the developing world, people are rejecting socialism because they see that it doesn't empower people, it impoverishes them."
His contemporary, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, keenly summed up the problem with socialism: "Socialist governments ... always run out of other people's money."
(Footnote: On the subject of socialist problems, I invite you to listen to an interview with my friend, noted economist Thomas DiLorenzo, on his new book, "The Problem with Socialism.")
Mark Alexander is the executive editor of the Patriot Post.