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All I really need to know about socialism I learned from the Democrat debate.
No diversity, no original thought, just more handouts.
1. It doesn't matter how much money we spend!
One of the hallmarks of this election cycle is that the Democrats are (in their own subtle way) finally admitting to their own extremism. While they have spent years pointing fingers at Republicans, shouting that any right-of-center moderate is a racist, bigoted, homophobic, xenophobic terrorist just because they suggest that the government maybe should consider spending a tiny bit less money, the Democrats are going full-blown socialist this time around.
The two front-runners are Bernie Sanders, an unapologetic socialist, and Hillary Clinton, who is just as much a socialist as Sanders, but chooses to call herself a "progressive," due to the well-deserved stigma surrounding socialism.
Much of the debate ended up being a contest to see who could pledge to hand out the most freebies:
- Free immigration! No more borders, just come on in!
- Free health care! Especially for all of those illegal immigrants flooding across the border we just opened up!
- In-State Tuition for illegal immigrants! Because everyone knows that sneaking across international borders in the dead of night is just like being the citizen of a state!
- Free college! Because we've watered down our education system to the point where even a 4-year degree is practically meaningless, so why not hand them out to whomever wants one?
There were more, of course, but is it really worth dragging you through the entire list? By the end of the debate, I was a little surprised that we weren't witnessing a slug-fest between the Free Puppies and Free Kittens platforms.
2. The Evil Rich have all the money we will ever need!
Of course, one topic that was noticeably absent from the debate was our national debt. The U.S. government has been breaking records when it comes to tax revenue collected over the last several years, yet no matter how much money they bring in, the government still manages to spend more than it takes in - and then the Democrats insist that the problem is that we aren't taxing people enough!
A simple look at the evidence makes it quite clear that the U.S. Government is carried by the wealthiest Americans already, yet these Democrat candidates seem to think that "the rich" are a bottomless pit of money that we can just keep right on draining, and it will never, ever run out. In fact, it seems that Democrats think that somewhere between 2/3 and 9/4 (using Common Core math) of all of our nation's ills can be solved just by levying more taxes on the rich - completely ignoring the fact that they could use the tax code to confiscate every nickel made in the private sector, and still not have enough to fund their socialist pipe-dreams.
America weathered the dot-com bubble. We made it through the economic slump that followed 9/11. We've been limping along since the housing bubble, but in the process, we are setting up a much bigger, much worse bubble.
You see, we "recovered" from the housing bubble by lowering interest rates to near non-existent levels, and printing more and more and more and more money. We have repeated the cycle several times (officially, we're on QE 3 or 4, but in reality, who knows - it's probably more like QE 27), to the point where today, the American economy is dependent on these ridiculously low interest rates and currency inflation to perpetuate the illusion that everything is going well.
This is how Hillary gets away with repeating her lie that "the economy does better when you have a Democrat in the White House." Democrats are great at creating an illusion of recovery; when it comes to real economic recovery, they are massive failures. The Obama administration has propped up our economy by creating a currency bubble, and it's only a matter of time before that bubble pops - and when it does, America is in for a world of hurt, no matter who is in the White House when it happens.
But none of the Democrat candidates seem to give a damn about our nation's fiscal future. As long as they can continue their vote-buying scheme, promising all kinds of free stuff to everyone in exchange for growing their political power, they're happy.
3. Democrat scandals don't matter!
Let's face it: we all already knew this...but one of the most notable quotes of the night came from Bernie Sanders, to Hillary Clinton: "The American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails!"
Because, you know, little things like mishandling classified information, running a pay-for-play scheme disguised as a "charity," and destroying evidence are totally okay, as long the perpetrator is a Democrat.
When it was discovered that General David Petraeus had mishandled classified information, he was threatened with jail time - and what he did was much less serious than what we already know Hillary has done. What Sanders should have said was, "The American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails...where is the indictment?"
It is important to note that while Hillary is playing the innocent victim of those mean Republicans, she has lied to America each and every step of the way since the existence of her private email server was uncovered. In fact, it's gotten to the point where it's difficult to tell whether she has uttered any truth at all during the course of this scandal. We know that Hillary was sending & receiving classified information from her unsecure server. We know that the data on that server was erased in an attempt to avoid prosecution. We know that the server was hacked (likely multiple times!). But because she is a Democrat and their presumptive presidential nominee, other Democrats will give her a pass time and time again - even a competing presidential candidate.
Maybe Congress should just impeach her now, and get it over with...
4. We know who the real enemy is.
The last question of the debate was, by far, the most awkward: "You've all made a few people upset over your political careers. Which enemy are you most proud of?"
Mark O'Malley said that he is most proud of his enmity with the National Rifle Association (this came after all of the candidates, with the exception of Jim Webb, were very vocal about how they want to infringe on Americans' Second Amendment rights). Since the debate, Hillary Clinton has come out in favor of an Australia-style gun ban - or, as they called it in Australia, a "mandatory buy-back." What this means in practical terms for America's law-abiding gun owners is that Hillary Clinton wants to take away our ability to protect our families and our property. If O'Malley is such an enemy of the NRA (of which I am a member, meaning that he declared that I, personally, am his enemy), it is reasonable to assume that he will attempt to implement a similar scheme.
So much for the old "no one wants to take your guns" meme.
But it was Hillary's own favorite enemy that should be causing the most concern:
Probably the Republicans.
In a political climate where it seems that everyone and their mother is decrying partisanship and the fact that no one in Washington will work together, the presumptive Democrat nominee declared that half of the country is not a political adversary, not a rival, but an enemy.
She wants to disarm us...her enemies. Fairly disturbing language from someone who wants to be the next President of the United States.
5. No diversity among Democrats.
It's fairly entertaining watching the party of "diversity" gather a group of older, white candidates together to debate, particularly when contrasted with an extremely diverse group of Republicans in this election cycle. But besides their extreme failure on racial diversity, the Democrats have no ideological diversity anymore.
Jim Webb was the only Democrat on the stage with an original idea - out of the Democrat field, he is the only candidate I would ever consider voting for. While O'Malley, Sanders, Clinton, and Chafee all toed the Democrat Party's socialist/communist line, bribing voters with handouts paid for with wealth confiscated from the "rich," Webb actually seemed like he was able to think for himself.
It was almost like Webb got lost on his way to GOP debate at the Reagan Library, wandered around in the desert for a couple of weeks, and ended up in Vegas on the wrong debate stage.
But the sad truth is that there is no place for someone like Jim Webb in today's Democrat Party. If you aren't willing to preach out-and-out socialism, decry the evils of capitalism (usually while profiting from it), and call for the curtailment of all American freedoms in the name of the common good, you just don't fit in the Democrat Party anymore. It's really no surprise that rumors are now circulating about Webb running as an independent.
All in all, the vision presented by the Democrat candidates was more of the same old crap that has gotten our nation into the mess that we're in today. There is no strong vision of leadership coming from the Left - only oppression of the productive, and handouts for the rest. They seek to continue - and grow - all of those aspects of our government that are setting our nation up for ruin. It's the same old ideas, from the same old people. Original thinkers need not apply.
Robert Cleveland, Senior Conservative Editor: Robert Cleveland is the IT Director for a document management services company. When he isn't working on computers and scanners, he's spending time with his wife and kids, or writing about just how jacked-up Washington politics is. He is a strong believer that hard work and freedom are what make America the greatest nation on the planet, and it is of the utmost importance that we never lose those values. Robert's other writing can be found at his blog, more...)