opinion 300UNITED STATES (3/25/19) — Vice President Mike Pence says the left uses euphemisms and catchphrases to describe their progressive agendas. 

Pence told the recent CPAC gathering in the nation’s capital: "Bernie [Sanders] has been joined by a chorus of candidates and newly elected officials who have papered over the failed policies of socialism with bumper-sticker slogans and slick social-media campaigns."

The reason they use shorthand to describe socialism is that it would scare the pants off of those millennial Democrats and even some seasoned party apparatchiks if the truth be told. And, the truth is historic fact: socialism is the gateway drug that’ll hook you on the stronger stuff, namely Communism, if you let it.

Perhaps it is because progressive Young Turks – those millennials -- are too young to appreciate the scope of the evil empire that was the USSR, the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics. They think those countries that were captives of the Soviet Union joined up because it was an opportunity to provide better lives for their citizens. They think Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania and all the others wanted to be part of a way of life that was uplifting, forward looking and fair to each and every citizen whether they were members of government or just your average Joe.

A little more than a year ago, Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, an organization created by a unanimous Act of Congress in 1993, conducted a survey that showed an alarming 44% of millennials say they would rather live in a socialist country than in a capitalist state. Meanwhile, a Gallup poll showed that Democrats, in general, have a positive view of socialism

Pravda was the official mouthpiece of the Soviets. The newspaper’s sole mission was, not to inform, but to mislead gullible subscribers in the free world and the inmates of the Soviet-controlled homelands into thinking that the Central Committee had only good intentions. Since the so-called fall of Communism in Russia, Pravda has modeled itself in the fashion of traditional Western media as a true source of information.

Not long ago, Pravda published an article describing what it was like to live in a Socialist state, noting that just like our own millennials, the younger generations in cities such as Moscow and St. Petersburg have a delusional view of the Soviet system. They actually think that life was better under the likes of Lenin, Stalin, Khrushchev and Brezhnev and their NKVD and KGB thugs [think Gestapo on steroids] who kept the citizenry in check. But, the older folk, those who lived in fear during those “good old days,” know better.

“Life in the USSR was bad,” Pravda reported. “Everyone was living in poverty throughout Soviet history, not only during the period of perestroika. In large cities, a customer in a food store could buy canned cod liver and smoked sausage, and that would be possible on a good day. Food stores in smaller towns and villages were empty. At the same time, radio and television would report record high milk yield and amazing achievements in the poultry industry. Food stores were selling liquid (diluted) sour cream out of huge dirty aluminum cans, as well as bitter herring (wrapped in newspaper), thin bluish whole chickens, brick-like bread and tasteless birch-tree juice.”

As Mr. Pence put it at the CPAC gathering, "Freedom encourages investments; socialism stifles growth. Socialism demands conformity.  America was founded on liberty and independence, not government coercion."

Pence’s message is a far cry from the notion former president, Barack Obama, offered up to youngsters at the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative in Buenos Aires in 2016. President Obama told that gathering that there really is no difference between our way of life and that of a socialist or communist. 

In Barack Obama’s own words: “So often in the past there's been a sharp division between left and right, between capitalist and communist or socialist. And especially in the Americas, that's been a big debate, right? Oh, you know, you're a capitalist Yankee dog, and oh, you know, you're some crazy communist that's going to take away everybody's property. And I mean, those are interesting intellectual arguments, but I think for your generation, you should be practical and just choose from what works. You don't have to worry about whether it neatly fits into socialist theory or capitalist theory — you should just decide what works.” 

Cuba is no “intellectual argument,” neither is Venezuela or North Korea. Life in those countries is the reality of what is the kind of existence we can expect if we capitalist Yankee dogs allow the crazy communists among us to prevail.

The USSR was the cradle of communism and its newspaper of record finally had to admit that life in the USSR – under communism or socialism, if you prefer – “was bad.”

By Dan Weber, AMA president

The Association of Mature American Citizens is the nation’s largest Conservative senior advocacy organization with more than 1.7 million members.
 

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