In his State of the Union Address, President Trump declared:
Here, in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls for socialism in our country. America was founded on liberty and independence — and not government coercion, domination and control. We are born free, and we will stay free. Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.
What a joke. For two reasons.
One, America went socialist a long time ago with its welfare-warfare state; and
Two, Republicans are as fiercely committed to socialism as Democrats, so long as the socialism is labeled “free enterprise.”
This is the game that Republicans and Democrats have played for ages with each other. They act like there are profound philosophical and economic differences between each other, with one party favoring socialism and the other party favoring “capitalism.”
In actuality, there isn’t any fundamental difference between Republicans and Democrats. They are flip sides of the same coin. They share the same philosophical mindset, a mindset that embraces socialism.
At least Democrats are honest about this particular issue. They love socialism and make no bones about it. Republicans love socialism as much as Democrats do but are just too embarrassed to admit it. Thus, they wrap their socialism in the verbiage of “free enterprise” or “capitalism.”
Let’s consider some examples.
- The welfare state, which is a type of political-economic system that is founded on the socialist principle of using government to forcibly take money from one group of people in order to give the money to another group of people. The welfare state brings to mind Karl Marx’s dictum, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” Under welfare-state socialism, the government is charged with taking care of the citizenry, as a parent would take care of his children. Both Republicans and Democrats embrace and support the welfare-state way of life.
- Social Security. This socialist program is the crown jewel of the welfare state. It originated among German socialists in the late 1800s and was implemented in the United States by Democrats in the 1930s. This socialist program is based on using the force of government to take money from people who are working and give it to seniors. Pure socialism — taking money from a person to whom it belongs in order to give it to a person to whom it does not belong. Both Republicans and Democrats embrace and support Social Security.
- Medicare. A socialist healthcare system, one based on government provision, control, and intervention into healthcare. Both Republicans and Democrats embrace and support Medicare. The only differences are minor. Republicans want Medicare for Some. Democrats want Medicare for All. Big deal.
- Public (i.e., government) schooling. A classic socialist program. A government-run, government-supervised schooling system. It’s based on the socialist concept of central planning, in that it is run in a top-down, command-and-control fashion by government officials at a local, state, or federal level. Attendance is mandatory. Schoolteachers are government employees. Textbooks and curricula are set by the government. Funding is through coercion, i.e., taxation. This socialist program is characterized by regimentation, conformity, deference to authority, memorization, and boredom. It’s like an army-lite school. Both Republicans and Democrats embrace and support public schooling.
- The Federal Reserve. The central bank is based on monetary central planning, a core feature of socialist systems. It has destroyed what was once the finest monetary system in the world, one that was based on gold coins and silver coins, which was the money established by the U.S. Constitution. Decade after decade of monetary debasement and devaluation, along with booms and busts, bubbles and bursting bubbles. Both Republicans and Democrats embrace and support the Fed.
- Immigration and trade controls. This system is also based on the socialist concept of central planning, which always produces crises and chaos. That’s why we have had chaos and crises in immigration for decades. It’s why we have a trade crisis today. Socialism always produces chaos and crises. This socialist program has also produced death, suffering, and impoverishment, along with a police state. Both Republicans and Democrats embrace and support immigration and trade controls.
- The progressive income tax. It’s one of the 10 planks of the Communist Manifesto. Both Republicans and Democrats embrace and support progressive income taxation. Their fight is only over what percentage it should be.
- The national-security establishment, which, as libertarian economist Milton Friedman pointed out in 2008 about the military, is a giant socialist military enterprise. Is it any wonder that it is the premier waster of taxpayer money, not to mention the inflictor of massive death, suffering, and destruction all over the world? Both Republicans and Democrats embrace and support the national-security state and reject a limited-government republic.
Make no mistake about it: Notwithstanding his cursory denunciation of socialism in his State of the Union Speech, Donald Trump, “Mr. Capitalism.” is, like all other Republicans, as enthusiastic supporter of all these socialist programs and more as Bernie Sanders, Alejandra Ocasio-Cortez, and Nancy Pilosi. The difference is one of degree, not principle. Trump simply has to play the game. Like other Republicans, he feels compelled to portray himself falsely as a “capitalist” and “anti-socialist” even while supporting America’s socialist welfare-state system, just like Democrats.
For decades, Republicans and Democrats have played this game with each other. Democrats defending socialism and Republicans defending socialism under the guise of defending “capitalism.”
What’s the point of this game? Power and the largess, both of which come a welfare-warfare state way of life. Both parties are competing to get their people elected so that their friends can enjoy the power and largess that come with a socialist system.
The Super Bowl provides a good way to view these two parties. One league — the NFL, divided into two conferences, the American Football Conference and the National Football Conference. One political party — the Welfare-Warfare Party, divided into two branches, the Democrat Party and the Republican Party. Same philosophy. Same principles. Same socialism.
There is only one philosophy that is based on genuine principles of free markets, private property, and limited government. That philosophy is libertarianism. That’s why we libertarians are the only ones who genuinely reject all forms of socialism, including the welfare-warfare state, and why we call for the immediate repeal and dismantling of all socialist programs, departments, and agencies, including Social Security, Medicare, public schooling, the Federal Reserve, immigration and trade controls, progressive income taxation, and the national-security establishment.
In fact, that’s undoubtedly why Republicans resent us libertarians so much. We make them confront what they are and what they believe in.