The following is a disclaimer—I’m not trying to start a fight. Nevertheless, I do have an important observation to make and I’ll preface that by saying this: I believe this country will return to normal by the fall. I believe schools will re-open, stadiums will be packed, and stores of every make and model will return to business as usual. I even believe the Dow index on the stock market will, once again, reach the near-30k mark. There. However, here’s what I believe as well:
If this little pandemic crisis has taught us anything, it’s the difference in lifestyle between a democracy and a socialist/communist regime.
An Objective Perspective
Am I trying to start trouble? No. The trouble’s already begun. However, it didn’t begin with this pandemic. Rather, it began at some nebulous point in time when some citizens of the United States began to think that “democratic socialism” is even a thing and/or that “socialism” is a better way of life than a democratic republic.
To believe that is to demonstrate a lack of understanding regarding the meaning of either one of those terms. And here’s how I know… “democratic socialism” is an oxymoron. The two concepts are diametrically opposed to one another. In other words, the terms are polar opposites—it’s very much like saying that a person is an “honest liar”.
As a teacher trying to help students to comprehend the meaning of The U.S. Constitution and the archaic language of The Bill of Rights, I have to say—what I’m seeing today is eerily similar to what our forefathers so fervently tried to avoid in penning those documents. I find that what we’re experiencing right now—the government-mandated lockdown of our nation with all of its restrictions and prohibitions of our rights and freedoms—is a very explicit picture of what it would be like to live under an authoritarian government.
Free Stuff vs. Freedom
Have we received any “free money” lately? Yes. Just this week, a very heartwarming $1200 per adult has magically appeared in bank accounts from sea to shining sea. The problem is, I’m not hearing the Halleluiah Chorus ringing across the fruited plain. On the contrary, I’m hearing protests rage from one end of the web to the other in articles, posts, livestreams, and podcasts as people demand to get back to work.
With socialism, that’s not supposed to happen. Government-provided free money, loans and guarantees of future freebies are supposed to compensate for the trade-off: Our freedoms to roam wherever we’d like, to worship as we please, and to “pursue happiness” (short of a felony) are all forfeited for “free stuff”. However, I can’t quite comprehend why people aren’t excited about that—especially those who would vote for “democratic socialism” given the chance. Granted, many of those are young people who perhaps don’t fully comprehend the (vast) differences between democracy and socialism, but then again, that’s why we try to teach it. However, somehow the lesson isn’t translating…
So… maybe this is the lesson—this real-life, can’t-escape-it, nightmare experiment in socialistic communism where the government behaves much like a parent: “I provide for you, so I tell you what to do and you do it.” Period. Or, to put it another way—“I pay the bills, I make the rules.”
Here’s the bottom line: It’s an either-or. Either we earn our own living and therefore get to protect and enjoy our freedoms OR we let the government pay for everything and our freedoms are eroded and destroyed.
There is no scenario in which the government pays for everything and our freedoms are protected. The very act of becoming dependent means we must forfeit our independence in order to be provided for.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is that.
For those of us who get it, who can see that what we’re living now is a delectable little taste of future socialistic recipes to come, it’s time to point out the obvious: We’re living the socialistic dream.
The question is—do we want to wake up?