The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism, but under the name of liberalism, they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program until one day, America will be a socialist nation without ever knowing how it happened." — Norman Thomas, American socialist
I’ve been thinking deeply about those famously prophetic words spoken by America’s premier socialist thinker and leader.
They didn’t resonate in the 1940s when Franklin Roosevelt, in the name of ending the Depression, exceeded all constitutional authority by approving new federal assistance programs.
They seemed a bit far-fetched to most of us in the 1960s when Lyndon Johnson vastly expanded the welfare state in his failed bid to end poverty in America.
They still didn’t connect in the 1970s when Richard Nixon, in a bid to ingratiate himself with Democrats in Congress and stave off an impeachment, greatly increased spending on wealth-redistribution schemes.
And by the 1980s, with Ronald Reagan in power, it seemed this 40-year trend finally had been reversed.
But with the initiatives being proposed by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in the 2008 presidential campaign, it appears Norman Thomas was right all along. Americans will, indeed, embrace every fragment of the socialist program in the name of liberalism.
Both of the leading Democrats call for nationalized health care — for a power grab by Washington in which the federal government will seize full control of another one-seventh of the U.S. economy. This would, of course, be the most dramatic and irreversible step toward U.S. socialism in the nation’s history.
Even today, however, the architects of these plans conceal from the public the centralized, command-and-control nature of the new system they devise. They are not asked by the press to show the American people even one successful program government has run. Yet the American people seem ready to put the lives of their children and grandchildren in the hands of Washington bureaucrats.
Now comes an even grander proposal by Barack Obama. It’s called the Global Poverty Act, and in the next decade, it would transfer at least $845 billion of U.S. taxpayers’ money overseas. Think of Johnson’s failed war on poverty going international — directed not by Americans but by the United Nations.
How we could even be debating ideas such as this in the 21st century, after all of the climactic failures of socialism around the world, is amazing to me. But we’re not really debating them. It seems we’re not even capable as a people of debating them, reasoning over them, using our brains to consider them. Americans may simply be too far gone spiritually, morally and intellectually to reject the temptations of socialism.
Socialism is antithetical to human nature, yet it has great appeal to the human mind. It’s one of the great lies of all time — similar to the one told by the deceiver in the Garden of Eden.
You can be like God! You can have it all right here on Earth. You can live in utopia, and you don’t have to obey the laws of the universe to achieve it. That’s the essence of socialism. And it finally is seducing America as it has seduced much of the rest of the world during the past century.
Unfortunately, Americans don’t even have a party representing clear, unequivocal opposition to socialism. The Republicans dare not even speak its name. John McCain admits publicly he doesn’t know much or care much about economics.
And so Americans don’t even have a reason or a mechanism to say no to the socialism that is coming to their country under the guise of liberalism — just the way Norman Thomas predicted it would come.