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Every time the cranks in Congress and the kooks on campus talk of the grand premiums of socialism, they always explain that it’s the benevolent and neighborly democratic socialism of Scandinavia that they want the U.S. to follow. If that’s true, then why is the U.S. becoming like East Germany of the miserable 1960s?

The United States since the New Deal has not been that far different than the Norways, Swedens and Denmarks of the post-World War II era. All have employed welfare-state policies that were fed by the prosperity of capitalism, the balance between the two adjusted from time to time, especially in the Europe and nations where runaway welfarism threatened economies and had to be curbed.

What Sen. Bernie Sanders, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrats in general, much of the over-educated, under-experienced academy, and their many followers want is more like the defunct German Democratic Republic, a puppet of the Soviet regime in Moscow and for 45 years a truly miserable place where a few who had power oppressed the many who didn’t.

The GDR was home of the Stasi, the violent and murderous secret police who were rightfully feared; barbed wire; guards who shot their fellow humans fleeing to freedom; sons who turned in their fathers who demonstrated only lukewarm loyalty to the state; impermissible dissent; and a lousy economy.

No, there are no snipers in the U.S. waiting to cut down departing expats nor a secret police, though it’s reasonable to wonder just what the overtly politicized FBI has become. When it’s not targeting political opponents, it’s plotting to spy on religious congregants.

Vast swaths of the public are today afraid to express their views for fear of being canceled, attacked for not toeing the accepted narrative, sued for adhering to their faith.  How long will it be before dissent is criminalized in this country?

Mothers and fathers are being stripped of their parental rights, and children are being told to be the functionaries of government. The Sanderses and AOCs would love nothing more than to elist them to spy on their families and report their involvement in disinformation, misinformation, and “anti-government” activities.

Wealth redistribution schemes are disguised as green policies. Our retail shelves have in recent times looked like the bare counters of communist East Berlin. We’re told that we have to make do with less, and fewer choices are in our best interest. Our economy would be full-on GDR-ed if the Sanderses and Ocasio-Cortezes had their way.

The left is unrelenting in its ambition to take more of the economy out of the private sector and place it in the hands of elected Democrats and administrative tyrants.

Culturally, we are facing the extinction of truth and the absolutes all reasonable people agree on. Government officials have used private companies as agents to censor speech they don’t approve of.

Schools are increasingly indoctrination camps where students are taught the evils of capitalism and the glories of government intrusion; told, just as Karl Marx would have it, that in the U.S., the oppressors are always in conflict with the oppressed and must be stopped; bombarded with anti-American rhetoric; and groomed to accept and support values that are toxic to decency but advantageous to the state.

All of this, and more, is cause for celebration by the left.

The United States is no paradise. No country is or ever will be. But if mankind were to ever start a new nation on a habitable planet, ours would be its prototype. At least the America the Founders intended for us.

Today’s America is making a mockery of their genius.

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board