Victor Davis Hanson Asks If Americans Are Becoming ‘Sovietized’; The Answer is Yes

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Speaking at a campaign event for Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin on Thursday, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz told supporters: “Can you imagine, a year and a half ago, if I said, okay, here’s what’s gonna be the issues. We ought to let businesses open up. We ought to let kids go to school. And how about, let’s not abolish the police.”

That any one of these items is a political issue today is a testament to how far America has strayed from its founding principles.

On Thursday, conservative commentator and historian Victor Davis Hanson published a list of ten symptoms of Sovietism. He encouraged readers to ask themselves if America is “headed down this same road to perdition.”

1. There was no escape from ideological indoctrination — anywhere. A job in the bureaucracy or a military assignment hinged not so much on merit, expertise or past achievement. What mattered was loud enthusiasm for the Soviet system.

2. The Soviets fused their press with the government. Pravda, or “Truth,” was the official megaphone of state-sanctioned lies. Journalists simply regurgitated the talking points of their Communist Party partners.

3. The Soviet surveillance state enlisted apparatchiks and lackeys to ferret out ideological dissidents.

4. The Soviet educational system sought not to enlighten but to indoctrinate young minds in proper government-approved thought.

5. The Soviet Union was run by a pampered elite, exempt from the ramifications of their own radical ideologies.

6. The Soviets mastered Trotskyization, or the rewriting and airbrushing away of history to fabricate present reality.

7. The Soviets created a climate of fear and rewarded stool pigeons for rooting out all potential enemies of the people.

8. Soviet prosecutors and courts were weaponized according to ideology.

9. The Soviets doled out prizes on the basis of correct Soviet thought.

10. The Soviets offered no apologies for extinguishing freedom. Instead, they boasted that they were advocates for equity, champions of the underclass, enemies of privilege — and therefore could terminate anyone or anything they pleased.

Our mainstream media is “fused” to our government. The New York Times has tried to rewrite history via its 1619 Project. Last summer we watched as the “woke” canceled historical figures they objected to by toppling statues across the country. And “critical race theory” has been introduced into American educational curriculums.

Americans are being surveilled in ways we never dreamed possible – by government agencies.

A small group of Big Tech leaders now wield more power than the U.S. government by controlling what information we can and cannot see.

Hanson points out that, “where and for what reason you riot determines whether you face any legal consequences. Politically correct sanctuary cities defy the law with impunity. Jury members are terrified of being doxxed and hunted down for an incorrect verdict. The CIA and FBI are becoming as ideological as the old KGB.”

It would be difficult to make the case that we’re not being “Sovietized.”

That America was ready to cross the line into Soviet territory became clear during the 2020 Democratic presidential debates which began in the summer of 2019. Suddenly the “radical” ideas proposed by Democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont during his 2016 run for the White House were embraced by most, if not all, of the candidates.

In June 2019, Sanders delivered a major speech about Democratic Socialism. Knowing that many Americans viewed the term “socialist” as a “slur,” he was eager for an opportunity to clear up some of the myths and show us how great socialism could be.

He told supporters, “In 1944, FDR proposed an economic bill of rights but died a year later and was never able to fulfill that vision.” Sanders then presented himself as a modern day FDR and said he hopes to complete the work which FDR began.

Finally, Sanders introduced the centerpiece of his platform, which he called “a 21st Century Economic Bill of Rights.”

There was something deeply disturbing about Sanders’ proposal. In an appearance on Hannity, political commentator and historian Mark Levin pointed out that Sanders had “stolen his agenda from the 1936 Soviet Constitution.”

Levin was entirely correct.

Here is an excerpt from Sanders’ speech:

A Bill of Rights that establishes once and for all that every American, regardless of his or her income in entitled to:

  • The right to a decent job that pays a living wage
  • The right to quality health care
  • The right to a complete education
  • The right to affordable housing
  • The right to a clean environment
  • The right to a secure retirement

These six “rights,” which define Sanders’ platform, are indistinguishable from the rights identified in the 1936 Soviet Constitution, which is also known as the Stalin Constitution.

Please read Articles 118-122 of this constitution. (Source: Bucknell University)

(Emphasis mine.)

ARTICLE 118. Citizens of the U.S.S.R. have the right to work, that is, are guaranteed the right to employment and payment for their work in accordance with its quantity and quality.

ARTICLE 119. Citizens of the U.S.S.R. have the right to rest and leisure. The right to rest and leisure is ensured by the reduction of the working day to seven hours for the overwhelming majority of the workers, the institution of annual vacations with full pay for workers and employees and the provision of a wide network of sanatoria, rest homes and clubs for the accommodation of the working people.

ARTICLE 120. Citizens of the U.S.S.R. have the right to maintenance in old age and alsoin case of sickness or loss of capacity to work. This right is ensured by the extensive development of social insurance of workers and employees at state expense, free medical service for the working people and the provision of a wide network of health resorts for the use of the working people.

ARTICLE 121. Citizens of the U.S.S.R. have the right to education. This right is ensured by universal, compulsory elementary education; by education, including higher education, being free of charge; by the system of state stipends for the overwhelming majority of students in the universities and colleges; by instruction in schools being conducted in the native language, and by the organization in the factories, state farms, machine and tractor stations and collective farms of free vocational, technical and agronomic training for the working people.

ARTICLE 122. Women in the U.S.S.R. are accorded equal rights with men in all spheres of economic, state, cultural, social and political life. The possibility of exercising these rights is ensured to women by granting them an equal right with men to work, payment for work, rest and leisure, social insurance and education, and by state protection of the interests of mother and child, prematernity and maternity leave with full pay, and the provision of a wide network of maternity homes, nurseries and kindergartens.

The only “right” not stolen from the Stalin Constitution was the right to a clean environment.

The National Review’s Kevin Williamson provides a more appropriate definition of socialism: “solidarity that is enforced at gunpoint, if necessary.”

America is on a dangerous path.

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