Year in Review: Early 2016

2016-yirEarly 2016 saw the presidential race go into full swing.  It seems like a lifetime ago, but the year started with Presidential debates, the most interesting being those on the Republican side.  16 men and one woman began their campaigns in earnest. The stage literally was not big enough for all of them, so was created the undercard debate.  One candidate, Carly Fiorina, emerged as the only candidate to earn a spot on the big stage with the true contenders. Meanwhile on the Democrat side, Senator Bernie Sanders, a self-avowed Socialist caught fire with connecting with of all groups, the far-left leaning youth.  Iran became a campaign issue when the extremely dubious nuclear agreement went into effect, coincidently, four American hostages that were held in Iran were freed.  Later it would become apparent that their freedom had been purchased in the dark of night with unmarked bills.

Farewell Antonio ScaliaThe Executive branch was not the only branch to undergo far-reaching change. In February, the country lost one of its greatest jurists, Antonin Scalia, a conservative justice on a split Supreme Court.  Before the end of March, three different Republicans had won primaries, including several won by Donald Trump, establishing him as a serious contender for the nomination.  Bernie Sanders became the hot ticket on the Democratic side, stringing together early primary victories, showing that there would be no early coronation for Hillary.  Meanwhile, terrorism was set to rear its ugly head again in Europe.  The attack in Brussels, the capital of the European Union exposed the dangers of letting in millions of lightly vetted migrants and refugees from countries with serious terrorism problems.  Further attacks were to come, peaking in the middle months of the year.

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Socialism in America: Just a President Away

Socialism: “a way of organizing a society in which major industries are owned and controlled by the government rather than by individual people and companies”

-Merriam Webster Dictionary. 

Statist ControlBernie Sanders warns us up front, he calls himself a Democratic Socialist.  Hillary, not so much– she keeps her socialist leanings better hidden.  First things first, show me a Democratic Socialist and I’ll show you a socialist. And now that’s out of the way…

If Sanders were to become president, he would try to make America into a European-style socialist republic.  Could he really do it?  The answer unfortunately, is yes.  As a matter of fact, we’re already well on the way.  The fact is, most of the infrastructure needed to make the U.S. a socialist state is already in place and operational.  The rest would quickly be put in place.  What would it take?  Here then are the key components required to create to a Democratic Socialist Republic of America:

  • A compliant Supreme Court. Check– a Supreme Court that can rationalize forcing citizens to engage in commerce (Obamacare) can rationalize the legality of just about any socialist “reform”.  This has occurred with a strict Constitutionalist, Antonin Scalia, on the court.  Imagine what would be possible with three to four more liberal justices to legislate from the bench.
  • An Executive Branch virtually unchecked by Congress or the courts. Democrats have convinced Congressional Republicans deathly afraid of being blamed for a government shutdown not to use their power of the purse to defund several of the President’s unconstitutional executive orders.  The Supreme Court as already mentioned, would not much stand in the way of anything a President Sanders or President Clinton would want to do.
  • A huge regulatory state. This most critical piece necessary for creating and maintaining a socialist state already to a large extent exists.  When we picture a socialist country, we think of the hammer and sickle chiseled into the façade of every industrial headquarters.  A socialist America probably won’t have or require that.  All the buildings that need them already have an official state seal on them, and most of them are in Washington D.C.  The EPA, IRS, FDA and scores of other regulatory agencies already weld extraordinary power.  Through these agencies, the federal government can and would control in great detail all of this country’s major industries.  With that much control, the government would not actually need to own these industries for us to be effectively socialist.
  • Big national law enforcement. This already exists in the form of the FBI, the ATF, and various other agencies.  Of course, many of these agencies are required to enforce the law, socialist state or not.  They do a pretty good job keeping us safe in an ever more dangerous world.  Not needed in a free state, but helpful in a socialist one would be armed law enforcement wings of departments tasked not with fighting violent crime, but the restriction of commerce and business, agencies such as the FDA, Department of the Interior, as well as other departments not very likely at all to encounter armed opposition.

We consider ourselves to be free citizens of a capitalist country operating in a free-market economy.  How close we are to not being that much longer, to the extent we even still are, is enough to give one pause.  Most of the components of a socialist America are already in place.  Most of the rest can quickly be put in place.  Really the only thing standing in the way of American becoming a European-style socialist republic is an election later this year.