With the emergence of Bernie Sanders and the general soft embrace of socialism by the Democrat Party, many Americans – especially the younger folks – are working hard to move this country from capitalism to socialism.

Most who look to socialism are drawn to it by its promise of fairness and equality. There won’t be any more disparity between rich and poor, between men and women, whites and minorities, etc.

Well, for those who pine for socialism, it looks a little like this.

In 1990, I had the privilege of visiting the Russia for a week. This was during the cold war. Instead of joining the tour buses, I decided to leave the beaten path and visit the neighborhoods to see what life was really like.

It was a lot like this.

  • Like Russia in 1990, there are lines for many of the stores and services. If you get into the stores, there are a shocking number of empty shelves.
  • Alcoholism was definitely thriving, as it was not hard to find people buying alcohol. And most of the restaurants I visited had their share of drunk patrons.
  • People were living in fear. While there was no fear of a pandemic, there was definitely a sense that you had to stick to the party line. While the consequences aren’t nearly as potentially dire for speaking out against our government, there’s a sense that you better not question social distancing, government statistics, or our health experts.
  • Speaking of fear, the other side is those who agree with the policies. Those people are even more dangerous because you don’t know who they are, and they’ll turn you in to the authorities to put you in your place for having the nerve to think independently.
  • The Soviet Union definitely did not trust their citizens to make their own decisions, follow their passions, and do what they thought best for themselves. Similarly, instead of going the route of Sweden and trusting the populace to make intelligent decisions during this pandemic, our government has determined we can’t be trusted, so they dictate to us what we’re allowed to do.
  • Depending on the geographic boundary, there was either one, or only a handful of “experts” making decisions for you. You are not qualified or allowed to use your own judgement regarding what’s best for you and your family.
  • The class system we’re creating now was alive and well there. As this shakes out, you can see the COVID haves and have-nots. Those losing their job will become the welfare state, while those with government jobs will never miss a cent of their salary.
  • The government was running the entire economy. We’re not there, yet. But we actively shut ours down, and they have taken more control of it than they’ve ever had, in recent memory.
  • As it was in Russia, more and more people are dependent on the government and redistribution. As we head toward 20 million new unemployed in the span of a few weeks, there are more people who are going to depend on their stimulus checks to get by. We’ll essentially be paid to stay home.
  • The media was firmly aligned with the government, could not be trusted, and would only give you the party line. While the last one is not technically true here, because the media is largely aligned against President Trump, they are aligned with the bureaucrats and only tell you what will help maintain fear. You don’t, and won’t, see anyone in the media questioning government numbers, models, or actions (unless, again, Trump is saying it).
  • Doctors determined who lived and who died. While this is not happening here anywhere near as much as our media would have you think, it’s definitely true in a country like Russia. These are the types of choices many doctors have to make under socialized medicine.

This could be a much longer list, but I think it’s an important distinction to make. Too many people in the United States are simply uneducated about the dismal history of socialism and communism in the world.

I hope someone, especially during this upcoming election, doesn’t miss this opportunity to equate our lives today with our lives would be like if we applied socialism.