Americans heading to the polls in 2020 should be aware that their election is not only about healthcare or the “one percent of the one percent”. They should be conscious of the fact that their vote will have repercussions around the world. They should understand that humanity has enjoyed the greatest period of peace and prosperity because of the attributes of a globalized free society with a free enterprise system. And they should acknowledge that the United States of American leads, even if they want to or not.
The Americans’ international brethren do not wish to see the most powerful state on Earth pivoting towards greater regulation and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange. They pain at the thought of having the leader of the free world eschewing free trade. They abhor the thought of having the President of the United States praising Fidel Castro, the Soviet Union, and China. This is something this candidate has done; this is something this candidate represents.
Sanders glorifies the Scandinavian model. His references to Denmark are many. But voters must see that his ideas are not those of the capitalist Scandinavian countries. These countries are flourishing free democracies because of their embrace of individual freedom and the free enterprise system (like the USA). To give just one example of the candidate’s contradiction is the fact that while his policies to curb “Wall Street greed” mark his campaign, Scandinavian countries have worked to cut back on corporate taxes and regulations. If voters want the United States to resemble Scandinavia, they should look to emulate those countries in the things that make them successful.
In the Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom, at least one Scandinavian country ranks better. In the Economist’s Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index all of the Scandinavian countries rank better. In the Cato Institute’s Human Freedom Index at least one ranks better. In the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index at least one Scandinavian country ranks higher. In the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report, the United States sits atop all Scandinavian countries. The leading economic superpower has room for improvement, but voters should see that it is by further developing what made it great in the first place, and not by shifting towards what it has spent its existence fighting against.
The World needs a President of the United States that understands the problems facing humanity. Someone who understands that fighting climate change is not about increasing the national debt to astronomical levels in order to fund bureaucratic programs, but rather by leading a worldwide plan to put a hefty price on pollution that strongly incentivizes the development of cleaner technologies. Someone who understands that protectionism hinders economic growth. Someone who understands the power of the idea of freedom.
Furthermore, if comparable politics like that of the United Kingdom are a meter by which to gauge the 2020 election, a candidate who positions himself to the extremes of the ideological spectrum will most probably find himself losing to the incumbent.
In the 2016 election, the United States fell prey to the demagoguery of a populist. Voters should not fall for the same thing twice, even if it is coming from a likeable one. As memorably said by a former President, “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice… Let’s just not get fooled again!”