“Free Stuff”: The Achilles’ Heel of Democratic Socialism

Several weeks ago, Jeb Bush (of all people) managed to hit a nerve with the campaigning Hillary Clinton.

Was it about emails or Benghazi?


It was about the Achilles’ heel of the whole socialist paradigm of her party: The fact that it bribes some people with other people’s money and calls it benevolent “social justice.”

Hillary Clinton called it “deeply insulting” that [Jeb Bush] had suggested that Democratic presidential candidates had tried to appeal to black voters by offering “free stuff.”

Well of course she found it deeply insulting. Because it’s the truth; and she has no answer, other than emotion.

In a question-and-answer session on Facebook, Mrs. Clinton lumped Mr. Bush together with Donald J. Trump and Mitt Romney, who made a similar suggestion in 2012, and said that Republicans have been missing the point when it comes to appealing to black voters. [NYTimes.com 9/28/15]

Why do these comments get proponents of the unlimited welfare and entitlement state so upset? Even when they come from a poor-showing contender for the presidency such as Jeb Bush?

Because it gets to the heart of what’s wrong with the socialist paradigm of the Democratic Party, and ultimately with socialism itself.

When you say that the Democratic Party is “bribing” voters with free stuff, you’re pointing out an indisputable fact: That politicians (both parties) who spend money on various wealth dedistribution programs are doing so with other people’s money, taken from them by force to please constituency groups who, in turn, reward them with money and power.

Hillary Clinton, who has made millions from decades of advocating her “social justice” state-sanctioned religion, represents this better than just about anyone else now on the scene.

Whatever you think of this whole process of democratic socialism, that’s undeniably what it is. And people running for office on the unlimited version of that platform — people like Hillary Clinton — do not like it pointed out. In fact, they become really testy and angry at the slightest hint of it.

Imagine how they’d react if someone confronted them head-on and asked, “By what right do you seize from some to give to others?” It’s not charity; it’s brute force, force from which the politicians themselves benefit.

Both Bush and Trump want a welfare state. They call it a “safety net,” but it’s the same thing. So ultimately they lack credibility and cannot confront a hard core democratic socialist head-on.

Therein lies the whole central weakness of everything we now know about the government. It’s a glorified Mafia scheme. Only the federal government is far more powerful than any mob group, operating illegally and underground, could ever hope to be.

Somehow, along the way, democratic socialists (and yes, both parties do it) were able to smuggle in — without notice or objection — the concept of benevolent charity intermingled with (and propped up by) the coercive guns, missiles, weapons, tanks and jails of government.

They call it “compassion.”

But if you choose not to exercise the “compassion” in the way you’re ordered to do on April 15 (and at other times), it’s off to jail with you.

I don’t know about you, but I do not call this charity or compassion. And it’s not morally justified in any conceivable way.

So long as nobody ever points out or questions this fact, then all is well from the point-of-view of the endless expansion of government. Greater numbers of people are bribed with the “free stuff” offered by government, millions more become dependent on social programs every year, and the denial-a-thon simply continues.

Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney and even Donald Trump ultimately have their own Achilles’ heel, of course, and Hillary Clinton, along with other democratic socialists, knows it. They support the very same welfare and entitlement state that she does. Perhaps with a different price tag, and perhaps with some tilting towards different constituency groups, in some cases.

But none of them will question the whole edifice on principle. That’s where the democratic socialists have got them. And that’s why nothing ever changes.

You have to tear down a building to its foundation, at least if your goal is to build something new. When Trump, Bush, or Romney make these kind of remarks about the “47 percent” who will  never give up the freebies of the welfare state, they’re hinting at the truth. And naturally, people like Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders do not like it.

Notice, in her defensive remarks, how quickly Hillary Clinton comes to the defense of “people of color.” She views attacks on the entitlement/welfare state as equivalent to attacks on people of color. By that she presumably means blacks and Hispanics, and perhaps anyone else non-white, as well.

Does she mean to imply that people in these ethnic groups cannot or will not survive without unlimited government spending, borrowing and taxing as we now know it?

Are “people of color” unable or unwilling to make their way in a free market, relying on charity only as a last resort and on a voluntary (rather than government-enforced) basis?

She sure seems to be implying that.

Imagine what would happen if Donald Trump or Jeb Bush said, or even implied, such a thing. It would be the media equivalent of World War III, and it would invite from those sources a more antagonistic and moralistic attack than anything generated by another ISIS beheading.

People who are wrong will ultimately trip on their own contradictions. Because while being wrong does not always mean you have the majority of people against you, it does mean you are — in some sense — at war with, or operating in contradiction to, reality itself. People applauding the social democratic power lusters (certainly a majority in the last presidential election) may find it easy to vote for free stuff, but not quite so easy to face the daily reality of a world run by the monopolistic red tape and economic stagnation/slow decline of a semi-socialist state.

The only reason the democratic socialist welfare state has come this far — particularly in the United States — is because people will not challenge it at the root. Whether it’s because of fear, ignorance, religious or ethical beliefs, or lust for power … this side of Ayn Rand, nobody will go there.

Hillary Clinton’s testy, angry reaction to such a comment shows just how easy it would be to topple the whole thing, without ever firing a shot. If only people were willing to take on the faulty, phony premises of the trillion dollar entitlement state, how different our presidential campaigns would look.

Politicians ought to tell the truth.

I’m not talking about Donald Trump here, whose attacks on others are primarily personal. I’m talking about the real truth: That the welfare state (entitlements, corporate subsidies, the whole thing) is morally wrong and therefore economically impossible.

No, it might not be popular, especially not at first. But at least we’d have the beginnings of a real debate, on the foundational level. Because without that kind of debate, nothing will ever change.


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