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People Who Escaped Socialism Are Talking and America Needs to Hear Them

Jon Torsch, center, wears a t-shirt promoting democratic socialism during a gathering of the Southern Maine Democratic Socialists of America at City Hall in Portland, Maine, Monday, July 16, 2018. On the ground in dozens of states, there is new evidence that democratic socialism is taking hold as a significant force in Democratic politics. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Socialism is the popular kid at school right now. The media is doing everything it can to make anyone supporting it seem like a hero.

For those who have never had to experience socialism or looked too deeply into it, this economic approach to governance seems dynamic and revolutionary. Flowery words are tossed around like “fair” and “inclusive.” Those who push for it promise the moon and tell you it will be “free.” They make it seem like anyone opposing it is supporting the rich and hates the poor because socialism is going to elevate poor people.

But for those who have actually had to experience socialism, this push for it is both frightening and even a little insulting.

Indiana GOP Congresswoman-elect Victoria Spartz escaped socialism long ago and came here to America where now, she says, things are leading to collapse just like they did in Ukraine long ago:

“I grew up in a socialistic country. It actually was the Socialist Republic of Ukraine. I was saying, in my 42 years I grew up in socialism. I saw what happens when it runs out of money. And it’s not pretty. And now I came to America 20 years ago with a suitcase after meeting my husband on a train in Europe.  He’s a raised and born Hoosier, and now we’re building socialism.

“I’m kind of going full circle. I can tell you what is going to be next.  It’s very sad for me to see that. And that made as the mother of two daughters, it made me get involved and do something about it because that’s not very good for our country.”

Spartz added that one of the problems is that we’re not teaching history like we should, and she’s correct:

“I think that we need to be good students of history. Our country for the last century, we fought against socialism. A lot of young kids died. I took my kids to the beaches of Normandy and you can see how many young kids died fighting for freedoms, how many wars were fought and were won. And let’s look at any country that has socialism. Every country failed because this system is not sustainable. This system creates a lot of destruction and misery so we have to be smarter than that.”

She’s not the only one who recently spoke from experience about socialism. It wasn’t that long ago that Maximo Alvarez was telling us about the dangers of socialism at the last Republican National Convention:

“I’ve seen movements like this before. I’ve seen ideas like this before. I am here to tell you – we cannot let them take over our country,” Alvarez said. “I heard the promises of Fidel Castro. And I can never forget all those who grew up around me, who looked like me, who suffered and starved and died because they believed those empty promises. They swallowed the communist poison pill.”

(READ: Why Maximo Alvarez’s Speech Was the Most Important of Monday Night’s RNC)

Alvarez and Spartz are very unique voices but they’re only unique because their commonality isn’t highlighted enough. There are swaths of people who have escaped socialism or communism who have a lot to tell us about what they saw and how they got there. They’re currently shouting from the rooftops that we need to pump the brakes.

But they’re being ignored.

There is a massive well of wisdom we’re not diving into and if we don’t start promoting these people and getting their message out then you can bet we’ll end up just like the countries they fled. Despite the pushback, socialism is still gaining ground little by little.

The best way to defeat this poison is to get America to stop taking it, and the way to get them to stop taking is to highlight these people whenever they stand up and begin speaking. Giving Alvarez the floor was a solid move from the RNC, and electing Spartz was another.

But we need more anti-socialist experts on the main stage.