Trump wants to make 2020 about 'socialism'? Please proceed.
Individual 1 and his party appear to have settled on a new theme for the upcoming 2020 elections. In keeping with Trumpian tradition, they have to come up with another boogeyman out there in the ether with which to scare the American people. In the State of the Union Address, the one he had to deliver on Nancy Pelosi’s timetable after his 35-day shutdown tantrum, Trump made a concerted effort to frighten Americans about the looming threat posed by … socialism?
The Man Who Lost the Popular Vote began this effort by talking about the crisis in Venezuela, a country that is currently collapsing thanks to a corrupt, dictatorial regime led by socialist Nicholas Maduro. Venezuela is a disaster, its people are suffering terribly, and the U.S., along with numerous other democracies, has recognized as the rightful president the country’s opposition leader Juan Guaido, head of the National Assembly. In his speech, Trump used Venezuela to pivot toward domestic politics and trotted out some potential 2020 campaign rhetoric:
Here in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country … Tonight, we resolve that America will never be a socialist country.
Let’s get one thing straight: No politician of any kind of stature, not Bernie Sanders, not Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is calling for America to adopt any kind of actual socialism, let alone Venezuelan-style socialism. But we know that the truth, or the lack thereof, is no bar to a man who has lied upwards of 8,000 times in two years as president.
It is worth noting that the SOTU was far from the first time the Trump White House has brought up the nonexistent menace of American socialism. Last October, Trump’s Council of Economic Advisers produced a report called “The Opportunity Costs of Socialism,” which sought to draw ridiculous parallels between such progressive ideas as “single-payer systems” and “high tax rates” and socialist dictatorships like Venezuela and the Soviet Union. Right! Bernie as Joe Stalin, and AOC as Chairman Mao (look, the names are only one letter different!)