If you want a concise, three-minute explanation about why socialism is a failure, you would be hard-pressed to find better than what President Donald Trump did in Miami on Monday.
While there are few moments in political speechmaking that can induce chills quite like, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall,” even President Ronald Reagan would be proud of Trump’s explanation and take down of socialism.
Trump’s speech, which was given before the Venezuelan-American community in the Florida city, dealt with the presidential succession crisis in the South American nation — and the fact that Cuba had often propped up the regimes of Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro.
“For decades, the socialist dictatorships of Cuba and Venezuela have propped each other up in a very corrupt bargain. Venezuela gave Cuba oil. In return, Cuba gave Venezuela a police state run directly from Havana,” Trump said. “But this is a much different day, and those days are over. The ugly alliance between the two dictatorships is coming to a rapid end.”
“A new future is beginning,” Trump said. That’s because those in the arena and outside it “are united because we know the truth about socialism in Venezuela, in Cuba, in Nicaragua and all around the world. Socialism promises prosperity, but it delivers poverty.”
“Socialism promises unity, but it delivers hatred and it delivers division. Socialism promises a better future, but it always returns to the darkest chapters of the past,” he continued.
“That never fails. It always happens. Socialism is a sad and discredited ideology rooted in the total ignorance of history and human nature, which is why socialism, eventually, must always give rise to tyranny, which it does.
“Socialists profess a love of diversity, but they always insist on absolute conformity. We know that socialism is not about justice, it’s not about equality, it’s not about lifting up the poor. Socialism is about one thing only: power for the ruling class. And the more power they get, the more they crave.
“They want to run healthcare, run transportation and finance, run energy, education — run everything,” he added.
“They want the power to decide who wins and who loses, who’s up and who’s down, what’s true and what’s false, and even who lives and who dies. In short, all of us here today know that there is nothing less democratic than socialism.
“Everywhere and anywhere it appears, socialism advances under the banner of progress,” Trump added. “But in the end, it delivers only corruption, exploitation, and decay.”
Even conservatives who have reservations about President Trump should find in those three minutes one of the most brutal, concise and accurate rhetorical takedowns of socialism.
We’ve seen this before on so many levels. Socialism is tolerant, we’re told. It’s progressive. It’ll ensure decent living standards for all.
And, when it ends up like it does in the Soviet Union, Venezuela or Cuba, we’re told that wasn’t real socialism or communism. It was somehow perverted. There’s no inexorable process at play. The United States interfered. It can be changed this time.
Those who might be seduced by the charms of socialism at any point in history would do well to look at these three minutes. Without going into minutiae, it disabuses anyone of the idea these failures are just one-offs.