Resolution ‘Denouncing The Horrors of Socialism’ Divides Massachusetts Congressional Delegation

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The United States House of Representatives recently passed a resolution formally condemning socialism.

Republicans unanimously voted for it, but the resolution split Democrats — including the Massachusetts Congressional delegation; 109 Democrats voted in favor of it, 86 voted against it, and 14 voted present. 

The U.S. House of Representatives voted 328-86 last week to pass House Resolution 9 titled “Denouncing The Horrors of Socialism.” U.S. Representative Maria Salazar (R-Florida), a Cuban American whose parents fled the island after Fidel Castro took control of it, introduced the resolution last month. 

Six of the nine U.S. representatives from Massachusetts voted in favor of the resolution, while three voted against it. U.S. Representatives Lori Trahan (D-Westford), Jake Auchincloss (D-Newton), Katherine Clark (D-Revere), Seth Moulton (D-Salem), Stephen Lynch (D-South Boston), and Bill Keating (D-Bourne) voted Yes; U.S. Representatives Richard Neal (D-Springfield), Jim McGovern (D-Worcester), and Ayanna Pressley (D-Hyde Park) voted No.

Socialism is “an ideology or system based on the collective, public ownership and control of the resources used to make and distribute goods or provide services,” says. “This involves ownership of such things not by private individuals but by the public (the community as a whole), often in the form of a centralized government,” it adds.

Supporters of socialism say that the system is necessary to address market failures that capitalism cannot solve. They argue that a capitalist system makes a small few ultrawealthy at the expense of the masses. They also argue that capitalism causes poverty which kills people.

Opponents of socialism argue that central planning from government bureaucrats is a poor way to run a society. They also argue that socialism is an authoritarian ideology that leads many of its supporters once in power to kill and imprison political dissidents. Additionally, they argue that socialism keeps the masses poor, while the ruling class remains wealthy.

Some of the members of Congress from Massachusetts who voted in support of the measure have previously made public statements opposing socialism.

This includes Moulton during his brief 2020 presidential bid. 

“I do think there are elements of our party that are going too far towards socialism,” Moulton told Yahoo Finance in 2019. “The fact that I, as a Democrat, get asked now in interviews like this, are you a socialist — I never even imagined that a few years ago.”

“I mean, give me a break — I’m a Democrat, not a socialist,” he added. “America is not a socialist county, and I don’t think a socialist candidate is going to win this race. And frankly, even if a socialist candidate did, they’re not going to get anything through Congress to make any changes for the American people.”

Another supporter of the measure, Lynch, has previously condemned some in his own party for trying to introduce socialist policies.

“Now we have people who are bringing in outright socialist ideologies, so that can scare people, especially people above 50 years of age who have a stronger sense of what socialism means,” Lynch told NBC News in 2019. “It may come down to a situation if that wing of the party predominates, people are going to have to decide what are you afraid of more, Donald Trump or socialism?”

“If you look around the world, socialism has not done that well and it would transform the rights and privileges that we have in this country today,” he added.

Auchincloss ripped both socialism and right-wingers in a speech to the New England Council in September 2022.

“We have to sharpen our arguments to cut through the noise that has exhausted the majority because the carnival barkers for strongman rule or socialism are getting louder,” Auchincloss said, as NewBostonPost previously reported. “We need to make our case directly to voters not by scolding them on their alleged shortcomings, but by enlisting them in our cause, and I will go everywhere to talk to everyone.”

“I go on Fox News to defend Roe and to argue for an assault weapons ban because the GOP has left the mainstream on these issues,” he added. “Thirty years ago, Republican senators from Kansas and Indiana voted to ban assault weapons. Imagine that today. And the fact that it’s unimaginable reflects on the GOP, not the United States. I go on MSNBC to defend the president for not expanding the Supreme Court. I go on Twitter to talk about stablecoins.”

Meanwhile, two of the Democrats who opposed the socialism resolution have long been accused of supporting socialism:  McGovern and Pressley. Neither politician identifies publicly as a socialist.

McGovern, a supporter of normalizing diplomatic relations with Cuba, met with the country’s then-socialist dictator Fidel Castro in 2002. During the 1980s he worked for U.S. Representative Joe Moakley (D-South Boston), who opposed aid to the U.S.-backed Contras in Nicaragua, the group brought down the Marxist Sandinista dictatorship in Nicaragua, as National Review points out

McGovern worked for Moakley from 1982 to 1996, serving as a staff assistant, press secretary, and legislative director, according to the U.S. House Committee on Rules’ web site.

McGovern slammed House Resolution 9 as “useless.”

“The socialism resolution is useless,” McGovern said on the House floor last week. “It does nothing. It does not matter. Are we talking about public schools? Are we talking about roads? Are we talking about Social Security? I mean, give me a break.”

Pressley is a member of The Squad; it’s a group of minority progressive women in the U.S. House of Representatives.

It features Pressley, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York), Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota), Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan), and Cori Bush (D-Missouri). Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, and Tlaib identify as democratic socialists.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-Louisiana) has described The Squad as socialist.

“The Squad is the face of the Democrat Party now,” Scalise tweeted in July 2019. “They stand for socialism, open borders, the anti-Semitic BDS movement, free healthcare for illegal immigrants, & the job-killing Green New Deal. Republicans & @realDonaldTrump won’t stop battling this radical, anti-American agenda.”

None of the nine representatives from Massachusetts could be reached for comment on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, or Monday. 

Here is the complete text of the resolution passed by the U.S. House of Representatives:


Whereas socialist ideology necessitates a concentration of power that has time and time again collapsed into Communist regimes, totalitarian rule, and brutal dictatorships;

Whereas socialism has repeatedly led to famine and mass murders, and the killing of over 100,000,000 people worldwide;

Whereas many of the greatest crimes in history were committed by socialist ideologues, including Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, Fidel Castro, Pol Pot, Kim Jong Il, Kim Jong Un, Daniel Ortega, Hugo Chavez, and Nicolás Maduro;

Whereas tens of millions died in the Bolshevik Revolution, at least 10,000,000 people were sent to the gulags in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), and millions more starved in the Terror-Famine (Holodomor) in Ukraine;

Whereas between 15,000,000 and 55,000,000 people starved to death in the wake of famine and devastation caused by the Great Leap Forward in China;

Whereas the socialist experiment in Cambodia led to the killing fields in which over a million people were gruesomely murdered;

Whereas up to 3,500,000 people have starved in North Korea, dividing a land of freedom from a land of destitution;

Whereas the Castro regime in Cuba expropriated the land of Cuban farmers and the businesses of Cuban entrepreneurs, stealing their possessions and their livelihoods, and exiling millions with nothing but the clothes on their backs;

Whereas the implementation of socialism in Venezuela has turned a once-prosperous nation into a failed State with the world’s highest rate of inflation;

Whereas the author of the Declaration of Independence, President Thomas Jefferson, wrote, “To take from one, because it is thought that his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry, and the fruits acquired by it.”;

Whereas the “Father of the Constitution,” President James Madison, wrote that it “is not a just government, nor is property secure under it, where the property which a man has in his personal safety and personal liberty, is violated by arbitrary seizures of one class of citizens for the service of the rest”; and

Whereas the United States of America was founded on the belief in the sanctity of the individual, to which the collectivistic system of socialism in all of its forms is fundamentally and necessarily opposed: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That Congress denounces socialism in all its forms, and opposes the implementation of socialist policies in the United States of America.


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