This year’s Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C. was slated in advance to include many speakers touching on the dangers of bringing socialism to the United States, and so far, that has indeed been the case.
It takes little imagination to figure out why. Two of the most ascendant stars in the Democratic Party are self-identified democratic socialists: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders. Polls show that Democrat voters – especially young ones – are more attracted than ever to socialism, expanded government, and, well, free stuff. And of the presidential candidates already declared to run, all but a couple have endorsed outlandish legislation like the Green New Deal and Medicare-for-all.
In his speech on Thursday, Larry Kudlow, the Trump administration’s director of the National Economic Council, asked voters to reject the rising socialism in the Democratic Party, touted the administration’s capitalist, free-market principles for the booming economy, and warned that Democrats were itching to put handcuffs on businesses, investors, and the middle class.
“We have to preserve and build on the policies and the successes,” Kudlow said. “We have to maintain a strong and prosperous America. In short, we have to keep America great. Here’s the problem: our opponents are proposing to overturn America’s success and its greatness. It’s crazy stuff; it’s crazy stuff. I’ve been around a while, I suppose nothing should surprise me. High taxes, health care takeover, impoverished poverty traps. Socialism. Socialism.
“So I’m going to come to you today, really with a plea,” he continued. “Stay with me on this; I need your help. I want you, everybody in this room and your friends and your neighbors, I want you to put socialism on trial. That’s what I’m asking you to do today. I don’t want us to stand idly by. I don’t want to let this stuff fester; I want it challenged; I want it debated; I want it rebutted, and I want to convict socialism.”
Putting socialism on trial is a noble cause, and Kudlow’s plea to conservative activists is a worthy one. What we’re afraid of, though, is that this is less a war of ideas and more a war of…charisma? AOC and Bernie aren’t at the top of the Democrat food chain simply because they are the furthest to the left. We’d venture to say that’s almost incidental to their popularity. They are there because they are charismatic empty vessels who have a sixth sense about how to attract the youth to their demagoguery. If facts were the enemies of their popularity, they would have already been discarded like yesterday’s newspaper.
Battling Democrats with fact sheets and CBO reports is all well and good, but we’re not confident that it’s going to move the needle.
Thankfully, we happen to have a guy in the White House with a few…more interesting tricks up his sleeve.