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I Witnessed Things Go South in Venezuela – We Don’t Need Those Failed Ideas Here

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

New Hampshire – unlike our friends in Iowa – finished counting its votes. And unlike Iowa, the person here who gets the greatest number of votes is actually the winner. That person is socialist Bernie Sanders. 

Sanders’s reckless promises like Medicare-for-All and the Green New Deal disturb me to my core. As a young person, I am troubled by their attempt to persuade my generation that socialism is the way to a bright, “progressive” future, rather than the failed ideology of a dark past. But it’s also personal to me: I actually lived in Venezuela

My dad was a construction worker and the hardest working guy I’ve ever known. His job brought him around the globe, and my family followed. We found ourselves in Venezuela just months before Hugo Chavez’s takeover, and it was a beautiful country. In fact, at the time, it was the wealthiest on the South American continent. Even as a child, I remember how every store at the mall was filled and the markets were vibrant. Fast forward 20 years when I arrived under very different circumstances. After working in the Trump campaign to help elect the president in 2016, I was honored to serve as Senior White House Advisor and a Diplomat in his State Department. One of my tasks was to lead a delegation from the United States to meet with the United Nations and religious leaders in Venezuela to ensure that the poverty-stricken nation had access to food and medications. The thriving country I had gotten to know decades earlier now had bread lines and a worthless currency. I am still haunted by what one religious leader told me: “We were told that if we gave up some freedom, we would receive economic security – and now we have neither.”

So, much to my dismay, on Friday night and just a few minutes from where I live, I watched (nearly all) Democrats at their final New Hampshire debate unabashedly declare their acceptance for having a “Democratic Socialist” represent them at the top of their ticket. Make no mistake about it: Democratic Socialism is just socialism in sheep’s clothing. It’s meant to make what the people of Venezuela now know as basic—and devastating—redistribution of wealth more palatable to an unsuspecting public. Its goal isn’t to provide security, but to take away freedom – of doctors, schools and work. This is in addition to their anti-American plans to abolish the Electoral College. If Bernie Sanders and AOC have their way, the coastal elites won’t just take everyone else’s money—they’ll take their power, too. 

As the president pointed out at Monday’s rally in Manchester that I was proud to attend – the Democrats still can’t count the votes in Iowa even after a week. Now, they want to run our health care system. Congratulations to Bernie Sanders, but come November all New Hampshire voters will be happy to show you that we’ve learned our lesson from Venezuela and will reject his socialist agenda.

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