We, the citizens of the United States of America, are flirting with the prospective nominations of a real-estate totalitarian and a 74-year-old socialist who honeymooned in the USSR.
We have absolutely no clue what we’re doing. And there is no tidy solution on the horizon.
I’ve heard many people say that they don’t understand Donald Trump’s popularity. How could anybody support such a morally bankrupt buffoon?
The candidacy of a man with whom Trump shares many remarkable similarities can shed some light on that issue. Bernie Sanders, the Marxist Senator from Vermont, is popular for many of the same reasons that Trump is popular. The Trump candidacy and the Sanders candidacy are two sides of the same coin.
Both candidates have put forth vague promises without saying how they would accomplish or pay for them. Sanders’s proposals, if enacted, would ruin the U.S. economy and put the American people into a state of debt from which they may never be able to recover. Trump’s proposals, if enacted, would signal the end of the Republican party and the conservative movement as we know it.
So why are both Sanders and Trump popular? Why do mindless college students attend Bernie Sanders rallies screaming like 13-year-old girls at a Hannah Montana concert? Why is the working class – a class that possesses much more wisdom than college students – so infatuated with Trump?
The answer as to why we love Sanders and Trump is simple: We want a dictator.
We want someone to come in and fix all of our problems. We want someone who is going to tell us that our problems are the fault of someone else. For Sanders, the explanation is Wall Street millionaires and billionaires. For Trump, the explanation is inept politicians – and China, of course.
Sanders promises a “political revolution.” Trump promises that he will get the best and brightest to come in and solve every problem. Both promises are dangerous; both promises are wrong.
Sanders will not be able to successfully implement democratic socialism because democratic socialism has already been tried in countries all over the world – and has failed. And Trump will not improve the country because he has never improved anything.
Of course, there are differences between the candidates. Sanders passionately believes in failed ideologies; Trump passionately believes in himself. Yes, there are policy differences. They disagree on how quickly they would achieve complete totalitarianism and the destruction of America; I get it. But in essence, their support comes from the same place and has the same two causes: an ignorance of history and a refusal to take personal responsibility.
With America’s failing public schools, who would be surprised that students graduate high school without an accurate knowledge of history? Who would be surprised to know that college students think socialism is a viable economic philosophy if they have not learned about its failed implementation in India, China, Venezuela, and every other place it has been tried? For crying out loud, one of the most widely assigned economists in American universities is Karl Marx. Who would be surprised to know, then, that American students think socialism is wonderful?
And in an entitled culture where people believe that life owes them, why would one be surprised to know that politicians who promise a solution to every problem will be the most successful candidates?
I’ve got news: The problems in your life are not society’s fault. Regardless of whether you believe in it or not, personal responsibility still exists, and yes, you are responsible for your own decisions.
Trump and Sanders have exploited both flaws in our culture and capitalized. Their candidacies are not the disease; they are just symptoms of greater diseases. Until the root causes are fixed, men like Trump and Sanders will continue in ever-increasing popularity.
2 thoughts on “We Have No Clue What We’re Doing”
Democratic socialism has been tried many times, and has failed in all cases? Do you realize how many countries provide universal healthcare which costs less money per capita than the US? And you actually conflate soviet socialism with the democratic socialism Sanders campaigns for? They aren’t they same. You should know that, you know, from history. Apparently you went to one of those “failing public schools” that didn’t teach it well. I went to an incredible public high school, and so did many of my peers, thanks.
Why does everyone always go right to healthcare as the crowning jewel of democratic socialist achievement? The reality is this: countries that provide universal healthcare include Russia, Tajikistan, Saudi Arabia, Greece, Ukraine, and Moldova (the poorest country in Europe by some measures). Just because one or two Scandinavian countries with high GDPs, high life satisfaction, and egalitarian standards even BEFORE democratic socialism and universal healthcare came into existence doesn’t mean that socialism, and in particular universal healthcare, is particularly functional or will necessarily lead to an increase in economic activity and personal well-being. Also, democratic socialists were notorious throughout the Cold War for overlooking all the atrocities and controversies generated by the Soviet socialists. So if you can’t say they’re necessarily the same people, you can still believably state that there was a measure of complicity between the two groups across the Iron Curtain.