Shelly Aldean: A clarion call to action
Despite Donald Trump’s apparent loss in the 2020 election, those who celebrate his defeat should be mindful of the fact that more than 70 million of their fellow Americans voted to return him to office not because they relished his compulsive tweeting or his adolescent name calling but because they supported his America First agenda. Like it or not, no president in recent memory has inspired the sort of passionate devotion and unbridled enthusiasm that were on full display at his ubiquitous campaign rallies. While many Washington elites enjoy the perks of their offices and troublesomely short work weeks (according to CNBC, in 2017 Congress was in session for only 145 days out of a total of 261 work days), most average Americans continue to work a 40 hour week and remain grounded in the fundamental values of faith and family, committed to the proposition that hard work is the surest path to prosperity and individual liberty the greatest catalyst for success. It is for this reason that they reject the idea of willingly subjugating themselves to the tyranny of the radical left’s socialist agenda.
The game plan of socialism is clearly articulated in the writings of Antonio Gramsci, an early 20th century Marxist. “Socialism is precisely the religion that must overwhelm Christianity … In the new order, Socialism will triumph by first capturing the culture via infiltration of schools, universities, churches and the media by transforming the consciousness of society…”. These chilling words should strike fear into the hearts of all freedom loving people as we witness this strategy play out in our lifetimes. No one can honestly deny the increasing suppression of free speech on our college campuses, the censuring of content on social media platforms, the rise and normalization of self-proclaimed Marxist groups like Black Lives Matter, and the spouting of political rhetoric from the pulpits of many American churches by so-called progressive pastors.
While the likes of Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez proclaim the virtues of socialism (as they personally benefit from the values of capitalism), perhaps we should spend more time listening to the voices of those who have labored under the yoke of socialism and its repressive policies.
Writing in the Harvard Crimson, Romanian student Laura Nicolae chides her fellow students for pompously parading around campus in Che Guevara T-shirts and romanticizing about communism.
“Roughly 100 million people died at the hands of the ideology my parents escaped. They cannot tell their story. We owe it to them to recognize that this ideology is not a fad, and their deaths are no joke. In a communist society, the collective is supreme. Personal autonomy is nonexistent. Human beings are simply cogs in a machine tasked with producing utopia: they have no value of their own.”
In a USA Today article, Venezuelan student Daniel Di Martino recalls living under and fleeing from the Chavez/Maduro socialist regime and cautions his adopted country not to embrace the same failed policies that destroyed his native country. “I didn’t need to look at statistics to see this but rather at my own family. When Chavez took office in 1999, my parents were earning several thousand of dollars a month between the two of them. By 2016, due to inflation, they earned less than $2 a day…. Venezuela has become a country where a woeful number of children suffer from malnutrition, and where working two full-time jobs will pay for only 6 pounds of chicken a month.”
Aaron Tao, writing for Aero Magazine, recounts the stories told by his parents who grew up in Maoist China where there were regular food shortages and a critical lack of other basic necessities. According to Tao, “Censorship and ideological conformity were rigidly enforced in an environment that has been described as an “Auschwitz of the mind.” My mother’s grandfather and uncle were killed during the Cultural Revolution, for the crime of being privileged landlords. Red Guard thugs beat them to death with shovels and dumped their bodies in a nearby river — a favorite disposal site, which was used so frequently that the waters flowed red with blood. 1993, as soon as the opportunity emerged, my mother immigrated to the US … My father and I followed a few months later, found freedom, gradually assimilated into our adopted country and eventually worked ourselves into the upper middle class”.
Since very few people in this country have ever experienced any serious type of deprivation, it will be the immigrant Americans, having suffered from systemic oppression firsthand, who will be our ultimate salvation. It is the common narrative of shared pain and immense suffering under the socialist ideology that binds them together and inculcates in them a profound love for the blessings of liberty offered by this country. Perhaps this is why an estimated 55% of the Cuban-American vote in Florida went to President Trump. This was their clarion call to action.
Shelly Aldean is a Carson City resident.