Boots & Sabers

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0706, 25 Feb 20

The Sanders surge and the slippery slope

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Check it out:

One of our national great failures is that we, the people, have allowed our government schools to teach that communism, and its more polite brother, socialism, are anything other than the violent, failed doctrines of tyrants and lunatics. This is one of the reasons that Bernie Sanders is surging through the primaries and might be anointed the presidential candidate of the Democratic Party right here in Wisconsin.

Communism is not just an alternate form of organizing society or an altruistic expression of collective will. It is not just another way of accomplishing the same goals as capitalism and liberal democracy. Communism is an evil and murderous creed.

Communist governments have killed at least 100 million people over the last century. That is far more than every other kind of government combined. The oppression and killing by communists span cultures, geographies, and time. Whether in communist China, Soviet Russia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Cuba, North Korea, Ethiopia, or elsewhere, communist violence is not a bug. It is a feature.

Some defenders of socialism and communism contend that the failures and atrocities of communism in places like Russia and North Korea were caused by externalities and circumstances that can be avoided on the next attempt. What these defenders neglect to share, or understand, is that centrally planned societies and economies require a tremendous concentration of power into the hands of a very small group of people. Those central planners are subject to the same emotions, flaws, passions, egos, jealousies, and sins of any other human. Communism does not bestow virtue on the practitioner. If anything, the old saw holds true that absolute power corrupts, absolutely.

Even if communism could be implemented by purely perfect noble beings, the very construct of the doctrine is contrary to the human condition. By eliminating free markets (legal ones) and individual rewards (except corrupt ones), people have little incentive to be productive or worry about making things that people actually want. The absence of incentive robs people of their initiative and denies society the benefit of their ingenuity. The result is the inevitable decline of a decaying society. The lessons of history are all too important today as a sizable number of our fellow Americans are supporting Bernie Sanders, and more importantly, his ideology. Sanders has put together a string of primary victories as he heads into Super Tuesday. Here in Wisconsin, a recent poll by the UW-Madison Elections Research Center shows Sanders the overwhelming favorite of Wisconsin’s Democrats with twice the support of his closest rivals, Joe Biden and Mike Bloomberg.

Now that he is a national figure, Bernie Sanders likes to disavow communism in favor of something he calls “democratic socialism.” It is a distinction without a difference. Wordplay has always been a favorite tool of communists. Without going into Sanders’ long history of support and praise for communism and communist regimes, one need only look at Sanders’ platform to see it for what it is.

Sanders’ “Medicare for All” is the same government takeover of the health care system that we have seen for decades. Sanders would have the government outlaw private health care providers in favor of a health care system run by the federal government. Such a system puts government bureaucrats in charge of our personal humanity — our health.

Enacting the Green New Deal would require the government to force action in the energy and construction sectors of our economy. It would also require the government to obliterate private property rights in order to impose environmental mandates across the country.

Sanders’ plans for what he calls “workplace democracy” would shove people into unions and require the government to dictate the policies of heretofore private companies. Given government control of wages, health care, private property, etc., unions would be relegated to little more than enforcement arms of the government.

Does this sound familiar? Look at the verbs in the preceding paragraphs. “Outlaw.” “Force.” “Require.” “Obliterate.” “Impose.” “Dictate.” All of these policies require a colossal concentration of power into the hands of a select few in faraway Washington, D.C., to centrally manage our health care, work, economy, energy, and homes. With such concentration comes the inevitable violence and oppression to bend the people to the will of the central planners.

While some of my fellow conservatives relish the idea of a Sanders’ victory because they believe that Sanders would be the easiest challenger for President Trump to defeat, we must not risk our great nation for game theory and political theater. In this case we must follow the communists’ example and smother the threat before it grows — peaceably in the voting booth.


0706, 25 February 2020


  1. MjM

    Nicely stated, Owen.   Just one nit to pick…

    communism, and its more polite brother, socialism

    Communism is not a sibling.  Communism is simply socialism grown up.

    As infant Marx grew up to teenage Lenin grew to adult Stalin, so too does “Democratic” Socialism grow up to be communism, be it by duma or dictatorship graced by rigged elections and forced adherance.  Elites gotta elite, never mind all that dictatorship of the proletariat BS.

    Sanders is a Leninist – obvious by his glorification of Castro, who skipped the all policy wrangling and that voting nonsense and went straight for the jugular.  But Bernie’s campaign has been exposed as comprising all-out Stalinists,  and I have no doubt comrade Bernie would be more than happy to employ such tactics.

    Side Bar:   Sanders’ claim that Castro taught Cuba to read is typical communist propaganda.

    When Castro somehow magically “came to power”,  as Bernie so lovingly stated on 60 Minutes, Cuba had the fifth highest literacy rate of all the Latin countries, bested only by Costa Rica, Argentina, Chili, and Puerto Rico.

    Cuba’s 79% literacy rate in 1959 grew 12 points over the next 20 years.  Meanwhile,  Columbia gained 15 points,  Brazil 15,  Mexico added 12, and Peru added 22 points.




  2. Mar

    Well, you know, Hitler made the trains run on time, so I guess Sanders would make excuses for Hitler as well.

  3. MjM

    Hitler was a socialist, too.  Unlike Marx/Lennin’s “proletariat has no fatherland” world-dominate dreams Hitler believed a socialist utopia could be built within one’s borders much quicker.   And of course, Hitler certainly subscribed to the genocidal philosophies of  Marx/Lennin (“How, as a socialist, can you not be an anti-semite?” -AH, Aug 1920)

    But, back to drooling, scolding, communist hunchback Bernie.  He continues….

    But, ya know, you can take China as another example. China is an authoritarian country, becoming more and more authoritarian, but can anyone deny — I mean, the facts are clear — that they have taken more people out of extreme poverty than any country in history.”  – Comrade Sanders, 2/24/20

    Oddly, he didn’t mention China has also taken more people out – period – than any country in history.  Offing 60-80Million of your own slave peasants lowers the national poverty rate quite nicely.



  4. MjM

    Nort preens: “And you got that wrong, too.”

    Actually,  YOU got it wrong (again), numbnutz.

  5. Le Roi du Nord

    Yup,  cartoon proof.  It fits you to a T.

  6. MjM

    Nort smirks: “cartoon proof”

    Correction: Library of Congress proof you were wrong and still a numbbutz.


  7. Merlin

    Bernie’s early appeal was in the nebulous nature of his ideology. As he’s forced to defend that ideology the utter ridiculousness of it becomes increasingly obvious. Sanders has already peaked.

  8. Le Roi du Nord

    The Library of Congress has tremendous collections of all sorts of documents, including cartoons.  That still doesn’t make you correct.

  9. MjM

    Nort spazzes: “of all sorts of documents

    Whatever inane sidestepping point you are trying to make,  the cartoon’s very existence makes Mar, me, and Herbert Block, the guy who drew the cartoon in 1941 (20 years after you were born), correct.

    And you not.   Own it,  numbnutz.

  10. dad29


    LeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeRoy still has not condemned Communism outright on these boards.

  11. Le Roi du Nord


    The existence of the cartoon, making fun of a fascist, proves nothing of the sort other than that Block was making light of a common misconception that said fascist got the trains to run on time.  According to historians (you could look it up ) neither mussolini nor hitler had much success getting the trains on schedule.

    But believe whatever you want.


    Sure I have, and just recently.

  12. MjM

    @ Wizard: “ utter ridiculousness  ”

    Ridiculous in one, ridiculous in entirety.

    This from The Commie Hunchback Energy Plan (a.k.a. Nude Green Eel):

    “$6.4 trillion in revenue from the wholesale of energy produced by the regional Power Marketing Administrations. This revenue will be collected from 2023-2035, and after 2035 electricity will be virtually free,

    [wait for it…..] 

    aside from operations and maintenance costs.”

    BWA HA HA HA!!!!!    Genius!   Comrade Bernie, business man extraordinaire!


  13. MjM

    Nort almost gets it: ” Block was making light of a common misconception that said fascist got the trains to run on time…..

    “….by showing that Hitler’s Nazi’s did.”   FIFY.

    Capisci, noci intorpidite?


    Nort looks down his long spiny nose: “According to historians…”

    Oh, take that bat outta yer ass,  Karen.   Everybody knows that (‘cept Commie Hunchback Bernie….. and DMOTP Jiffy).

    You ever hear of the word “adage”?

    You could look it up.



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