California Convention

Leftists booed former Gov. John Hickenlooper, D-Colorado, at California's Democratic Convention after he said Democrats can't be President Donald Trump with a socialist agenda.

John Hickenlooper incited a bastion of bullies, for which he should be proud. In one sentence, he challenged everything they stand for and earned the attention of the mainstream national press.

“If we want to beat Donald Trump and achieve big progressive goals, socialism is not the answer,” Hickenlooper said Saturday, to more than 4,500 delegates and observers at California’s Democratic Convention.

Hickenlooper’s simple advice seems patently obvious. “Big progressive goals” require a surplus of resources funded and produced only by capitalist endeavors. Historically, genuine socialist regimes have left populations starving amid scrap heaps of “big progressive goals.”

This was friendly and honest advice for a party Hickenlooper loves. A rational crowd would have listened and contemplated the words of a man successful in business and politics — the leader who completed two terms as governor in a swing state with the country’s best economy.

Instead of considering his logic, Hickenlooper’s fellow Democrats acted like barbarians at a cage match. As CNN reports, “a chorus of boos along with a sea of waving ‘Bernie’ signs overtook his speech.” Of note: “overtook” contains “took.”

Hickenlooper takes a stand against socialism, drawing boos — and national attention

To unseat President Donald Trump, Democrats should highlight his bullying rhetoric and offer a more civilized tone. As the party’s socialist movement grows, that approach becomes more difficult — as seen at California’s convention.

Hickenlooper kept his cool through the booing. He smiled, broke from his remarks, and warned again of losing with a socialist message. He is correct. Democrats probably cannot win next year with a socialist nominee and platform.

While California leftists think socialism rocks, they won’t sway the election. Swing-state voters will in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Cubans, other Hispanics, and successful Florida retirees generally despise socialism. So do Midwestern retirees who heavily influence Arizona elections. So do typical farmers and blue-collar workers throughout the Rust Belt.

Trump begs Democrats to nominate a “Democratic socialist” for just that reason. It almost guarantees his reelection.

The booing bullies don’t care about the value and truth of Hickenlooper’s hard-earned wisdom. They want socialism, and they want it now. It is the social and economic system that suits them best. Bullies are not in the business of creating, collaborating, debating and sharing. Bullies take. They enrich themselves on playgrounds with lunch-money protection rackets. The bully steals self-esteem and stature from others, by taunting and marginalizing them in social settings.

Bullies get through school by “borrowing” homework, essays and tests from people who do the work. Nearly all behavior commonly associated with bullies involves the forceful redistribution of achievements, rewards and traits that do not belong to them.

Socialism, by nearly any definition, is the bully’s philosophy in a buttoned-up suit. In soaking “the rich” and burdening the middle class, socialism takes by force the rewards created by constructive endeavors. In doing so, it raids capital that would otherwise fund additional achievements, charities, social programs and anything relating to “big progressive goals.” It takes excessively from those who earn and achieve, unfairly benefiting those who do not.

Socialism creates nothing. A parasitic ideology, it survives only on the ill-begotten fruits of confiscation.

Our government and charities should, can and do provide food, shelter, clothing, health care and safety for those who cannot provide for themselves. Capitalism provides more than enough to share. No one appreciates this more than Hickenlooper, who demanded and oversaw the largest expansion of Medicaid in Colorado history.

The socialists booing him are not pursuing better safety nets for the disabled and poor. Do not confuse them with compassionate liberals, like Hickenlooper. These are fists-in-the-air subversive leftists. Their philosophy rests upon envy.

They want equal outcomes for themselves — think “income equality” — without regard for effort, merit or personal contributions to the common good. As economic illiterates, they do not comprehend the inevitable self-defeating outcome of a socialist coup d’etat at the ballot box.

As Hickenlooper tried to reason with countercapitalist revolutionaries, they drowned him out. They overtook his message and took his right to speak. We should not be surprised. This is what bullies and socialists do. They take.

The Gazette Editorial Board

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