Democrats Reject the American Dream in Favor of Socialism

By Eric Beck, Commentary
Published 8:00 am EST, April 3, 2019

For the first time in its history, a 2018 Gallup survey revealed that Democrats view socialism more positively than capitalism. This finding confirms what many traditional Americans and political conservatives already knew; that the Democratic Party is now being run by radical far-left progressives. Therefore, to fully appreciate the significance of this finding, one must first understand the political philosophy of the progressive Left and how it differs from that of our nation’s Founders.

Progressivism Does Not Align with the American Dream

Since the days of FDR’s New Deal, progressives have been working hard to fundamentally transform the American Dream into something that is very different from that envisioned by the Founders. Where center-right Americans have always supported the Founder’s vision of equal opportunity, the progressive Left has abandoned this objective in favor of equal economic outcomes.

America’s Founders signed a Declaration of Independence that declared government’s purpose is to secure inalienable (aka fundamental) rights granted to us by our creator (i.e., God). These rights as outlined in the Constitution include, but are not limited to, the right to own property, the right to specific freedoms such as speech, religion, assembly, and to bear arms. Progressives reject the notion of inalienable rights believing instead that rights can be created or changed arbitrarily by any prevailing majority in government. Therefore, progressives believe in what James Madison once called “tyranny of the majority.” In more modern-day terms, one might also recognize this approach to government as a form of fascism.

For Progressives, Our Constitution Is a “Living” Document

Progressive philosophy and its arbitrary notion of rights is grounded in their belief in a “living Constitution.” By “living,” progressives mean that our fundamental rights, and the state’s power to undermine these rights, can change and evolve over time to suit the political whims of any prevailing majority in government. For example, consider the words of our first progressive President, Woodrow Wilson, from his book Constitutional Government in the United States.

“The underlying understandings of a constitutional system are modified from age to age by changes of life and circumstance and corresponding alterations of opinion. It does not remain fixed in any unchanging form but grows with the growth and is altered with the change of the nation’s needs and purposes.” – President Woodrow Wilson, 1917

Wilson rejected the idea that our Constitution serves as a legal standard that would constrain his actions, or that of Congress and the Judiciary, by preventing them from undermining our fundamental rights. Now compare Wilson’s view of the Constitution with that of former Vice President Al Gore that he expressed while running for President. Both men express strikingly similar sentiments about the Constitution.

“I would look for justices of the Supreme Court who understand that our Constitution is a living and breathing document, that it was intended by our Founders to be interpreted in the light of the constantly evolving experience of the American people.” – Vice President Al Gore, March 1, 2000

Progressives will often say they simply have a different way of interpreting the Constitution than conservatives do, recognizing that conservatives believe in interpretation based on the original intent of its Framers. Unfortunately, this is a dodge. In fact, progressives see the Constitution as a frivolous annoyance that obstructs their ability to “evolve” public policy to achieve their new vision of an American Dream based on socialism.

The Constitution is a Bulwark Against Progressive Government

Progressive interpretations of the Constitution carry with them no recognition of the lessons of history. The Founders established our Constitution to define the terms and structure of a limited federal government, one that would serve as a bulwark against arbitrary legal interpretation that seeks to undermine our fundamental rights. Changing or evolving interpretations of legal text, whether it be applied to statutes or a constitution, have historically been the scourge of tyrants. One only needs to read the Declaration of Independence to see examples of such tyranny in how arbitrary interpretation of law was imposed by the British Government upon the American colonists under King George III. Herein lies the great paradox of progressivism; the name implies progress forward, but instead the movement takes us backward toward a government based on coerced philanthropy and where our fundamental individual rights are undermined in favor of the collective.

Progressivism Is Enabled by Our American Educational System

Millennials, according to reports, have had a growing taste for what some describe as “Democratic Socialism” ever since the 2008 financial crisis. It is no wonder that with such a traumatic disruption to our financial system, some would call into question whether free-market capitalism is innately flawed. But here is a news flash: capitalism is flawed. That is why efficient and effective regulation is important in a free market, regulation that should be designed to ensure that “win-win” business transactions are the norm. However, the shift in attitudes amongst Millennials, and that for progressive Democrats, has a root cause that goes far deeper than financial turmoil.

Independent studies show that a large percentage of Americans are not proficient in their understanding of basic civics and economics, leaving them in many cases unprepared to effectively evaluate public policy. Why is this the case? For several decade America’s public schools have been doing an inadequate job of delivering competent education in these two critical disciplines. Without a competent understanding of civics and economics, a citizen voter is left without the analytical framework required to effectively evaluate policy by determining whether it may be legally or constitutionally permissible, or economically realistic.

As we head into the 2020 Presidential election, we are now seeing Democratic candidates propose policies that fail on Constitutional grounds and in terms of economic viability. For example, progressive proposals citing “Medicare for All” lead us to question whether the Constitution would legally permit federal enactment of such a program. Likewise, we should also question how our nation can afford to pay an estimated $32.7 trillion for this program when Medicare already has more than $37 trillion in existing unfunded liabilities.

Unless we can improve civic and economic literacy in America, the public will remain susceptible to progressive influence that seeks to promote the coerced philanthropy of socialism instead of protecting our rights.

Our Mission: Empower Our Readers to Better Understand Public Policy

The danger of progressivism is sometimes difficult to observe because it does not come at us like a wolf at the door, for that threat would be far too easy to see. Progressivism comes to us more like termites in the basement by slowly eating away at our fundamental rights and constitutional protections. That’s why remedial education in civics and economics becomes so important. It will help the average American see this danger more clearly before it is too late.

In order to do our part to solve the problem of civic and economic illiteracy, Free Nation Media will publish The Exceptional American blog. Beginning April 3, 2019, our weekly blog will offer commentary on a wide-rage of public policy concerns that include, but will not be limited to, economic policy, income inequality, healthcare reform, immigration, the environment, climate change, education, the judiciary, race relations and other important issues. Our commentary will always focus on helping the reader develop a deeper understanding of these issues by competently applying a civic and economic analytical framework. Therefore, we intend this publication to shape your perspective on public policy in a manner that enables both economic prosperity and constitutional consistency.

We at Free Nation Media hope you will find The Exceptional American content both interesting and informative. More importantly, we intend this content to be relevant to your concerns about America’s future, and that for the future of your children as well.

Here is How You Can Educate Millennials About American Exceptionalism

To learn more about how the Progressive Movement is undermining our Constitution and the American Dream, order a copy of Conquering the Political Divide – How the Constitution Can Heal Our Polarized Nation. This book makes a great read for Millennials who have not had grounding in what makes America exceptional. Order your copy today by clicking here.

If you would like to suggest a topic for a future blog, or to provide us with feedback on this commentary, email us at: feedback@FreeNationMedia.com

Eric Beck
Editor-In-Chief
Free Nation Media
Greenville, South Carolina

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