I enjoy talking about politics with folks, regardless of their party affiliation or political views. I enjoy learning from other people’s perspectives on a multitude of issues, and I truly love when people drop their defensive political correct barriers and tell me how they really feel about an event or candidate. So, what has been the topic of conversation in coffee houses and street corners that I find myself engaged in lately? You bet. Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont running for the highest office in the land. When Senator Sanders first committed to a presidential run, the headlines ensued just like they did seven years ago; no one will beat out Hillary Clinton. Seven years ago it was Hillary’s turn to run for president. She had put in the time, and her crowning was imminent. Then, out of the blue, Barack Obama swiped the crown from her head as he won the Democratic nomination and of course continued on to the White House. History repeats itself. Once again we are told that Hillary Clinton will be the nominee, and once again rumblings from the underworld are surfacing quickly that may end her dream once again. I don’t hear folks, especially younger people, talking about Hillary Clinton. Not at all. Every democrat and left leaning independent I talk to is “feeling the Bern.”
I like Bernie Sanders. As a human being. In a country run by corrupt politicians in allegiance with corrupt business giants, I find his genuine, everyday approach to be a bit refreshing. I think deep down inside Senator Sanders does care for his fellow citizens and wants to strive to make not only America, but the world a better place for everyone to live; at least in his mind. People simply do not trust Hillary Clinton. They don’t. Senator Sanders is a change of pace candidate who, although exceptionally short on campaign funds, might be able to muster up enough support from the younger generation to make Hillary Clinton sweat a little bit. Now, Bernie Sanders might be a “man of the people” and have excellent ratability ratings, but once we start to dig down into his ideology and voting record, we start to see a pattern of socialism. Not a form of socialism. Socialism.
I can understand why socialism sounds so good to so many people. In fact, many of Bernie’s supporters talk about how wonderful this country could be with a little “common sense” socialism. But socialism, my friends, is not what made this country great. Now, Bernie supporters will tell you that America became great because “we” stole land and resources that didn’t belong to us and that a handful of people became extremely wealthy on the backs of the poor and needy. In fact, that is one of the arguments made today. However, you rarely hear his supporters be thankful for the rights granted to Americans that gave them the freedom to use creativity and ingenuity to build and invent a country that led the world in a multitude of areas. A transition to socialism would not only further limit these freedoms, but might eventually move many of them into the realm of extinction.
Socialism is a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Basically, profits and resources should be distributed evenly among all citizens, including universal healthcare and education for anyone who wants it. Free healthcare. Free education. Why would anyone not want that? Well, I will do my best to tell you why.
First of all, nothing in this world is ever free. Someone is paying for it. If Bernie Sanders is elected as the next president, your taxes will go up. There is no denying that, and his supporters seem to be, well, supportive of this since “we” will receive so many wonderful things from those taxes: free healthcare, education, better roads, bigger schools, etc. But here’s the catch. What if someone doesn’t want to go to school? Give me a break! Everyone wants a free education! And what are young folks doing with these degrees from these wonderful colleges that hopefully will be free in the future? In a lot of cases, not that much. An argument presented to me by a Bernie supporter recently opened my eyes a little bit. The young lady believed that since more people will have degrees, then more people will have better jobs. Wow! Why didn’t I think of it that way? Probably because the majority of degree holders I know are working at restaurants currently. Also, where will all the new jobs come from for these young dreamers to work at? Who do you think will be paying for all of these wonderful socialist programs? That’s right. Anyone who makes $250,000 or more annually; the people that actually create the jobs. So, once the “wealthy” take on this new burden, where do you think their first cut is going to be? It will be labor. Always is. This is why most socialist countries have immense employment numbers within the public sector. That will be the new American dream; to get a free education paid for by someone else so that you can work in a sub-par dead end government job for the rest of your life. If you get ill, you can wait in a line equivalent to the length and efficiency of a line at the DMV to see a doctor. Not your doctor. A doctor. Sound extreme? That socialism.
The biggest problem with Bernie’s agenda is that it takes the wind out of the sails of risk taking, determination, and ambition. Personally, I am a little tired of folks linking ambition to greed. Unfortunately, most of the folks making that comparison are quite happy with a mediocre life. I am not, and I imagine most of you are not either. What reason would a person have to be motivated to create goals and follow through on them if the end result is literally the same for everyone? Why would anyone take a major risk to make a lot of money if they are just going to lose 50% of it to pay living expenses for people content at “just getting by?” I don’t see why many Americans would strive to better themselves or better their living standard when, in all reality, something better wouldn’t even exist anymore. You see, socialism puts all of the power into the hands of a centralized government and a handful of elites. If you think there is economic disparity now, just wait until you put Senator Sanders in office. The 1% will not go anywhere. In fact, they may become even wealthier. Look at socialism across the globe. It works great if you’re on top. And the rest of us? Stuck at the bottom. All of us. There is no middle class in socialism. It does not exist.
One of the greatest problems our country faces right now is immense debt. Over the past two decades we have watched our politicians waste our money and borrow more money to the point of absurdity. Will all of the new tax dollars accrued from the wealthy support the cost of Bernie’s agenda? Of course not. Higher taxes will trickle down to everyone and our debt will continue to rise on top of that. The Wall Street Journal estimates that Bernie’s new government programs will cost approximately $18 trillion over the next ten years. That is correct. That is where our current debt sits at. $15 trillion dollars of that would be spent on a universal healthcare system, tens of billions on infrastructure (again), and of course billions going to a Social Security expansion and free tuition at public schools. Spend, spend, and spend. You will be working very hard to give your money to a centralized government in hopes that they are able to provide you with the promised services in a professional, timely manner. The federal government is not blessed with an overabundance of common sense or brain power; I would not hold my breath. Also, remember, that Sanders would have to be accompanied by a shift in the Senate back to a Democrat majority (many who find his agenda too extreme) and an absolute takeover in the House of Representatives for his plans to see the light of day. I cannot support Bernie Sanders for the mere fact that his agenda will spend too much money and will continue to limit choices and freedoms for hard working Americans. Doesn’t sound like a man of the people to me.
One quick side note on Senator Sanders. Yesterday the Senate voted down a GOP bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, saving an estimated 18,000 children annually from death. With technological advancements in today’s society, a child at 20 weeks can live outside the womb. That obviously doesn’t mean anything to Bernie Sanders, the Democrat party, or the two cowardly Republicans that voted against the ban yesterday. At some point you have to ask yourself where someone’s priorities are. I do not believe Bernie has an appropriate list of priorities for himself or for this country. I believe he lacks the leadership and conscience and respect for all life to serve as our commander-in-chief, and I would vote for the Trump circus act before I would even consider a vote for Sanders and socialism. Yes. Trump. That’s how bad Sanders would be for this great country.
Look, I respect Sanders for being exactly who he is. He does not apologize for his beliefs, regardless of who disagrees with him. And that is fine. I really don’t have a problem with Bernie Sanders. What concerns me the most is the amount of younger people in their 20s and 30s who firmly believe that Bernie’s agenda is an acceptable way of life for Americans. I cannot help but think about the thousands of men and women who have sacrificed and died in our nation’s military to ensure our freedoms stay intact, and I am shocked at how many people are so willingly ready to dismiss those actions in order to allow a centralized government to control the majority of our lives.
I want a system that allows me to keep as much of my own money as possible. Period. I do not want to live in a boring, darkening funnel where we all fund each other’s aspirations, because unfortunately many of us do not have any aspirations to speak of. Socialism is the baseball league where everyone gets a trophy and learns nothing about the realities and unfairness of the real world. I encourage you to research Senator Sanders further before you give him your undying support, and I want you to think about what kind of life you want to lead for yourself, your family, and for God. I choose the side of freedom, choice, and individual responsibility. If you support Sanders, you are choosing to limit those options immensely. We, as a nation, need to reach into our gut more than ever and join forces realizing that the more power that we the people have, the better our lives will be and the better our country can serve other nations as well. We cannot continue to burden ourselves with a strangling debt, and we cannot allow socialism to infiltrate the greatest bastion of freedom the world has ever known. Senator Sanders will not receive any consideration from me for a presidential nod if he is indeed the nominee. Regulation from government agencies, especially the EPA, will reach an all time high as Sanders offers us the largest expansion of government in modern history. Is Sanders truly a genuine man of the people? Or is he possibly a power hungry socialist that believes we cannot control our own lives? Think about it. Research it. Make your own choice. I hope you choose individual freedom. Otherwise, those that “feel the Bern” now will definitely “feel the burn” later.