I am reminded of my own youth in England and of a particular incident when I was but seventeen years of age which both changed my life and my political outlook.
As we know, the vast majority of young people have always been – and certainly are today – filled with idealistic notions. That is good and is part of growing up. I certainly was idealistic and, not surprisingly, had automatically wished to assert my own ideas in opposition to those of my father. I loved him greatly but he was a staunch member of the British Conservative party and so I foolishly chose – to his dismay – to join the left-wing and radically Socialist opposition Labour Party.
Now my father’s relatives being mostly working class folks were all automatically wedded to Britain’s Labour Party that claimed to be for the workers. In fact Communist ideas were front and center among so many Brits. The old Socialist song, “We’ll keep the Red flag flying here” was often sung along with the parading of the slogan; “Workers of the World Unite.”
When I was still only in my pre-teen years I remember how Dad would drive our family in his black Morris 12, to visit my uncles, aunts and cousins once a month in their relatively poor part of London. Inevitably, after a game of cards, politics would take over among the adults and Dad would inevitably be in the political minority. This was the customary turn of events and neither one of his brothers and sisters would give way during what often became heated arguments.
So back now to that incident when I was about seventeen. I was getting off a double decker bus in my home town. An elderly man was boarding the bus at the same time and he saw a lapel badge I was wearing. He asked what was written on it and I proudly and naively said, “Oh, it shows I’m a member of the Young Socialists.”
It was what I saw in the eyes of that elderly stranger that so profoundly shook me. The look was one of weary, even ancient despair and I could not stop thinking about it. I later learned how many older people shared that same anguished look when similarly confronted by youthful ignorance and naivety. I also later learned of the horrific history of worldwide Marxist, Communist and Socialist state control and the vast numbers of hapless people who had died horribly under their heartless regimes. I learned this by reading as much as I could from books in my local library.
I soon left the Young Socialists, outraged at what I had read. It was then that I grew up. I was comforted by Winston Churchill’s allegedly famous quote: “If a man is not a socialist by the time he is 20, he has no heart; If he is not a conservative by the time he is 40, he has no brain.” Of course Churchill famously went on to also say the following:
“Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.” Perhaps the greatest conservative successor to Winston Churchill was Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the daughter of a grocer, known as the iron lady and of whom it was said ironically that she was the only man in the Cabinet. She had pointed out that, "The trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money."
Here in our American towns and cities the Socialist youth today now go by names such as Antifa, Occupy Wall Street or Black Lives Matter. They are all consumed by an indoctrinated and paranoid hatred of President Trump, so much so that their lives are filled with self-destroying hate. Unwittingly they are now the violent and very fascist heirs to Hitler’s thugs. even though they falsely preach with utter idiocy that they are anti-fascists.
Trump Derangement Syndrome is a contagious, debilitating psychiatric disorder manifesting a precipitous decline in intellectual and emotional stability and resilience. In its way it is as horrific as those earlier ideologies that led to the Soviet Gulags and the Chinese genocides under Mao.
Of course Communism in America never died. It simply changed its name. We now hear leftists calling themselves progressives when in reality they are the “regressive” political plague of the 21st century.
In the nation’s universities or, what Michael Savage once called, “the universities of lower learning,” those rioting youth of the sixties are now ensconced as aged leftwing and Socialist tenured professors, spewing corrosive Marxist twaddle to the current crop of idealistic youth. The generations come and go, but students are now political fodder on an ever fateful Socialist conveyor belt which works tirelessly to bring empty headed youth to unknowingly enable the Marxist revolution in America.
Traditional temples of free thought, our Universities, have now become academic gulags where only so-called progressive (aka regressive) speech is permitted.
The left is divisive. Socialism separates people by class and by race. This is its powerful weapon of choice, along with its manufactured support of multi gender identities as we march towards what may well be the most fateful general election in America’s history.
Conservatism eschews class, race and multiple gender identities. It prefers values of character, individuality, personal freedom, a love of America and its wondrous Constitution and the enduring bedrock of Judeo-Christian civilization.
I think back now with gratitude to that older man who long ago boarded that bus and whose eyes told me all I needed to know.© Victor Sharpe
The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.