Montana Republican Sen. Steve Daines’ new resolution – S. Res. 289, “expressing the sense of the Senate that socialism poses a significant threat to freedom, liberty, and economic prosperity” – takes three pages of text to say what can essentially be said in four words: “Stop socialism. Choose freedom.”
Don’t get me wrong – Daines (pictured) is to be commended for pushing his resolution. It has gotten so bad recently that it seems necessary to put the United States Senate on record declaring that “Marxism and socialism are failed ideologies” that “pose a significant threat to the freedom, liberty, and economic prosperity of all countries and peoples around the world”; and that, because such a belief system “inevitably ends in misery and suffering … the United States should never be a socialist country.”
It would be helpful, certainly, to have each of our 100 senators cast a vote on Daines’ measure, to declare publicly whether they agree with that sentiment. Let each of us see who believes socialism is a threat to liberty, and who does not. While we’re at it, I’d love to see the House vote on the same measure, too, so the American electorate can have more information at hand next year when making their choices in the voting booth.
And just why, exactly, does Daines feel a need to have the Senate affirm what every well-read American already knows? Because, apparently, there are a lot fewer well-read Americans than we once thought, and the mainstream news media would like us to believe they’re banding together to demand silly (and expensive, and freedom-robbing) things like the Green New Deal, “Medicare for All,” cancellation of student loan debt, free college for all, decriminalization of illegal border-crossing, and various and sundry other items from a laundry list of left-wing policy proposals – in other words, the 2020 Democrat agenda.
Reading the text of the Daines resolution, I find myself subconsciously nodding along. Yes, of course, history has demonstrated time and again that Marxism and socialism have failed everywhere they’ve been implemented; yes, of course, socialism poses a significant threat to freedom, liberty, and economic prosperity; yes, of course, socialism inevitably leads to misery and suffering; yes, of course, the United States should never be a socialist country.
That anyone would, or could, oppose such common-sense thinking in 2019 is remarkable. Didn’t the world spend the bulk of the 20th century learning, at the cost of tens of millions of lives, that Marxism and socialism don’t work? Didn’t we see the examples of the Soviet Union, and Cambodia, and Cuba, and Nicaragua, and a dozen other Third World nations?
Years ago, Bill Bennett explained what he called the “open gates” test. What would happen, he asked, if you lifted all border controls, all over the world, and let every person on the planet move to wherever he or she wanted to live? What countries would people leave, and what countries would they go to? The answer was obvious – by and large, they’d leave the socialist countries and head to capitalist Western Europe and the United States.
The truth of the Bennett “open gates” test is so obvious that if I did not know better, I would think the Daines resolution is irrelevant and unnecessary. Yet, according to the polling industry’s best practitioners, too many of our fellow citizens out there – tens of millions, in fact – seem to have been seduced by the siren call of socialism.
In a new Fox News poll, for instance, more than half the Democrat primary voters surveyed – 54%, to be exact – say that the U.S. moving away from capitalism and more toward socialism would be a “good thing,” while just 33% of Democrat primary voters say it would be a “bad thing.”
A May Gallup poll showed that 43% of Americans believe “some form of socialism would be a good thing for the country as a whole.” And an August 2018 Gallup survey revealed that Democratic survey-responders had a more positive view of socialism than they did of capitalism.
Let’s call this what it is – a knowledge problem. Far too many of our fellow citizens simply do not have the proper knowledge of world events to know what history has demonstrated conclusively: that socialism is a failed system leading to the loss of liberty and the imposition of misery. Given that multiple generations of our citizenry have now been taught by leftist instructors and influenced by left-wing media and culture, this shouldn’t be surprising.
Fixing a problem first requires acknowledging that the problem exists. Before we can go about fixing this particular knowledge problem, we need to know who among our leaders are problems themselves. In the Senate, that requires a vote on the Daines resolution.