To Sanders, Democrats, our economic heroes are villains

Where is the Democrats' resistance movement when we need it the most?

In America, we celebrate the economic genius of the Henry Fords, The John D. Rockefellers, the Mellons, the Carnegies, the J.P. Morgans, the Thomas Edisons, the Steve Jobs and Bill Gates and Michael Bloombergs and Jeff Bezos. When did the heroes of our economy become the villains?

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Democratic leaders around the country are in a six-alarm panic over the rise of a candidate with fairly radical positions on economic policy, constitutional rights, and the size and role of government in our lives.


Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., used to be an amusing oddball in Congress, whose tirades on the presidential sweepstakes stage have been made fun of on “Saturday Night Live” by look-alike actor Larry David.

Now it isn't so amusing. Bernie is the unquestioned front-runner and with this reality finally setting in, establishment Democrats are warning voters: "Bernie can't win."

The party wise men and women act as if it is a more frightening prospect for the country that he is going to lose than that he COULD actually win.

I know at least five prominent Democrats who advertise themselves as centrists who have told me privately that if Bernie Sanders is the Democratic party nominee, they will vote for him.

Everyone's voter preference is their own moral decision but...Really? Is the left's lust for power and their hatred of Donald Trump so all-consuming that they would WANT Bernie Sanders to be president of the United States? His socialist ideas could catapult the country into economic and social chaos? Is this how low the party has sunk?

When we turn our inventors, our innovators, our dreamers and our economic heroes into villains, our country loses.

You don't have to be a right-wing zealot to understand that a man who wants tax rates for some Americans of 50 to 70 percent; wants the government to run our entire health care system; endorses some $52 trillion of spending (Mayor Pete’s number, not mine); supports giving terrorists the right to vote; supports a $15 an hour minimum wage; and proposes shutting down America's oil, gas and coal industries is a clear and present danger to American prosperity.


Where is the Democrats' resistance movement when we need it the most? Unseen and unheard.

Why is that?

Could it be because radical anti-free market and socialistic views have become the dominant position of the Democratic Party in the 21st Century? Could it be because they have become enablers of Bernie’s free-lunch economic philosophy that promotes envy and redistribution, not opportunity and achievement? Today’s Democrats have put their faith in the ideology of green Doomsdayism, not innovation and ingenuity and markets.

You can't really blame the under 30 generation for their Bernie-mania. They are simply products of a rotten-to-the-core education system and they are now faithfully regurgitating all of the left-wing kookiness they have been indoctrinated with since kindergarten.

My generation sat by and let it happen -- shame on us -- and the ascension of Bernie is simply a sign that the chickens have come home to roost.  This long-term investment by the left in dumbing down America is now paying off in spades.

The media too has been complicit in the rise of the radical "progressive" movement in America. All one needs to do is read the New York Times (news and editorial page) or turn on CNN or MSNBC for an hour or so to see how far the intelligentsia has drifted away from the core American ideals of freedom and individual responsibility.

On taxes, the one lesson that should have been universally accepted from the last several decades of real-world evidence is that once taxes get even near 50 percent bad things start happening to an economy. In the 1980s MOST Democrats in Congress -- from Ted Kennedy to Bill Bradley to Al Gore to Dick Gephardt -- voted for a tax bill that eliminated tax loopholes and lowered the tax rate to 28 percent.

Now, you could walk down the cavernous halls of the House and Senate congressional office building for hours banging on the doors of every Democrat and you would be hard-pressed to find even ONE who doesn't want to raise rates to 40, 50 or 60 percent.

The reality, of course, is that if Bernie Sanders became president billionaires will still exist -- it's just that very few of them will be in the United States.

All of this wealth-baiting is said to be necessary to help the poor and the middle class who are said to be falling further behind economically. Yet study after study shows that the middle class in America has access to better health, better products, more consumer goods, more leisure and a higher living standard than at an anytime, anywhere, in the history of the world.

American-style free-market capitalism has lifted median household incomes to $66,000 -- a level of material well being that 99.9 percent of the world's inhabitants throughout time have never come close to attaining.


The left's response to all of Bernie's wacky policy prescriptions has been to say they like the goal but that it is too much too soon. They object to “Medicare-for-All” not because a government take-over of the health care system is dangerous, but that unions are opposed to it. If enough voters were for it, they’d be all in for it.

The complaint that Bernie "can't win" is feckless and irresponsible given the enormity of the threat that is at our front door.

For the good of the country, what thoughtful and centrist Democrats should be saying is that the existential threat of Bernie Sanders' ideas are poisonous to the American ideals of limited government, individual liberty and individual initiative.

When we turn our inventors, our innovators, our dreamers and our economic heroes into villains, our country loses.

Not long ago I met with a top policy adviser who served in President Bill Clinton's administration. This person told me in an anguished whisper that the anti-business lurch of the Democratic Party was subversive because "you can't be anti-business and pro-worker." My response was: why are you whispering?!

Socialism isn't a bad idea because it is a political loser, it is a bad idea because it is an idea that will make us all poorer and more controlled by the state.

Will someone standing on the Democratic stage please shout that out over and over? Because right now the silence is deafening.

Stephen Moore is an economic consultant with FreedomWorks. He writes frequently for