This past Friday evening, I learned something new: that regular, average, everyday American citizens admit to being socialists as if it’s simply another political party.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I know that the U.S. has its socialists. And I can name off several prominent people – starting with our current President – who are socialists, even though they won’t come right out and admit it to most people.
I can also name a few of my friends who are socialists, though they may not realize it. But I never realized that I purposely associate with people who are willing to declare such leanings in mixed political company with total innocence.
In my friend’s defense, that same evening – amid group chitchat, sharing and puzzling – she discovered my collection of conservative paraphernalia, ranging from multiple Bernard Goldberg books to the amusing guide: “How to Win a Fight against a Liberal” to “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam.”
Reading further through the titles, I heard her exclaim in a mixture of mock and genuine horror, “You have Glenn Beck!”
It was highly amusing, in large part because – despite our very obvious differences – we both genuinely care about each other and know how to have a civil disagreement. All the same, I can’t say that it doesn’t sadden me to see somebody – especially somebody I care about – subscribe to such dangerous doctrines… doctrines that have never worked out well in the long term before… not in China, not in Russia, not in Nazi Germany.
Heck, the first pilgrims to the New World tried socialism on for size, and it produced nothing but stride and failure even in such a small community. So why are we flirting with this economic, moral and morale rapist now?
Maybe it’s because that’s what we are taught K-12, and college through our doctorates. Maybe it’s because it appeals to our less impressive human tendencies, like selfishness and greed. Or maybe – as in my friend’s case – we accept it out of compassion or guilt.
Unfortunately though, in the end it really doesn’t matter how or why we decide that socialism is worth pursuing. The end result is the same, as history all but proves: America and Americans lose.