President Donald Trump rejected the encroachment of socialism into America during the annual State of the Union address on Feb. 5, drawing applause from Republicans and stone-faced glares from Democrats.
Trump, a fiery critic of socialism and communism, made the remarks as he spoke about the economic collapse in Venezuela, one of the latest examples of socialism’s failure. The president was likely responding to calls from prominent Democrats in Congress for socialists policies like “Medicare for All” and the “Green New Deal” that would enable massive government expansion into the health care and energy sectors.
“Here, in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country,” Trump said to boos from Republicans in the audience.
“America was founded on liberty and independence–not government coercion, domination, and control. We are born free, and we will stay free,” he continued, drawing a standing ovation from the GOP, while Bernie Sanders, a self-proclaimed socialist, fidgeted in his seat, his lips tight and his hand propping up his chin.
The Republicans chanted “USA, USA” in response.
“Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country,” Trump said, bringing Republicans and some Democrats to their feet again.
The president condemned the brutal socialist regime of Nicolás Maduro, saying that his socialist policies drove oil-rich Venezuela into “a state of abject poverty and despair.”
While calls for socialist policies received a significant amount of media attention during and after the 2018 midterm election cycle, the proposals are not new to American politics. “Obamacare” nearly achieved the socialist dream of total government takeover of the whole industry and was a step toward the goals enshrined in “Medicare for All.”
America Will Never Be a Socialist Country
Under the guise of progressivism, socialism–a preliminary stage to communism–has penetrated deeply into U.S. politics, higher education, and culture.
Trump recognized Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s interim president last month. Venezuela’s duly elected National Assembly declared in mid-January that Maduro’s presidency illegitimate. Guaido assumed interim control, but Maduro refused to give up control.
The standoff between the two leaders became a global referendum on socialism, with free-world nations–like the United States, Germany, and Australia–siding with Guaido. In the meantime, socialist and communist regimes, like China, North Korea, and Cuba, are backing Maduro. There are potential exclusions to the pattern, like Russia, which may be backing Maduro after having invested heavily in Venezuelan oil or as a way to oppose the United States on the global stage.
In a response to Trump’s speech, Ocasio-Cortez told Fox News that she thought “it was great. I think he’s scared.”
Ocasio-Cortez is promoting the Green New Deal a policy that would mandate that all of the United States stop using fossil fuels in 12 years. The Green New Deal proposal acknowledges that the cost of such a program would be astronomical.
“Even if all the billionaires and companies came together, and were willing to pour all the resources at their disposal into this investment, the aggregate value of the investments they could make would not be sufficient,” the proposal states.
The proposal instead calls on the Federal Reserve bank to issue new credit to fund the massive project.
No matter how a government decides to fund such a program, it would ultimately be taxpayers footing the bill, either to repay the creditor or to cover the losses if the proposed state-run mega-projects run into trouble, as they historically have (pdf).
Epoch Times reporter Petr Svab contributed to this report.