Bob Ehrlich: America Will Never Become a Socialist Nation


Every week I think, “This is it, there is no way they will go further down that road.” And then they do. And I think the same thought all over again. What is that old definition of insanity?

“They” of course are the progressives running for president. Their goal is likely unreachable (more on that below) but fascinating to study:  demonize anything and everything Donald J. Trump in order to (1.) remove or defeat him; and (2.) jumpstart a wholesale transformation of America.

If you think the characterization unfair, check out the recent quote from Saikat Chakrabarti, former chief of staff to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: “The interesting thing about the Green New Deal is it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all … Do you guys think of it as a climate thing? … Because we really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy-thing.”

I believe him.

Indeed, it is difficult to imagine otherwise as the progressive intelligentsia (coastal elites, Hollywood, college professors and administrators, the mainstream media) follow Captain James T. Kirk’s admonition to “explore strange new worlds … to boldly go where no man has gone before.”

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Come to think of it, some men (and women) have experienced that world — socialist-inspired body counts in the hundreds of millions speak to it.

Still, today’s iteration of American socialists promises a better path — you know, a more benign flavor — like Sweden.

And so, in the lead-up to the 2020 election, escalation is the name of the game — and it appears that no democratic-capitalist value is safe.

To wit:

Do you think America will hold out against socialism?
  • Health care: Why not tax the 1 percent to fund an American version of single-payer, otherwise known as “Medicare for all”? (Estimated cost: $32 trillion over 10 years)
  • Climate change: Why not eliminate fossil fuels (and cows and airplanes) and replace them with a “Green New Deal”? (Estimated cost: $51 – 93 trillion over the next ten years = $600,000 per household)
  • Homelessness? Why not tax the 1 percent to finance a national rent cap? (Estimated cost: I will not hazard a guess; basic economics teaches that such a policy would crumble America’s inner cities)
  • High tuition costs? Why not tax the 1 percent to finance “college for all”? (Estimated cost: $470 billion over 10 years including, of course, those who will not go to college)

But these are merely the big-ticket items being proffered to the American people. A closer look at the “down-ballot” initiatives offered by the leading Democratic contenders includes major tax hikes, some type of national firearms registration, deconstruction of our southern border wall, a narrowing of religious liberties — and perhaps most important of all — the gradual denigration of free speech to which we are well on our way.

With respect to this last item, perhaps you missed the latest missive from the “New York Commission on Human Rights” whereby this branch of the thought police announced that public utterance of the phrase “illegal alien” could result in a fine of up to $250,000. That is no typo. The assault on the English language proceeds apace.

Make no mistake, the activist left has figured out it is far easier to control speech (in order to control thought) than to win competitive elections.

Now that I have wrecked your day, let me bring you back to a better place. Little if any of the foregoing will occur — with the possible exception of additional speech obstacles (the bad guys have made too much progress on campus for a return to normalcy anytime soon).

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Accordingly, you can make book that ten years from now, cows will still roam the countryside. Fuel efficient jets will still take to the skies. American health care will still be the best in the world. American farmers will still feed the world. American manufacturing will still be wildly innovative — and more environmentally friendly than ever.

And American capitalism will still stand — despite the best efforts of the above-cited elitists to the contrary.

How do I (we) know this? Because widespread demonstrations in Hong Kong continue, against all odds. Because Venezuelans continue to escape socialism’s death grip. Because North Korea still has a GDP the size of a couple of Vermont counties. Because Brazil is turning to market capitalism after horrific decades of state control. Because “superpower” Russia has a third world economy.

But most of all, because the average American will not happily or easily give up his or her freedoms. There are just too many people in flyover America who will not indulge such encroachment. And no amount of pie-in-the-sky faux aspirational nonsense from the alphabet soup cable news networks will change it.

America’s deplorables will simply say, “No.”

You can take it to the bank.

Feel better now?

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Robert Ehrlich is a former governor of Maryland as well as a former U.S. congressman and state legislator. He is the author of “Bet You Didn’t See That One Coming: Obama, Trump, and the End of Washington’s Regular Order,” in addition to “Turn This Car Around,” “America: Hope for Change" and “Turning Point.” Ehrlich is currently a counsel at the firm of King & Spalding in Washington, D.C.