During the twentieth century, the Democratic Party became the premier vehicle of the socialist movement in America for promoting its socialist agenda. While maintaining an “arms length” association with established socialist political parties democrats have worked diligently to further the socialist agenda through legislative actions. To avoid the connection between Democratic Party policies and those of organized socialism in the public’s perception, left wing democrats choose to hide behind the labels of “liberal” and “progressive”.
One of the ironies of Democrat’s use of the label “progressive” is the fact that one of the best-known American progressives is the former Republican President and political Icon of John McCain, Theodore Roosevelt. After declining to run for a second term as President, Roosevelt became so disillusioned by his successor, William Howard Taft and his conservative policies that he challenged Taft for the Republican nomination in 1912. When Roosevelt lost the nomination, he pulled his delegates out of the convention and ran an independent campaign as a progressive in the general election. In doing so, he split the Republican ticket resulting in the election of the Democratic progressive candidate, Woodrow Wilson.
Fearing the socialists would undermine the war effort during World War 1, Wilson had a number of them arrested and prosecuted under the newly enacted Espionage Act. One of those jailed was Eugene Debs, five times candidate for President, four times as the candidate of the Socialist Party of America. After Deb’s death in 1926 many of his supporters drifted into the Democratic Party along with a remnant of Roosevelt’s progressive party, popularly known as the “Bull Moose Party”.
Socialist influence in the Democratic Party grew steadily during the Administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt. By the sixties, the Democratic Party had taken on many of the features of the Democratic Socialists of Western Europe. The three principles that unite the socialists of Europe and the socialists of America are, opposition to capitalism, opposition to the military, and social justice.
Opposition to Capitalism
The orthodox economic position of socialism is that the means of production should be democratically (state) owned. Capitalism is viewed as the repository of greed, oppressor of workers, instigator of war, and corrupter of government. A long-term objective of socialism is the nationalization of major segments of the American economy. Particularly targeted for government takeover are energy, health care, finance, durable goods manufacturing, agriculture, and transportation.
In order for government to take over these industries the American public must first be convinced that only government has the ability to manage effectively their operations for the good of all. This requires undermining the economy to the point enough citizens are willing to overlook violations of the Constitution in exchange for a promise of economic relief by the government. The legislative foundation has already been laid for the undermining of our economy in fairness in lending laws, environmental laws, restrictions on energy production, various labor laws, and a variety of bureaucratic actions in the fields of public health, education, land development and so on.
Tools and Tactics
Any number of single-issue activist groups has been working more or less in concert with socialist political action groups for years to set up the conditions for the dismantlement of capitalism with the blessings of the American public. They use legislative actions by congress and bureaucratic rules by the many departments of government to undermine legitimate economic activity in the areas most critical to the socialist objectives.
The instruments of tyranny in the socialist toolbox include children, women and minorities, wildlife, and the environment. The most destructive implement in the toolbox is perhaps the Endangered Species Act. The ESA has been used to stop energy production, commercial development, and restrict such normal economic activities as logging, fishing, building, and even agricultural projects.
Closely related to the Endangered Species Act are the regulations ostensibly meant to protect the air and water quality and to prevent or reverse “climate change“. These have been used to hobble energy production and drive up the price of gasoline, diesel fuel, electricity, food and almost every other item purchased by businesses and consumers, while at the same time expanding government control over the automotive industry, heavy manufacturing and many other vital elements of the economy.
Another primary target of the socialist movement is healthcare. Health care affects more than our physical wellbeing. It also makes up a major part of our economy and is scheduled to be among the first to be nationalized. Like all goods and services used by the public, it is sensitive to the market pressures of supply and demand. Using a concern for the physical wellbeing of children, women, the elderly and the poor as justification, the government has become the largest purchaser of healthcare in America. The added demand for healthcare caused by these purchases has been instrumental in driving up its price to the point where it is no longer affordable by the average citizen, making it a prime candidate for a takeover by government.
We have just witnessed a major incursion into the financial markets by the federal government in response to the increasing number of home mortgage foreclosures. There are many reasons for the increase in foreclosures, among them are the “fairness in lending” laws designed to make home ownership available to more of the working poor and minorities. Under pressure by government regulators to take on more “subprime loans”, lenders offered no-money-down and adjustable rate mortgages to otherwise unqualified borrowers with the predictable results.
The economic hardships brought about by government activity serve the purpose, whether intentional or not, of making the public more susceptible to allowing the government to take over an ever increasing part of their lifestyle. By using the propaganda power of the national media, socialist/democrats have been able to lay blame for our economic problems on the administration of George Bush and the Republican Party, making a democratic and hence a socialist victory in November more likely.
Tomorrow: A Party of Deception, Part 3: The Democratic Agenda and Energy Prices
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