To the editor:
Like most Americans, I am is taking recommended precautions during this health care crisis. And like most Americans, I believe we will emerge from this epidemic and recover our personal and national health, perhaps a little shaken and sadly missing some family and friends who succumbed to this deadly outbreak.
There will be many lessons learned from this national experience. Hopefully, we benefit from any lessons learned in the medical and research fields as well as emergency preparation, both at the local and federal levels of government.
But perhaps there is another important lesson to consider, especially for the younger generation enamored with the appeal of socialism and for some, communism. Apparently, many are attracted to the idyllic free “Medicare for All,” free tuition and like-minded idealism. So, how do you like the shortages, limitations and restrictions, and especially for younger generations, social distancing enforced at bars and restaurant closings, cancellations of events and activities and limiting social gatherings to 10 or less? Make no mistake or faulty counter-argument, these unpleasant and unpopular social protocols come with a socialist economy whether democratic or authoritarian, much less the more severe communist approach to social order.
Indeed, America is experiencing some of these restrictions and limitations. Current guidelines call Americans to social distance, avoid beaches, avoid assemblies, encourage rationing – a six-pack of toilet paper per family. You get the point. So, if these practical matters of our free society are necessary in time of emergency, just think of having to be subject to these limitations per government fiat.
The difference is obvious. Our local and federal government decisions and pronouncements are intended to protect public health, restrict the spread of the illness and are temporary. They also rely, for the most part, on volunteer compliance. In a socialist order, the decisions are made for the benefit of the authoritarian state and its enabling bureaucracy. There is no volunteering. Sir John Acton’s warning is most applicable, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
Younger Americans did not experience the post-WWII impact of global Soviet and Chinese communist regimes or the lengthy Cold War that witnessed the likes of the Khmer Rouge, Cuban Socialism, North Vietnamese “re-education” as well as the brutality of east European socialism under Soviet-style communism. I am not suggesting that excesses of socialism as an economic theory and practice have already entered into the American system. However, the seeds of this socialist utopia are in fact present in the thinking and ideals of many younger Americans who are focused entirely on the perceived benefits of a socialist order.
Young Americans, like young people throughout the centuries, tend to be idealistic with a social conscience. Couple this natural tendency with the dose of reality the coronavirus experience brings. You might see our great system for the blessing it is and do your part to make it even better for all.