Socialism and a Tale of Two Countries – What Will We Do?

Robert W. Peck

In his 2019 State of the Union Address, President Donald Trump said, “America was founded on liberty and independence – not government coercion, domination, and control. We are born free, and we will stay free… America will never be a socialist country.” Republicans in the chamber cheered the remarks and the political right lauded the President for weeks after as the confirmed, and now certified, champion of conservative values they had already told us he was. Around that same time, Americans were being shown pictures of empty store shelves in Venezuela and told it was the result of socialism. Threats of possible military intervention were being made as a means by which the U.S. might rescue the people of Venezuela from the horrors of socialism and the deprivation resulting from its draconian, totalitarian, central control. One year later, America is quarantining its citizens, restricting business activities, closing churches, and engaging in multi-trillion dollar crony capitalist bailouts and socialistic giveaways. Between panic purchasing, government lockdowns, and closure of so-called “non-essential” businesses, our store shelves are growing as empty as those of Venezuela. Americans are now learning first hand the painful effects of socialistic, dictatorial control of business, industry, healthcare and the economy under a government big enough to protect us from anything, big enough to give us everything, and big enough to take our liberty and our livelihood. Will we excuse the current exercise of totalitarian power and implementation of socialistic policies as now being necessary and justified in America? Will we admit that the President lied to us in his 2019 address? Will we apologize to Venezuela for the pot having called the kettle black? Will we comfort ourselves with the notion that since we have not yet reached the depths of Venezuela’s deprivation, it’s okay to continue down the path of socialistic policies, big-government control, and deficit spending destined to ultimately bring us to the same end? Will we reject the socialism that has long been entrenched in both major parties and which grows more pervasive with each passing election cycle no matter which party wins? Will we assure ourselves that once the present distress has passed, the government will give us our freedom back, though freedoms once forfeited are rarely fully restored and our acceptance of the current usurpation of power has set the precedent that government can take anything it wants, any time it wants, so long is it declares an emergency and we’re scared enough? Will we fiddle while America’s liberties burn in the flames of socialism, then blame the other party for lighting the match? Will we learn a hard lesson fast, quit making excuses for the favored party, take responsibility for decades of compromise, and demand our God-given, Constitutionally protected liberty back? The answer is up to you.”>

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The Ten Cannots

1. You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
2. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
3. You cannot help small men up by tearing big men down.
4. You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
5. You cannot lift the wage-earner up by pulling the wage-payer down.
6. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
7. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
8. You cannot establish sound social security on borrowed money.
9. You cannot build character and courage by taking away a man’s initiative and independence.
10. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.
Written by: The Rev. William J. H. Boetcker, a Presbyterian clergyman and pamphlet writer in 1916.

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