I was once talking to a wise old friend about communism – specifically about its enduring nature in the imaginations of men. “The problem,” I said, “is that, unlike the Nazi ideology which we defeated forty years earlier and then relegated to the waste bins of the human mind as an aberration, for some reason we let the equally evil ideology of communism off easy. We never engaged in the destruction of the idea, when the regimes that defended it had fallen away. Why do we have Holocaust museums, but no Cultural Revolution ones? Why have we preserved Auschwitz in horror but not the gulags of Siberia in equal disgust? Why did we leave the work unfinished?” His answer, “We are Americans, we are never ones to humiliate a defeated foe. It is unsportsmanlike.”
I’m not so sure. Truth of the matter is we have become so accustomed to being lectured, to being told that we who think as individuals and who have eyes to our families – who love our own lives and dream of our own futures and serve our own Gods; we who do not accept that we exist at the mercy of one group to be put to the service of another have developed a ‘circle the wagons’ mentality, an inferiority complex. From “You didn’t build that” to “Now is not the time for profit”; from Hugo Chavez’s tirades to Michael Moore’s temper tantrums – from Bernie to Francis we’ve endured the tongue lashings. We’ve endured while Venezuelans starve; we’ve endured while factories are shuttered, while history books are rewritten, and while our sacred values are rubbished. And all the while we look quietly back over a hundred years of madness and murder, baffled as to why nobody can find the courage to say “This idea is stupid and wrong”.
Cue President Donald Trump, “The problem in Venezuela is not that socialism has been poorly implemented, but that socialism has been faithfully implemented. From the Soviet Union to Cuba to Venezuela, wherever true socialism or communism has been adopted, it has delivered anguish and devastation and failure. Those who preach the tenets of these discredited ideologies only contribute to the continued suffering of the people who live under these cruel systems. America stands with every person living under a brutal regime. Our respect for sovereignty is also a call for action. All people deserve a government that cares for their safety, their interests and their well-being, including their prosperity.”
And then he chuckled.
I’ll admit it was grand. It was grand watching the ashen faces of the communist dictatorships – Venezuela and Cuba and North Korea – having their failures highlighted on that greatest of all stages. It was grand thinking about the apoplectic fits of rage that must have been rippling through academia; the cultural Marxists of our own land assaulted in their safe spaces by the truth, truth we all know but for some reason cannot find the courage to say lest we be called out as unfeeling in a hurting world, a world to whom we have given only prosperity.
Confucius once said, “The object of the superior man is truth”. Well folks, Mr. Donald J. Trump just told the truth. And I for one am grateful for it.