FILE - President Jimmy Carter

Former President Jimmy Carter

“Socialism is like Neil Diamond music. It's not good and belongs in the past, yet there's a group of people who think that it will eventually catch on if only they keep playing it.”

– Jeffrey Evan Brooks

Historians position the 1968 presidential election between Herbert Humphrey and Richard Nixon as a call to judgment over the Vietnam War. But veiled beneath this theory was an America that had grown weary of Lyndon B. Johnson’s expansion of government and his patronizing identity politics. According to the Kerner Commission, “Great Society programs were of little benefit to minorities and to the poor and rapidly divided America into two distinct societies that were ‘separate and unequal’.” As racism and riots swept America, voters saw LBJ’s Great Society as a liability and it had to come to an end.

During the wake of the Watergate scandal, Democrats saw an opportunity to move the country back to the left during the 1976 election. In response to the nightmares of Vietnam and Watergate that shattered public confidence, Democrat Jimmy Carter narrowly defeated Gerald Ford. Carter’s victory was a result of heavy support from trade and public service union, primarily the National Education Association. Carter pledged to increase support for public unions and create a national department of education. That one agency was to change America and public education forever.

Under our Constitution, public education was a responsibility of individual states. It survived for 200 years before Congress approved the Department of Education (DOE). This new federal bureaucracy fulfilled Carter’s promise for Washington to set universal goals for education. Carter claimed it was time the federal government stepped up as a leader in education. And this marriage of government and education transformed our once envied public school system into an incubator for federalism.

“Failure is a reality; we all fail at times, and it's painful when we do.”

– Jimmy Carter

Carter’s folly has enabled public schools to convince our youth socialism is more desirable than capitalism. In a recent Emery poll of those between 18-29 years old, 49 percent have a positive view of socialism compared to only 46 percent with a positive views of capitalism. This trend reared its ugly head during the Occupy Movement which epitomized the principles of socialism and collectivism over those of individualism. This has many Americans who have invested in the very capitalism that the Millennials enjoy each day wonder; how can they ever forsake capitalism’s benefits for socialism?

While many Americans blame socialism’s popularity with our youth on schools, TV and computers, it was Jimmy Carter’s procreation of the DOE that put liberalists in charge of education. This placed our children and their children in the hands of liberal union bureaucrats with schools as a forum for federally biased curricula. This replaced learning about America’s opportunities, greatness, liberties and successes for everyone with ad nauseam progressive guilt for its past growing pains and a few of its shortcomings. And today:

“Education is a system of imposed ignorance.”

– Noam Chomsky

Millennials are not the only group that see socialism as an answer to every problem in the world. Their quixotic dreams of uncompromised equality and an end to all human wants are appealing to more than America’s young. A recent shocking Gallup Poll revealed that 57 percent of Democrats hold a favorable view toward socialism. And a record low say they support capitalism. These aren't just aging 1960s retreads like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. These are longtime, card-caring Democrats who once supported the likes of John F. Kennedy, who anointed the strong values of republicanism. Lenin wrote the book on how to make socialism appeal to an unwitting public. His formula has been used for years. The critical component is propaganda: Demonize predecessors and ancestors and all institutions. Publicly criticize elected officials and accepted social values. And above all, invade education. When socialists wish to undermine a government, they put their machines into high gear and languidly infiltrate government and all aspects of society until the time is ripe for revolutionary transformation.

“You cannot do anything without rousing the masses to action.”

– Vladimir Lenin

The left has moved closer to socialism since FDR’s New Deal in 1932 and LBJ’s Great Society in 1964. Carter’s takeover of public education laid the foundation for Barack Obama and the birth of anti-American criticism with every republican institution. Obama divided the races and promoted socioeconomic policies to identity groups with class warfare. This segmented society and social bonding. When Obama left office, our nation was more prorated than ever before. Obama brutally attacked American republicanism and chastised capitalism to invigorate the left wing of his party.

Products of common core education lack knowledge of past rogue regimes and the damage they did when socialism consumed a government and a society. According to one socialism historian, Stephane Courtois, during the 20th century, socialist, communist and Marxist regimes accounted for the murdering of more than 100 million of their own citizens. Yet today’s youth are clueless about the past murderous socialism that terrorized the Soviet Union and know even less about the nightmares in Venezuela, Cuba, Zimbabwe and North Korea of today. They view socialism as an equalizer while it mass murders freedom.

“Nothing in the world is irreversible, not even capitalism.”

– Fidel Castro

Bill Gates said, “The best way to improve lives is to improve public education.” Although the youth of America have been indoctrinated by our public school teachers about the benefits of socialism for years, there was a time when parents had the upper hand and led by example. But now so many have moved to the far left, there are far less parents mentoring their children about the wonders of capitalism and America. Now we have fewer future patriot leaders. This created a generation that hates their culture and government so much they are eagerly trading it for the devilry of socialism.

Socialists like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren disgrace America, putting "democratic" in front of the word "socialism." The greatest threat to American freedom and capitalism is socialism, and all variants of the same disease. Mark Perry, author of "Why Socialism Failed," wrote, "Socialism falsely promises prosperity, equality, and security, but delivers the exact opposite: poverty, misery, inequality, and tyranny. That is why socialism is the ultimate Big Lie!"

We not only need to reform public education, but Millennials must be reminded they can’t enjoy the products of capitalism they currently have once they buy into socialism. They will have no money to buy iphones, computers or video games since everything will belong to the government. They will learn the hard way; socialism isn't power to the people, its power to dictators. There’s no hope for them if they never learn free markets are vastly superior to every alternative in any economy. And for free markets to work, we must have free speech. There is no room here for political correctness.

We have a huge job on our hands if we wish to save capitalism. Re-educating our youth is going to be difficult if we first don’t re-educate adult parents who are buying into democratic socialism. Time is running out for America. A wrong turn to the left next election might be the collapse of capitalism as we know it today. Our founders' government is based on free market capitalism. It’s ours to keep or to lose. How bad do we want it? They gave you “A republic – if you can keep it.” – Ben Franklin

Contributing Columnist

William Haupt III is a retired professional journalist, author, and citizen legislator in California for over 40 years. He got his start working to approve California Proposition 13.