© 2016 Jim Spence It looks like our choices are Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. How the hell did we get here? The answer is simple. We got here one step at a time.
Consider the long and curious philosophical journey of the Democratic Party since the end of World War II. Not only did mid 20th Century Democrats learn what Marxism was all about in their dealings with Stalin, Mao, Kim, and Castro, they also understood why evil totalitarianism was necessary for Marxists to prevail within those country borders.
Harry Truman and John F. Kennedy were so aware of how destructive totalitarian socialism was to basic freedoms, they were willing to commit U.S. troops in Korea, Viet Nam, and Cuba to put a stop to it. And of course in the 1960’s and even into the 1970’s, the Democrat-leaning public education system in America insisted on explaining the difference between living life under totalitarian oppression, and living life in America where we enjoyed widespread freedoms. In short they defended the ideals of Truman and JFK to the next generation of Americans.
No doubt while Lyndon Johnson was tilling his American brand of socialism at home, he was also botching the efforts to contain the spread of totalitarian socialism abroad. By the 1970’s America began to cultivate a taste for LBJ’s socialism like an eventual junkie develops a taste for the “high” when he first experiments with the use of opiates.
The Democratic Party began to re-invent itself in the wake of its failures in Viet Nam. The anti-Marxist anti-totalitarian wars of Truman, JFK, and LBJ were blame shifted away from the Democratic Party. The “military industrial complex” became the scapegoat of the Democratic Party. Recall 2004 when then presidential candidate John Kerry was lamenting the hardships he suffered under Richard Nixon, despite the fact LBJ was in the White House during the time period Kerry spoke of. Re-writing history has no statute of limitations.
More important than the Democratic Party ignoring the legacy of Truman and JFK and the oppression inherent in totalitarianism, was the ways in which it tapped into public education and Hollywood to do so. Gradually basic freedom themes were discarded from curriculum. Equal outcome themes were embraced and free enterprise drew scorn. This happened in social studies classes and on popular television shows and in motion pictures.
Gradually the noble efforts of engaging in for-profit enterprise, efforts that were once the cornerstones of the Truman and Kennedy worldviews, were increasingly the targets of suspicion and contempt in popular culture. By the time Mr. Obama arrived on the scene, two generations of Americans had undergone serious indoctrination by the public school system and Hollywood. These efforts had all but eviscerated the Democratic Party’s fear of totalitarianism as well as its legacy of disdain for Marxist socialism. How else can one explain that an avowed socialist could win Democratic primaries in states once intensely loyal to the anti-socialism legacies of Truman and Kennedy?
Once the philosophical pillars regarding freedoms that both Truman and Kennedy thought were worth fighting for were abandoned by both Democrats and Republicans, America was left with two choices.
The increasing influence of socialism was a given. Our choices were the advance of socialism with or without totalitarianism. With the election of Obama, America has gotten a big dose of totalitarianism with more socialism. Obama has set precedents in terms of subverting the U.S. Constitution in ways that America may well never recover from.
Not surprisingly in 2016, the American public is splintered. Both Democrats are calling for more big government socialism. Democrats seem to slightly prefer Hillary Clinton, who uses crony capitalists to fund her campaign, rather than Bernie Sanders who would prefer to finish the utter destruction of free enterprise that has gained such incredible momentum under Obama.
Republicans have Ted Cruz, a free enterprise-favoring and constitution-protecting candidate, who has been so adamant about the GOP’s hand in the demise of the Truman / Kennedy value system. So adamant about this, Cruz has made enemies of Mitch McConnell and other entrenched Republican power brokers. Alternatively, Republicans can choose the slick-talking inheritance-endowed blowhard Donald Trump. Trump has a knack for illuminating the failures of McConnell and his ilk in ways that create more passion in a segment of the GOP base than Cruz’s intellectual appeal to the constitution. We can all thank the education's systemic failures and Hollywood for that.
It is ironic that some GOP regulars have become so alarmed with the rise of Trump that they are finally seeing some virtue in a free enterprise constitution protector like Cruz. What a revelation.It is even more ironic that there is only one man left with any chance of being president who is still fighting for the value systems of Harry Truman and John F. Kennedy. It is Republican Ted Cruz.
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