If you’re explaining, you’re losing. – Ronald Reagan

This quote crossed my news feed this morning, as a rebuttal to those who are working to downplay Biden’s latest “senior moments.”

Shortly thereafter, yet another “Jesus was a socialist” meme encroached upon my vision, this one quite obviously meant to calm the worries of Christian Bernie-skeptics.

The coincidence, or synergy, or juxtaposition, or whatever you want to call it was too juicy to pass up.

Start with this: Jesus was not a socialist, nor do his teachings advocate for socialism. Socialism is, at its core, coercive in nature. It uses the power of government to interfere with voluntary transactions between individuals. It takes from some, at the end of a sword or the point of a gun if necessary, in order to give to others. Those who advocate for that distribution based on Marx’s ‘from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs’ philosophy may think they are being charitable, but they are not. Giving away someone else’s money is not charity.

There is nothing about coercion, personal or via government, in the teachings of Christ. Giving your own money, or your own time, or sharing of the fruits of your own labor: that is charity. That is what Jesus taught.

Socialism, as I have blogged repeatedly here, has been undergoing a massive rehabilitation campaign, spearheaded by academia, the tastemakers in the liberal press, and a grumpy jewish septuagenarian from Brooklyn who’s convinced hordes of first-world young people that they should ignore the horrific lessons that history teaches about socialism in favor of his pixie-dust and unicorn-fart “Democratic Socialism.”

It has worked, to a point. Twitter is dominated by this crowd, and the pressure they have brought on politicians, celebrities, and the culture in general has shifted the entire Democratic Party leftward (and prompted more than a few Republicans to join in their false accusations against capitalism).

But, it looks like Bernie may have peaked, with Biden’s convincing Super Tuesday success knocking the Sanders campaign back on its heels. So, we get memes like the “worship a Jewish Socialist” seeking to gaslight us, to convince us that what we know about the failures and horrors of socialism isn’t really true, and to work past our logical minds by appealing to faith and deeply-held beliefs.

If they’re explaining, they’re losing. If they have to convince us with religious appeals that socialism is something other than what we think, instead of pitching policies and plans that appeal to us, their rehabilitation of the ideology hasn’t reached fruition, no matter how loud the Bernie Bros get on social media.

Telling us that Jesus is a socialist is a gambit so easily discredited that it suggests some degree of panic. And, indeed, Bernie’s campaign seems to be in trouble. Yes, that could all change tomorrow, when six states hold their primaries, but trotting out messages like this isn’t about winning a battle of ideas, it’s about deceiving people.

And, while it is true that some of the posters and meme-generators may actually believe this nonsense, the reality is that they’re lying to themselves. It’s not hard to figure out. But, people who start with a desired conclusion, no matter that the facts and evidence run overwhelmingly to the contrary, they can achieve prodigious degrees of self-delusion.

Playing the “Jesus was a Socialist” card carries a whiff of desperation, an echo of Reagan’s observation. And, if we come out of this election season with a full-throated rebuke of Bernie’s snake-oil, our society will be better off no matter whether Trump or Biden wins.

Peter Venetoklis

About Peter Venetoklis

I am twice-retired, a former rocket engineer and a former small business owner. At the very least, it makes for interesting party conversation. I'm also a life-long libertarian, I engage in an expanse of entertainments, and I squabble for sport.

Nowadays, I spend a good bit of my time arguing politics and editing this website.

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