Thomas Sowell

Apparently totalitarian dictatorship is just a lifestyle, like wearing sandals and beads and using herbal medicine. It apparently has not occurred to Eleanor Clift to ask why poor people in Miami do not put themselves and their children on flimsy boats, in a desperate effort to reach Cuba.

Elian Gonzalez and his mother were only the latest of millions of people to flee Communist dictatorships at the risk of their lives. Some were shot trying to get past the Berlin wall and hundreds of thousands of "boat people" were drowned trying to escape a Communist Vietnam that many useful idiots were celebrating from inside free democracies. Many who escaped from the Soviet Union to the West during the Second World War were sent back by American authorities, except for those who committed suicide rather than go back.

Yet none of this has really registered on a very large segment of the intelligentsia in the West. Nor are Western capitalists immune to the same blindness. The owner of the Baltimore Orioles announced that he would not hire baseball players who defect from Cuba, because this would be an "insult" to Castro. TV magnate Ted Turner has sponsored a TV mini-series on the Cold War that has often taken the moral equivalence line.

Turner's instructions to the historian who put this series together was that he wanted no "triumphalism," meaning apparently no depiction of the triumph of democracy over Communism. Various scholars who have specialized in the study of Communist countries have criticized the distortions in this mini-series in a recently published book titled "CNN's Cold War Documentary: Issues and Controversy," edited by Arnold Beichman.

Meanwhile, that moral-equivalence mini-series is being spread through American schools from coast to coast, as if to turn our children into the useful idiots of the future.

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

Creators Syndicate