By Tristin Rice
Dec. 26, 1991: The Soviet Union, the world’s ultimate champion of communism (and oppression), collapsed. Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020: Bernie Sanders, a self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist, scored a resounding victory in the Nevada Democratic Caucus. Before that, he garnered the most votes in the New Hampshire Democratic Primary. Just over a week before that, he received the most votes at the Iowa Caucus. Now, with Super Tuesday looming before us with former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) wildly underperforming, Sander’s only competition comes from a relatively untested former mayor Pete Buttigieg and New York City’s notorious billionaire and former mayor, Mike Bloomberg, an unlikely fit for today’s leftward-bound Democratic Party. The probability that Bernie Sanders will be the Democratic nominee for the 2020 Presidential Election is simply too high to ignore.
Now, if that is the case, I do not believe that Sanders will win the election. There are simply too many moderates in America, both Democrats and independents, who are not ready to elect a self-avowed socialist to the highest office in the land. However, Sanders’s success in the Democratic Party speaks to a larger problem growing like a tumor in America. More and more, Americans, especially young Americans, are turning away from the system that made this country a global superpower, with the highest standard of living and the most innovative population in human history, and towards the system that impoverished, imprisoned and killed millions while destroying the countries that adopted it.
By a wide margin, Democrats under 30 favor Sanders, pining for a radical change in the structure of our nation: the pivot from capitalism to socialism. Coincidently, that age bracket is the group that falls squarely outside of the horrific tenure of the Soviet Union. For most young Americans, when socialism is discussed, the Soviet Union is little more than a distant specter with no more impact on their everyday life than Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon. This disconnect from history, this erasure of economic collapse, widespread poverty, prison camps and forced famine does a disservice to our citizens and puts our nation’s future at risk.
This obscurity and disbelief that clouds the history of the most famous socialist nation in human history has turned socialism into a pseudo-Lovecraftian horror, seemingly invincible and eternal, lying in wait, dormant for years until its horrors are forgotten before it rears its insidious head to plunge the world once more into oppression and horror. There are certain dark points in history that should never be forgotten, as their memory prevents a return to such lows. This is why the Stanford College Republicans have invited former Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker to speak on the merits of freedom and the evils of socialism on Feb. 25. We invite all Stanford students to join us for this event which will dispel the notion that socialism has anything worthwhile to offer our country once and for all.
Tristin Rice ’22
Contact Tristin Rice at tric1121 ‘at’ stanford.edu