Socialism: Sanders Compared to Lenin
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus
Vladimir Lenin is likely found in any listing of mass-murdering criminals. He is also the founder of Soviet Communism, although he should more correctly be labeled a socialist. The founder of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), Lenin knew that establishing socialism, which is government ownership and control of the major industries in any nation, is the surest way to gaining control of any nation.
Lenin employed both persuasion and terror as his method of gaining power. Along the way, he frankly admitted a major element of his plan. It was that “socialized medicine is the keystone in the arch of the socialist state.” Impose socialized medicine on a population, he believed, and the path to total control has been irrevocably created.
For many years, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has been considered a bit of a harmless gadfly, an outsider who affiliated with neither of America’s major political parties. That he represented tiny Vermont made that state the butt of a string of jokes. Some Americans believed Vermonters had lost their minds in sending an avowed Socialist to represent them in the national government. But that’s what they did, first electing Sanders as their lone member of the House of Representatives beginning in 1991, and since 2008, as one of their two senators.
Sanders became nationally well-known during the 2016 campaign he waged for the Democratic Party’s nomination for President. His capability at presenting his views without rancor and with a degree of folksiness endeared him to many Americans who seem to have no idea how far from traditional Americanism are the now favorite socialistic preferences.
Beaten for the Democrat nomination by Hillary Clinton, Sanders has hardly returned to his former gadfly status. He is now a leader with millions of followers who like the sounds of his promise of more powerful and paternalistic government. On August 1st of this year, the energetic 75-year-old Vermonter (born and raised in Brooklyn, New York) made clear his intention to have Congress approve “a Medicare-for-all, single-payer system.”
Sanders indicated that what he proposes will “require a political revolution.” In saying that, he is completely correct. The single payer that he didn’t identify in his August 1st announcement would be the federal government. If Sanders succeeds in getting his proposal enacted by Congress, the U.S. government would totally control 1/6th of the nation’s economy – a huge step toward Lenin-style socialism that would be nearly impossible to reverse.
Cleverly appealing for support among the American people, the Vermont socialist directed his remarks toward “men and women, gay and straight, white, Latino, Asian American, Native American … and the elderly, sick and poor.” He identifies the enemy of his proposal as “Wall Street, the insurance companies, the drug companies, the corporate media, the Republican Party, and the Establishment wing of the democratic Party.” A typically socialist appeal? Absolutely.
The proposal he offers is not unlike one crafted during the administration of John F. Kennedy (1961-1963) though it would have covered only Americans of Social Security age. It was an undeniable step toward gaining the kind of control envisaged today by Sanders. But the American Medical Association (AMA) mounted opposition and it was aided in part by a commercial featuring then-actor Ronald Reagan who called the proposal “an imminent threat.” The AMA issued a widely-distributed pamphlet warning: “Would socialized medicine lead to socialization of other phases of American life? Lenin thought so. He declared socialization of medicine is the keystone to the arch of the socialist state.”
That was more than a half century ago. The AMA has become so heavily entwined with government involvement in medicine that the alternative Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) arose several decades ago. The AAPS is dead set against socialized medicine and socialism in general. It would be helpful in the fight to retain American free enterprise if the AMA would speak out as before, and if a Hollywood favorite would give the American people a warning about socialized medicine just as Ronald Reagan did almost 60 years ago.
Let’s not let socialized medicine bring America down. Support a clean repeal of ObamaCare with no replacement today!
Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.