In 1966, Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven outlined eight steps that any government can take in order to establish a social state. Now, more than 50 years later, the more I look at it, the more I become alarmed for the future of the Democratic Party, and our nation, as this strategy seems to be an integral part of their gameplan.
Level 1: Healthcare — “Control healthcare and you control the people.”
Once the 2020 presidential election arrives, let’s never forget when future also-ran Kamala Harris used the platform of her first town hall to call for the end of free-market healthcare. Or when Stacey Abrams said she was tired of hearing that the free market is the solution. Or when Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said we can “just pay” the $32 trillion needed to give everyone Medicare.
However, the Medicare/Medicaid disaster that has become the Democrats’ altar is instead proof that the free market is the solution. Perhaps if Deamonte Driver had been on Medicaid under the threat of a tax penalty, he would not have died of what started out as a toothache. Private sector healthcare providers cannot force you to join their ranks and take away your Social Security pension if you don’t.
We always hear from the more emotionally unstable talking heads on the left that healthcare is a right. They’re actually right. Kind of. The right to healthcare that actually exists is the right for each individual to seek out the best care to fit their needs. The left’s idea of a “right to healthcare” is force-feeding you and everyone else in America the same healthcare plan. A right that is based upon government intervention is no longer a right, but a requirement.
Level 2: Poverty — “Increase the poverty level as high as possible. Poor people are easier to control and will not fight back if you are providing everything for them to live.”
Not only is Flint, Michigan, home to America’s most contaminated water, but it has also been listed as one of the poorest cities in the country. Business Insider also lists it as the most dangerous city in the country. Interestingly enough, their city government has also been predominantly Democratic since the 1930s.
It would be nothing if not misguided to say that this is an isolated incident. Detroit and Chicago, the most corrupt city governments in America, have not had a Republican mayor since 1957 and 1927, respectively. Let’s do another one. Other than Detroit and Chicago, what cities come to your mind when you think of high crime and poverty? St. Louis? Not since 1949. Baltimore? Oakland? Both have been blue since the 60s. Philadelphia? 1952. Newark, the fifth worst city in the US to live in? It’s been more than a century.
As always, this ties back into the fact that liberals and leftists enact policies that feel good rather than do good, such as latent policing for petty crimes. As long as the government subsidizes the people, they are happy. Unfortunately, this has gotten them stuck in an endless rut of increasing crime and poverty that they are unwilling to remove themselves from.
Level 3: Debt — “Increase the debt to an unsustainable level. That way you are able to increase taxes, and this will produce more poverty.”
This seems to be the end-all-be-all financial goal of the modern Democratic party. Most don’t seem to know how high the national debt is or even care until military spending comes up. It’s quite an amazing state of denial that can be observed when the left refuses to believe the numbers when they show that the debt is actually driven up mostly by entitlement programs.
Compound this refusal to accept facts with the fact that the Democrats won’t even come to the negotiating table to reform these programs, and it becomes evident that they’re all fine and dandy with pushing the debt into the ozone layer as long as they get their way with this nation’s money.
Level 4: Gun Control — “Remove the ability to defend themselves from the Government. That way you are able to create a police state.”
Now we approach areas where the modern left has been more vocal. Name a prominent Democrat, and chances are they have vocalized their wet dreams of ridding the common population of guns. Nancy Pelosi has vowed that the next Democratic president will declare a national emergency and use it to deprive citizens of their Second Amendment rights. New Jersey has passed a law that declares possessing a magazine capable of holding more than 10 rounds a fourth-degree felony.
But is all this talk of senseless banning really the way to go? Establishing gun-free zones are about as effective as plastering school walls with “bullying ain’t cool” posters, as 86% of mass shootings from 2009-2016 occurred in gun-free zones. The perpetrators of almost all infamous mass shootings were either above 21 or stole their parents’ gun without their approval, so it’s a good thing the left’s second best idea is to raise the gun-buying age to 21.
Level 5: Welfare — “Take control of every aspect of their lives. (Food, Housing, and Income)”
Universal Basic Income sounds nice in principle, but the façade quickly fades away once one realizes it’s simply a euphemism for free money. The Democratic Party almost seems intent on making the poor population addicted to benefits. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tried to write off the fact that her Green New Deal would have given people unwilling to work free money.
What ever happened to the old mantra, “We’ll help you if you help yourself”? Where there once was a sense of gratitude in welfare recipients, they are now recognizing that they can put in minimal or no effort, and yet the government will continue to fund their basic needs. And it all comes out of the wallets of responsible, hard-working citizens who are legitimately trying to better their standing by getting actual jobs.
As long as one is on the receiving end of these government benefits, they will continue to soften up to the government. They will be willing to follow any orders as long as it comes from those who are allowing them to stay out of work without any negative consequence.
Level 6: Education — “Take control of what people read and listen to…Take control of what children learn in school.”
The Left has taken over our education system, plain and simple, from an elementary school assembly on how Israel is a terrorist state to forcing students to write the Shahada. I’ll stop here, as I’ll explore this area in much more depth in a future article.
Level 7: Religion — “Remove the belief in the God from the Government and schools.”
If you haven’t noticed this pattern by now, please turn on the TV or something. Whenever the left discusses any Christian establishment in the public sphere, they have systematically replaced the word “Christian” with “anti-LGBT”. When Karen Pence got a job teaching art at a Catholic school, everyone left of the political center simultaneously screeched in horror. How dare she impose the Catholic—oh, excuse me, anti-LGBT—beliefs on all of America by getting a job there? The same question was asked of Chris Pratt when it was discovered that he attends Hillsong Church. The fact that Covington was a Catholic school added a whole new dimension to the leftist pitchfork mob, who demanded Nick Sandmann’s destruction for smiling.
This is also taking place in the government. Dianne Feinstein tried to impose a religious test on Amy Coney Barrett, trying to cover her comments by saying that all religions have dogma, but it’s just that Catholicism is special. The same test was imposed upon Brian Buescher by Kamala Harris and Mazie Hirono. Because he was a member of the Knights of Columbus, a charitable Catholic organization, he supposedly could not take a position on any issue that the Knights had a position on.
I’m afraid this may just be step one. Soon, we could be seeing leftists openly advocating against Christian/religious schools of any form. If Amy Coney Barrett is nominated to the Supreme Court, the Democrats’ behavior with Kavanaugh suggests that they will have no remorse in imposing a strict religious test on her and any future conservatives.
Level 8: Class Warfare — “Divide the people into the wealthy and the poor. This will cause more discontent and it will be easier to tax the wealthy with the support of the poor.”
Socialism is built upon the foundation of the saying “hate the man who is better off than you.” Think about all of the anti-billionaire rhetoric spewing from socialists and Democratic presidential nominees in recent months. Bernie Sanders told billionaires that they couldn’t have it all. I guess he thinks only he can have it all, as he shows no intention of selling any amount of his three homes and distributing the money he receives in the subsequent deals.
Elizabeth Warren declared her own personal vendetta against anyone who’s richer than her on Twitter. When Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder purchased a yacht with an IMAX theater, Warren used this as an example of who would pay her “ultra-billionaire tax.” I like to call it a jealousy tax; it’s literally an order from the government to give them even more of your money because you’re richer than they approve you to be.
Given that no socialist state has seen anyone prosper in financial security other than the head of state and their cronies, there’s reason to believe that a socialist America would be no different.
Texas A&M University, Class of 2022