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New Hampshire Primary Socialist Alarm

Posted by Ed Hudgins on 2/11, 7:06pm

New Hampshire Primary Socialist Alarm
By Edward Hudgins


February 11, 2016 -- Bernie Sanders’s big win in the New Hampshire primary should set off alarm bells for Republicans struggling against Donald Trump and for all who value liberty.


Sanders probably won’t become president, but the socialist ideology on which his movement rests is metastasizing. We must fight it with real-world philosophical medicine.

Sanders open about socialism

Sanders is an unabashed and full-throated socialist—he likes to add the adjective “democratic”—who beat Hillary Clinton handily by 60% to 39% in New Hampshire. He pretty much tied her in Iowa, too, and is pulling even with her in national polls. It’s true that most of Hillary’s policies and certainly those of President Obama fall into the same category. But most Democrats feel the need to call themselves “Progressives,” to deny they’re socialists, and to claim that they simply want to help people. This crypto-socialist pose goes back to President Franklin Roosevelt who insisted he wanted to “save” the capitalist system even as he constructed the modern welfare state.


Sanders makes no apologies. His central message is that inequality must be eliminated, that the “rich” are responsible for our economic ills, and that they must be made to pay their “fair share.” Never mind that the top 1% of earners whom he demonizes shoulder nearly 40% of the federal income tax burden and the top 10% cover 70% of the bill. Never mind that even expropriating all the taxable income of the 1% would not cover his proposed $19 trillion spending increase for one year. (Math isn’t Bernie’s specialty.) And like all who put equality of condition first, Sanders would have all people be poor and equal rather than have all be more prosperous if it meant that some would end up substantially more prosperous than others.

Socialist appeal

In New Hampshire over 80% of voters under 29 years old voted for Sanders. This should not have come as a total surprise. A 2011 Pew survey found that only 46% of young people under 29 years old had a positive reaction to the word “capitalism” while 47% found it cold and hard. By contrast, 49% got good vibes from the word “socialism” while only 43% found it hard to swallow. By the way, the word “progressive,” which Bernie also wears, garnered a 67% positive response.


Pointing out that Sanders or even Obama are socialists does little except to alert us to the need to fight on a different battlefield and with different weapons.

America’s deep divisions

America’s divisions today are deeper than in many decades. The mass protests over the Vietnam War had a specific target. It also was accompanied by challenges to the status quo that actually sought liberty for blacks, women, and gays. And the ‘60s offered excuses for sex, drugs, and rock and roll. But most Baby Boomers settled into a system of private property and something resembling a free market system, albeit with a growing welfare state.


The fact that Sanders gains such support as an open socialist points to a fundamental shift in the value base of the country. Let’s grant that some of Sanders’ support comes from an understandable revulsion toward Hillary Clinton, the Queen of Cronyism, who disingenuously claims to be tough on the “one percent” that she and Bill are a part of and on the Wall Street bankers who’ve bankrolled her operation.


But several generations since the 1960s have been indoctrinated with authoritarian, left-wing dogmas... (read further here

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