Socialism, 2016 March Madness
© by Barbara Anderson

The Salem News
Thursday, March 10, 2016

“Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy. Its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”

Winston Churchill

“The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money (to spend).”

Margaret Thatcher

Two statements on socialism, from the British who tried it after the “Downton Abbey” era ended. Now we Americans, who have been flirting with it for decades, are apparently planning to leap into it without apology during this year’s election of a Democrat presidential candidate. And Democrats have the nerve to criticize Republican candidates as extremists during the silly campaign season?

I was thinking of Margaret Thatcher when we learned Nancy Reagan died, right after I watched a piece on “60 Minutes” about the new Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, the son of Pierre Trudeau. I recalled my favorite story about our President Ronald Reagan, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, British Prime Minister Maggie Thatcher and French Prime Minister Francois Mitterrand, meeting for the first time after Reagan’s election.

In the past, the tradition had been for the heads of state to refer to each other with formality: Mr. President, Madame Prime Minister etc. But our friendly Aquarian president Reagan walked into the room saying, “Hi, I’m Ron; and everyone became from then on, “Ron, Maggie, Pierre” (and dare I say?) “Francois” As these extraordinary leaders worked together, “Ron” became friends with Russia’s Gorbachev (Mikhail), and ended the Cold War.

I think this may be the point being made by Donald Trump, about getting along with Vladimir Putin.

So, we here all understand what socialism is. You work hard, the government takes as much of your hard-earned money as possible, gives it to other people to empower politicians and government bureaucrats, and eventually you too need government help in order to survive. So the politicians and bureaucrats own all of us, have all the power, get their cut of the money – great plan, Democrats!

Europe gets away with it because Europeans are malleable folks, and can run their economies with the help of capitalist America, which pays for their national defense, leaving them free to pay for socialized medicine. Thanks, but I’ll stick with the Republicans, weird as they are acting. Just heard Mitt’s robo-call to Floridians urging them to vote for Rubio.

At first I couldn’t understand why our former governor was leaping into the dance of idiocy when he could have remained with dignity above the fray, maybe been asked to step in if Republican primary voters couldn’t decide on their final candidate. Then once again my aging institutional memory was jogged as I listened to an interview with Rush Limbaugh by Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday last weekend. Rush reminded us that Romney’s dad “did much the same thing against Barry Goldwater in a cabal with Republican establishment guys back in 1964.”

That year was my first campaign, as I pushed my newborn son’s carriage around the neighborhood passing out Goldwater flyers. Slowly I learned that fiscal conservatives were hated by the Republican establishment as well as by the socialist-leaning Democrats. How can you build a Washington, D.C., lobbyist-run power base if you can’t tax, spend and borrow unlimited amounts?

So maybe Romney is just emulating daddy again. George Romney pushed Barry Goldwater out of that 1964 race, then lost his own race in 1968 to Richard Nixon after declaring himself “brainwashed” about Vietnam. I myself liked George Romney, and thought that most of Washington, D.C., was brainwashed about Vietnam, but, here’s my new theory:

Mitt just wants to be like Daddy, attacking another Republican, then running himself before losing too, as a family tradition. Yes, Mitt Romney has taken out 2015-2016 FEC documents for “Romney for President,” with Darryl Crate of Beverly as treasurer. Was this a just-in-caser? Or was his plan always to be chosen at a brokered convention, on the assumption, shared by many last winter, that Trump would falter?

Here’s another good one. The Huffington Post has reported that “the most powerful people in the technology sector, along with other billionaires and top Republicans, flew to a small island off the coast of Georgia last weekend to attend a secretive forum, where they discussed, among other things, how to keep current Republican front-runner Donald Trump from winning the party’s presidential nomination.

“Among the cabal of tech CEOs who met at the remote Sea Island Resort for the American Enterprise Institute’s annual World Forum were Apple CEO Tim Cook… Google co-founder Larry Page…. Top Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senator Tom Cotton, and Karl Rove also attended the forum, as did billionaire GOP donor Philip Anschutz and New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger.

“The off-the-record event reportedly included a presentation about Trump from Rove, who shared focus-group findings that indicated Trump’s biggest weakness is that he can be erratic and that voters don’t consider him to be ‘presidential.’”

I love reading about “secret meetings.” I just want to know what “presidential” means to voters who chose Barack Obama.

And this reminds me of the saddest thing I’ve heard: that when Dr. Ben Carson left the race, he expressed his regret that he perhaps hired the wrong people to run his campaign as they walked away with millions of his donors’ contributions. Yes, easy to imagine the professional campaign consultants taking advantage of the campaign civilian, just as they took advantage of real politicians like Romney in 2012; now they’ve created another losing campaign while being paid tens of millions from Carson supporters.

It’s now March madness time. I don’t know whether to crawl into a hole in the ground to sleep until I emerge to see the shadow of the Republican candidate, or continue to watch every debate, collect the delegate count on all primary winners, and share my opinions with you. Well, I guess I decided for now.

Barbara Anderson of Marblehead is a weekly columnist for the Salem News and Eagle-Tribune Publishing Company.

The comments made and opinions expressed in her columns are those of Barbara Anderson
and do not necessarily reflect those of Citizens for Limited Taxation.

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