By Rachel Witherspoon
While we focus on all things scary in the lead up to Halloween, I want to discuss something far more scary than witches and goblins: socialism. There are a lot of scary aspects of socialism and among them the scariest for people are most often poverty, starvation, or death at the hands of the government.
Those are not the scariest aspects of socialism to me, not even close.
To me, what is far worse than all of those things is to live without freedom.
You may be thinking that I am being widely over dramatic, that I'm taking the idea of a ghost story and using it to my advantage. I wish the harsh realities of socialism did not exist and it truly did end in a happy utopia, but no witches brew could liberate everyone who has ever been held in bondage by socialist policies.
This isn’t me attempting to scare you, chances are if you’ve been paying attention this past year, you are already scared at what the government and society are capable of. This is me telling you that without freedom, the great social experiment of America is no more.
I think it is often difficult for Americans, especially young Americans, to grasp the concept of freedom because for most of us, it is something we have always been blessed with and probably have taken for granted. Never before have we really faced any substantial threat to our freedoms and we owe that blessing to a lot of people known and unknown who came and fought before us.
That is why it may be easier to discuss what freedom isn’t…
Freedom is not having to depend on the government to provide for your family through CLAP boxes or bread lines that go on for miles.
Freedom is not being told what you are or are not allowed to say.
Freedom is not being forced to give the business you’ve built over to anyone against your will, including the government.
Freedom is not being forced to proclaim something you don’t believe because you are made to fear retribution.
Freedom is not the government forcing you into poverty and making it so you have no escape from it.
Freedom is not the government telling you when, where, or if you are allowed to practice your faith (sound familiar America?).
Freedom is not the government persecuting someone for having the wrong political beliefs.
Freedom is not society persecuting anyone for having the wrong political beliefs either.
Freedom is not the government taking your money because “they know how to utilize it better than you do”.
Freedom is not the government telling you how you have to spend the money you’ve earned either.
Allow me to call upon a ghost from the past and quote Founding Father and President James Madison, “I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations”. 1 Despite these words being spoken 232 years ago when ratifying the US Constitution, they serve as a poignant reminder to Americans today.
If you consider the small freedoms of professing your faith, holding beliefs that may differ from the mob, and working the job of your choosing to provide for your family important and valuable in your life, it is time to learn more about socialism and how even its incremental policies can affect them.
I’m not scared by the monsters or ghost stories this Halloween; I’m scared of socialism’s increasing popularity in America and its threats to freedom in the Land of the Free.
About Rachel Witherspoon
Rachel Witherspoon is a young American graduate student with a passion for utilizing the knowledge found in economics, business, and political science to help others. She is a fierce advocate for America and an even bigger advocate for the First Amendment.