Every time one of the new hyper-leftist radical progressives proposes another component of their overarching socialist agenda, the first question usually asked by conservatives is, “How are you going to pay for it?” This is natural. We’ve grown accustomed to asking this question when pretty much any shiny new initiative is offered, even if it isn’t socialistic.
But here’s the thing. It’s time to stop asking that question for two important reasons and one exponentially more critical reason. First, the math is always fuzzy and there are far too many Americans who have a hard time properly visualizing the difference between a million, billion, and trillion. Second and more importantly, the more we ask this question, the sooner they’re going to start giving answers that would make sense to left-leaning or even moderate voters. We’re seeing it already in the latest versions of tax-the-rich-to-feed-the-poor proposals that, despite the math being abysmal, still makes sense to many Americans.
There’s a third reason this is the wrong mentality to have. It comes down to the real threat of socialism and all of its components. The financial implications, which fly over the heads of many if not most Americans, are minuscule compared to what socialism really does to Americans. It takes away our freedoms. It mandates aspects of our life that belong in the realm of free will. I may want a gas-economical car because it makes sense for my family and I like the reduced pollutants it emits, but socialism wants to force me to abandon fossil fuels altogether. That’s an example of what one component of socialism would do. Through mandates and government decrees, our rights to choose what’s best for us and our families are taken away as a direct result of every socialist proposal on the table now and planned for the future.
If conservatives keep using the economy as the argument against socialist proposals, we’re going to end up with watered down versions. Obamacare, for example, was destined to fail but it has survived so long because conservatives attacked the economic aspects of it instead of taking the proper angle of going after what it truly represents to the American people. As a result, we haven’t defunded it, haven’t repealed it, barely adjusted it, and the next variation to replace it when it finally becomes unworkable will likely be a supercharged version such as Medicare-for-All. Why? Because conservatives focused on the money instead of the underlying risk it posed to our nation. Challenges the free market economy had in regards to healthcare and health insurance in the past are infinitesimal compared to the catastrophe that will come if the government takes full control through Medicare-for-All.
Conservatives have an ideological advantage when it comes to socialism that has nothing to do with economic factors. We believe an Americans’ right to choose what kind of car they drive, who provides their healthcare or health insurance, where we work and how much we make. This last one is the big selling point right now for socialists because it goes to the heart of the ignorance being displayed by Americans who believe in raising the minimum wage. We can and should be paid based upon the value we provide to an employer. If we want to make more money, we can either improve our work, advance in the company we’re in, or find a better job that pays more. We have those choices. But in a socialistic society, those choices are reduced or eliminated. It starts because of the incompatibility with capitalism, as they’ve learned in every place that raised the minimum wage. New York was the latest to feel the sting, especially in the standard first casualty, the restaurant industry.
But this initial rejection of choices and the economic drawbacks of increasing the minimum wage are nothing compared to the socialist response: mandated income. When the jobs dry up because they’re forced to overpay their employees, two things will happen. First, we’ll see the freedom of businesses to operate as they see fit dramatically reduced. It will become harder for them to hire or fire people. It will become criminal to reduce hours. Second, those who simply cannot or will not work based upon personal preference will join the ranks of those who cannot work based on unavoidable challenges. The person who doesn’t want to work will get the same government attention and benefits as those who want to work but cannot.
This may all sound like an economic argument, but look closer. Just as our rights as individuals are attacked through mandates on fossil fuels, healthcare, and “vices” such as meat consumption (yes, they’ll come after the meat soon enough), so too are the rights of business owners attacked by other socialistic mandates.
It really does all come down to freedom and the hyper-left’s desire to take those individual freedoms away for the sake of the collective.
Would the various aspects of socialism proposed by the new left destroy the U.S. economy? Probably. Tie a few of them together and it's almost certain.
But the real threat of socialism isn't to the treasury. It's to our freedoms. That should be conservatives' focus.
— JD Rucker (@JDRucker) March 10, 2019
Conservatives haven’t had to formulate much of a script to counter socialism because Americans were once aware that it was bad. As more Americans open up to the notion, it’s imperative conservatives start asking more than, “How are you going to pay for it?” That’s not going to cut it in a battle against the willfully blinded progressive base.
Is the nation ready to revive the American Conservative Movement?