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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
8:53 AM Tue, Nov. 20th

Talk of the Town: America’s at a crossroads this election

This has to be the craziest election cycle ever, generating the most hostile political climate since the Burr-Hamilton duel in 1804.

The debates were anything but informative. It was Kabuki Theater for Democrats while the GOP bunch sounded like dueling smoke alarms. These theatrical events provided only amusement for pundits, political junkies and other abnormal persons.

The Ides of March seemed to be the turning point for the two leading candidates as delegate support unexpectedly swamped their campaigns.

The electorate can now focus on the nominating process that, thus far, has been slightly better than the debates. Dems are offering two throwbacks from the 20th century while Republicans cut their numbers by means of cannibalism.

Everyone except those comatose for a decade would agree that America is starving for new leadership.

Until recently, the Democratic Party has never been open with its hidden agenda fearing electoral backlash; nor would its officials admit to having the nation on a radical leftward trajectory.

Today, the opposite is in play. Both candidates are openly stumping on socialistic tenants.

Hillary Clinton is the presumptive nominee and expected to win the Oval Office. As president, she probably would choose to govern under the “Centrist Third Way,” the same philosophy used by her husband. This position advocates a synthesis of right-wing economic and left-wing social policies. Simply put, a blend of capitalism and socialism, using the free market as the economic engine. The Third Way is also known as socialism “lite.”

Legions of Clinton supporters, consisting of admirers with a K-9 sense of loyalty, have overlooked her past indiscretions to pledge their full support. They are, however, concerned and want no more of the scandalous behavior and carnival ugliness that hung over the Clinton White House during the 1990s.

Running a close second is Bernie Sanders, the popular disheveled septuagenarian and self-described democratic socialist. He is, according to Senate records, an independent socialist, never identifying as a democrat until last year. Sanders has become enormously popular with the young. He stands before massive audiences reciting his largess – free healthcare, college, living wages for all, and taxing the rich at 90 percent. He receives tumultuous approval as electric crowds chant “Bernie… Bernie… Bernie.” But the most compelling reason is that millennials actually like the idea of a socialist revolution and soaking the financially successful.

The GOP should be concerned with Sander’s success. He’s established a solid beachhead for democratic socialism and his ideology is the future of the Democratic Party. Future candidates identifying as socialists will run into much less resistance from the electorate, thanks to Sanders paving the way.

Both Clinton and Sanders sound good on the stump. They’re intelligent, articulate and never use the “s-word” when outlining their vision for America. Neither should be underestimated.

Democrats’ long-term agenda is quite worrisome.

For decades now, the progressive left has wanted to transform America into a socialistic state. Their efforts to create this “utopian society” has been on fast-track for the last seven years.

To transform a capitalist state to socialism is highly problematical. It must be done incrementally. The first step is to develop a one party political system. Next, the president assumes imperious control over all matters, social issues and especially the economy. Public outrage usually disrupts and slows down the process, often taking decades to complete the transition.

At some point, a life-changing decision must be made: Either to maintain statism, where the state controls some degree of economic and social policies; or, continue toward comprehensive socialism.

If the latter is chosen, a socialistic state becomes whole when government seizes the means of production, the factories and land. Private enterprise is abolished and everyone works for the state, and the state runs the economy.

The theory may sound workable, but in application, socialism has failed everywhere it’s been tried. It fails because countries were never able to borrow, tax or print enough money to maintain the welfare state it was striving to create.

This radical transformation, if successful here, would totally change the calculus of life in America; ending our constitutional and personal freedoms and eventually destroy the economy.

This November we have a choice between two entirely different ideologies: The continued transformation to a collective state as described here, or a Constitutional Republic.

Both ideologies have starkly different visions of what America should look like.

The choice shouldn’t be difficult.

C.R. Shoemaker is a retired Marine Corps officer, a Prescott resident and a former campaign manager for a member of Congress.