There’s been a lot of erroneous talk in right wing media and conservative Christian sites about how Democrats support totalitarian communism and are trying to take away the civil liberties of conservatives. This just isn’t true.
Just as many on the Right oppose right wing fascism, most people on the Left oppose totalitarian communism.
One of the strongest opponents of Joseph Stalin and the Soviet Union, for instance, was George Orwell, who was a Democratic Socialist. Socialist Norman Thomas was a vocal critic of the Soviet Union’s human rights abuses during the 1950s and 1960s.
Another Democratic Socialist, Bernie Sanders, has been a fierce critic of totalitarian China, North Korea, and Cuba.
Even many Marxists, like Angela Davis, oppose totalitarian communism as a betrayal of Marx’s intentions.
Liberal Democrats have been strong opponents of totalitarian communism. Liberal Democrat Harry S Truman opposed the Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe and built a foreign policy aiming to contain the spread of communism.
Democrats John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson escalated the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War because of their mistaken belief in the domino theory: the idea that if Vietnam fell to communism, the rest of the Asian countries would fall to communism like dominoes.
Democratic President Jimmy Carter withdrew the U.S. from the 1980 Summer Olympics and imposed a grain embargo to protest the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afganistan.
No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, you should oppose totalitarianism and authoritarianism in any form. Conservatives should oppose right wing authoritarianism as well as left wing authoritarianism. Leftists should oppose left wing authoritarianism as well as right wing authoritarianism.
Here is an excerpt of John F. Kennedy’s 1963 “Ich Bin Ein Berliner” speech to encourage West Berliners who were walled off from communist Germany:
“Two thousand years ago the proudest boast was ‘civis Romanus sum’. Today, in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is ‘Ich bin ein Berliner’…
…There are many people in the world who really don’t understand, or say they don’t, what is the great issue between the free world and the Communist world. Let them come to Berlin. There are some who say that communism is the wave of the future. Let them come to Berlin. And there are some who say in Europe and elsewhere we can work with the Communists. Let them come to Berlin. And there are even a few who say that it is true that communism is an evil system, but it permits us to make economic progress. Lass’ sie nach Berlin kommen. Let them come to Berlin.
Freedom has many difficulties and democracy is not perfect, but we have never had to put a wall up to keep our people in, to prevent them from leaving us…
…What is true of this city is true of Germany – real, lasting peace in Europe can never be assured as long as one German out of four is denied the elementary right of free men, and that is to make a free choice. In 18 years of peace and good faith, this generation of Germans has earned the right to be free, including the right to unite their families and their nation in lasting peace, with good will to all people…
…Freedom is indivisible, and when one man is enslaved, all are not free. When all are free, then we can look forward to that day when this city will be joined as one and this country and this great Continent of Europe in a peaceful and hopeful globe. When that day finally comes, as it will, the people of West Berlin can take sober satisfaction in the fact that they were in the front lines for almost two decades.
All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words ‘Ich bin ein Berliner’.”