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EDITORIAL: Bernie and AOC hit Las Vegas

The Bernie Sanders “Workers of the World Unite” roadshow returns to Southern Nevada this weekend, and the senator is bringing along a special guest star for this tour stop. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, one of the new faces of today’s Democratic Party, will deliver the keynote address at Bernie’s “Spanish Language Town Hall” scheduled for Sunday afternoon on the east side.

Following her remarks, the campaign will hold a panel on Sen. Sanders’ efforts “to create a political revolution and transform our country so it works for all of us.” AOC has endorsed Bernie’s White House run, and he has reciprocated by telling ABC News recently that she will “play a very, very important role” in the event he wins the presidency.

Thanks for the warning.

There’s little doubt that the tired old Marxism promoted by Sen. Sanders and fellow comrade Rep. Ocasio-Cortez would indeed “transform” the United States. The debate arises over whether that transformation would be for the better — and on that point, the carnage wrought throughout the 20th century by the siren song of socialism offers a definitive answer.

Sen. Sanders is old enough to know better, of course. But the 30-year-old AOC is unburdened by the weight of historical perspective. She has sharp and canny political instincts, however, and has ridden a wave of radical progressive chic to become, in her first term, one of the most visible Democrats in the House, the vanguard of a young left that disdains individual liberty and capitalism in favor of a collectivism and identity politics cloaked in benevolence but steeped in a dangerous combination of compulsion and authoritarianism.

Perhaps during Sunday’s panel discussion, AOC and Bernie will explain why tossing aside the greatest and most efficient wealth-generating economic system the world has ever known — one that has expanded and created unprecedented opportunity while lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty — in favor of an alternative that continues to leave a trail of misery and death in its wake (see: Venezuela) should appeal to American voters. But that’s unlikely. Expect the panel to instead be a showcase for the cradle-to-grave dependency that defines the duo’s agenda.

During her short time in office, AOC has become highly proficient in the shopworn Democratic tactic of using the allure of “free stuff” to generate political support. She is a primary driver of the Green New Deal, which seeks to replace market capitalism with a system of government mandates and central planning that would destroy the American economy. She espouses “free” college, “free” day care and a complete government takeover of the health care industry.

All this “free stuff” would cost many trillions of dollars, so Bernie and AOC propose confiscatory taxes on the wealthy without any regard for how that might damage productivity, upend job creation and stunt entrepreneurialism. Such disruption would do nothing to benefit the poor — in fact, it would create only more hardship — and because the evil 1 Percent doesn’t have enough money to cover the astronomical costs of their endless giveaways, middle-class Americans would inevitably be burdened with large new taxes, as even Bernie admits.

It might also be interesting to hear AOC expand this weekend upon her recent diatribe in which she insisted, “These are public goods. They’re public goods. So I never want to hear the term ‘free stuff’ ever again.” Is it her perspective that the money necessary to implement her collectivist vision is actually the property of the state rather than of those who earned it? Even Democrats used to recognize, after all, that a healthy private economy was necessary to generate the revenue they so crave to spend.

Socialism, Winston Churchill famously noted, “is the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance and the gospel of envy.” He also astutely observed, “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.”

That the latter philosophy is now dominating mainstream Democratic politics is one significant reason President Donald Trump might still be in the White House come January 2021.

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