Nebraska Governor Declares July ‘Victims of Communism Remembrance Month’

(Gwyneth Roberts/Lincoln Journal Star via AP, File)

Bravo to Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts for having the chutzpah to call out communism. In a time when communism/socialism is gaining popularity in the United States, Ricketts made it crystal clear that communism is a wicked ideology that is the antithesis of everything the United States was founded upon.

Per the governor’s Proclamation, “Communism is a political ideology that has led to the death of as many as 100 million people.”

Unfortunately, that mind-boggling number is almost never mentioned when eggheads debate and discuss communism.

“Joseph Stalin’s collectivization program cost 6 to 10 million lives and Mao Zedong’s Great Leap Forward caused an estimated 45 million deaths.”

Once again, why are these devastating death counts swept under the proverbial rug when communism/socialism is being floated in the United States?

“Hundreds of millions of people continue to live under communist and socialist regimes that curtail freedoms and lack respect for human rights.”

Just ask the people of Hong Kong what they would prefer to live under: communism or freedom? I think the answer would be very telling.

“Millions suffer political and religious persecution under the CCP, including the Uyghur people in Xinjiang, Christians in underground churches, and other religious minorities.”

That is because under a communist/socialist regime, there is little room for religion. After all, in a nation under communist/socialist control, government, not God, reigns supreme.

“The capitalism and the American Free Enterprise System help promote human rights and the dignity of the individual.”

This is perhaps the most compelling indictment of the morally bankrupt communist/socialist system. In a free nation, like the United States, individual rights are sacrosanct. On the other hand, in a communist/socialist nation, like China, individual rights are secondary to the collective will, or whatever the communist leadership deems is the “collective will.”

Moreover, in free nations, the individual makes choices based on his or her self-interest, or what is better described as “enlightened self-interest.” In other words, in free nations, mutually beneficial, voluntary transactions are the societal norm.

However, in communist/socialist nations, there is no such thing as voluntary transactions. That is because communist/socialist nations rely on central planning and government force. By nature, it is a zero-sum game.

Ricketts ends his Proclamation by describing the stark difference between the social contract in the United States and the lack of a social contract within communist/socialist nations.

“The Nebraska State Constitution proclaims that ‘All persons are by nature free and independent, and have certain inherent and inalienable rights; among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’”

“Nebraska has been a home for people from around the world seeking to live, work, and worship freely according to their own conscience.”

In those two sentences, Ricketts has pinpointed the essence of the American experiment: freedom.

In America, we the people are free to forge our own path. We are free to make our own decisions. We are free to worship as we see fit. We are even free to criticize the government.

That is not the case in communist/socialist nations. In these countries, the people are pawns of the party. There is little toleration for freedom. There is even less toleration for those who dare to defy the party line.

As Americans, we should celebrate the fact that we live in a country wherein freedom is still the order of the day. At the same time, we should do everything we can to educate those who are susceptible to the siren calls for socialism that are becoming louder each and every day.

Fortunately, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts has taken it upon himself to ensure the people of Nebraska understand the horrors of communism while appreciating the blessings of liberty. I only hope more governors, leaders, and ordinary Americans follow his shining example.

Chris Talgo ([email protected]) is senior editor at The Heartland Institute.