The philosopher, poet and novelist George Santayana once wrote: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
In recent days the world did indeed remember the past as it marked the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. That event is now viewed as marking the end of the cold war and freedom’s victory over the evil forces of communism.
But on the afternoon of Tuesday, October 29th the lessons of history were indeed forgotten, or deliberately ignored, by 30 members of Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives. At issue was a resolution sponsored by State Representative Cris Dush (R-Jefferson/Indiana) declaring November 7, 2019 as Victims of Communism Memorial Day.
Dush provided members with a bit of a history lesson in his floor remarks urging passage of the legislation: “In our constitutional American Republic,” he said, “We the People have the right to own and secure property. In wickedly evil sharp contrast, communism makes the false promise of equality, but only delivers atrocities.”
So-called equality is always the cheese in the trap for totalitarian regimes. It is also a major talking point for today’s “democratic socialists” who are promising equal outcomes for everyone at someone else’s expense. That has historically led to economic ruin, tyranny, and the eventual demise of nations.
Dush’s lesson continued pointing out that under communist regimes: “The only things you may have in your possession are the things the State decides you may have. The resultant want of things like food in these regimes cause disturbances which have led to over 100 million victims of communism being unconscionably slaughtered and more interred in “re-education camps” for simply speaking out against government injustice and tyranny.”
Let that sink in for a minute: 100 million victims. For bloody decades in the 20th century Joseph Stalin in the USSR, Mao Zedong in China, Pol Pot in Cambodia all brutally exterminated any man, woman or child who somehow stood in the way of creating what they billed as a “worker’s paradise” or “people’s republic.”
It is important to remember that communism and socialism are two sides of the same coin. That is why the rhetoric of the Left today is so stunningly similar to the philosophic principles that were the underpinning of the communist movement in the last century. For example, it is a very short step from “political correctness” to “re-education,” and the conformity required on college campuses today shows we are well on our way.
This brings us back to the House vote on the Victims of Communism Memorial Day Resolution. Given the very recent history of tyranny visited upon the world by communism how could any member of that body vote against memorializing its victims?
A majority of the no votes were cast by representatives from the City of Philadelphia which might soon be known as Moscow on the Delaware. In addition to this affront to the victims of communism, Mayor Jim Kenney recently ordered the Chinese flag to be flow over city hall on the 70th anniversary of China’s communist regime.
Kenney justified this disgrace as an exercise in multi-culturalism and diversity. This despite the fact many immigrants to the city fled the brutal Chinese regime that today is seeking to crack down on freedom fighters in Hong Kong which hopefully won’t turn into Tiannaman Square 2.0.
In the November General Election a “democratic socialist” actually beat several Republican candidates to claim a mandated minority party seat on the Philadelphia City Council. Two years ago voters elected a District Attorney who has acted more like a public defender than a prosecutor, this under the guise of social justice.
The explanation of the ‘no” votes on the Victims of Communism Memorial Day resolution are clear: there is a radical element within the Democratic Party that believes they can do what has never been done in all of history – implement socialism/communism without it leading to deadly tyranny.
Add all of this together and it becomes clear that the battle against communism did not end with the fall of the Berlin Wall. The communist/socialist ideology is alive and well in certain quarters of Penn’s Woods and it is time we wake up to the threat it poses to our economic well-being, our constitutional freedoms, and even our very lives.
(Lowman S. Henry is Chairman & CEO of the Lincoln Institute and host of the weekly Lincoln Radio Journal. His e-mail address is [email protected].)
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