Thor Halvorssen Debunks Bernie Sanders on Fox News Interview
Thor Halvorssen, founder and president of the Human Rights Foundation, was recently interviewed by Fox News. He expounded on his opposition to U.S. Senator and democratic party candidate for president Bernie Sanders and Sanders’ support of democratic socialist principles. Thor Halvorssen explains that while it is potentially possible for socialist countries, such as Denmarks, to not violate human rights, however, it is more likely that socialism is instituted by authoritarian regimes, with the potential for massive human rights violations.
In a departure from strictly academic or theoretical discourse, Halvorssen explains the reality of socialism in practice today. First of all, Halvorssen contends that socialism tends to erode individual rights. Halvorssen continues to explain that there is a difference between having a democratic government with socialist policies. But, in the case of countries like Venezuela, an authoritarian government may institute socialist policies to undermine the good of the people and actually loot the common good. With price fixing by national governments, the people can experience an actual humanitarian crisis. In this way, Thor Halvorssen is especially leery about democratic socialism when rule of law is not in place and much prefers free markets to protect individual liberty and help build the prosperity of the country. Halvorssen warns against the dangers of allowing the government to control property instead of protecting the individual property rights of private citizens.
Halvorssen has very personal experience with the human rights violations of authoritarian socialist regimes. His father was a political prisoner and his mother was shot at a peaceful protest in Venezuela. In addition, Halvorssen’s cousin is currently imprisoned in Venezuela.
In considering which candidate to support in the upcoming 2016 U.S. presidential election, Halvorssen said that in spite of Sanders’ socialist policies, he still made the maximum contribution allowable by law to Bernie Sanders’ campaign because he is afraid of Hillary Clinton’s support of dictators around the world. While Halvorssen presents a cautionary tale about the dangers of democratic socialism without the proper checks and balances against government in place, he does concede that there are circumstances where socialism can be instituted without violating basic human rights.