Column- "Socialism Is Not The Answer For America"

Socialism is Not the Answer for America
By Lieutenant Governor Mark A. Darr

The other day I saw a commercial on television that struck me. A man named Thomas Peterffy was telling his story about growing up in Hungary when it was a socialist country. He came to the United States and lived the American Dream, becoming a citizen and an incredibly successful entrepreneur. But, he hasn't forgotten where he came from - the place that he left. In socialist Hungary, he said that there was "no hope, no freedom, no pride in achievement." He said that he believes we are on a slippery slope and he sees it happening here. "America's wealth comes from people striving for success," he continued. The incentives for success in this country are receding. It seems that because the government has sought to do so much for so many, we are now incentivizing people not to work.

This election, we find our country is at a crossroads. I never thought it would come to this in America.

When Ronald Reagan was president, our country stood against socialism. All over the world, American effort and treasure was spent trying to defeat it. Now we are seeing this encroaching ideology infect our own political and economic system. We must continue to defeat it or it will consume our nation.

Too many people now think that it is the job of the government to provide whatever they need. Where has American optimism and individualism gone? Where is that sense of being independent and self-sufficient? Many of our neighbors do need help and I understand that. Many other Americans are simply losing hope. Thousands of people have left the workforce. Dependence on government social programs is skyrocketing.

The path we are on is unsustainable. Look at what is happening in
Europe. Decades of government growth and socialist policies are bankrupting their countries. Greece and Spain are key examples. Cuts in programs that people became dependent on have led to violence in the streets. Why would we go down a road that we know leads to failure?

These past few years, we have seen demonstrations all across our own country, representing a level of American unrest that I've never seen before. America's "silent majority" is no longer silent. Millions have turned out in non-violent protests to say that the government is doing too much, rather than not enough.

President Nixon, during the Vietnam War, called for the country to be "united against defeat." He said, "North Vietnam cannot defeat or humiliate the United States. Only Americans can do that." We cannot allow our country to be defeated and humiliated from within. The path to socialism will lead to that end.

Free enterprise, hard work, and American entrepreneurialism - that is what works. That is what has made our economy the envy of the world. Government should encourage that, not squelch it.

Thomas Jefferson wrote, "The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground." We see it before our own eyes.

We must preserve our nation as that "shining city on a hill". We can't allow it to grow dim.