Socialism poses a constant threat to society. To fight the looming specter, TFP Student Action launched a statewide anti-socialism tour across the Sunshine State. Starting on July 4, 2022, ten young TFP volunteers set off on the one-week adventure, dedicating it to Saint Anthony Mary Claret, the patron saint of Cuba.
Reactions in Miami
TFP volunteers visited landmarks such as Miami City Hall, Bayside Mall, Miracle Mile, and Calle Ocho, where they received support from Cuban exiles with first-hand knowledge of socialism. Those who experience the cruelty of socialism and communism have no illusions about its false promises.
“Socialism has plagued my country,” said one Cuban. “You don’t need to convince me that socialism is evil.”
To grab the attention of the public, the TFP volunteers proclaimed slogans such as:
- “Socialism produces slaves, thieves, and bums!”
- “If you love America, reject socialism!”
Always on Campaign
TFP volunteers continued up the coast to Naples and Tampa. Here too, they received countless honks in support and encouragement.
-- “You are all great, but that flag is awesome!”
-- “We need you right now.”
-- “You are the best people in the world.”
At a grocery store in Naples, an employee asked why TFP members were dressed so well. One of the TFP members explained the caravan and gave her a 10 Reasons to Reject Socialism flier. Later, the lady said, “I read the entire flier, and it’s really good. Please tell me more about your group.”
Then a young man approached with questions. After a brief conversation, he accepted a Miraculous Medal and was extremely thankful.
Many “chance” encounters like this took place, prompting TFP volunteer Joseph Dunlap to say, “Even when we are not on the street, we are on campaign 24/7.”
Brigadier General Joins the Fight
One of the highlights of the caravan was the participation of a brigadier general, USMC (Ret.) at the Tampa campaign stop. Despite the intense heat, the Vietnam War hero stood under the hot sun to oppose socialism, an enemy he is well acquainted with.
When the campaign ended, he gave TFP volunteers a pep talk.
“I want you to know how much I admire you,” he said. “You demonstrated today guts, courage—the most important virtue in my mind. Because if you don’t have courage, you are not going to be around long enough to exhibit the other virtues.”
“I am proud to have been with you today,” said the decorated U.S. Marine.
“It is special for me.”
Before departing, he told two gripping stories: How he received the Silver Star in Vietnam, a country devastated by communism, and an encounter with a Soviet operative in Moscow.
In Vietnam, his men were bogged down by a heavily fortified communist position. After calling in air support and firing all he could at the position, his company could not dislodge the enemy. He told his men to “fix bayonets!” “When I gave the order,” he explained, “I could feel a steely resolve go out through the whole company.” Personally leading his company in the bayonet charge, he successfully took the fortified position, with significant losses for the communists.
The other anecdote was about embassy duty in Moscow. He was taking an elevator while holding his uniform over his shoulder. Before the doors closed, a man assigned by the Russian government to follow him jumped in. The Russian asked what the medals on his uniform signified. As he stepped out of the elevator, he replied, “I got those for killing communists.”
Leftist College Town
TFP members stopped in Gainesville for a campaign near the University of Florida. They soon found out that college towns are leftist even during summer break. What was supposed to be a quick stop on the way to Pensacola ended up being a contentious few hours.
At this location, leftists openly celebrated Marx and Fidel Castro.
“Marx is my hero!” said one.
“Viva la revolucion Cubana! Viva Fidel!” (Long live the Cuban revolution! Long live Fidel [Castro],” said another.
Lacking arguments, three women in an apartment overlooking the TFP campaign location came out with a sign reading, “U honk, we drink.” They intended to counter the “Honk against socialism” signs of the TFP. They taunted the volunteers from their perch in what sounded like drunken revelry. But the “honks” against socialism continued and soon enough they tottered back inside their apartment.
Three men approached, hurling expletives. After a long debate, one of them said: “I am not here just because of your anti-socialism stance. I am here because I hate everything you stand for.”
There was support too. A young lady asked if she could take a picture of the TFP banner and send it to her friend who likes socialism. She was from Nicaragua and understood how socialism harms nations.
A black man asked, “What is socialism?” A TFP member obliged: “Socialism boils down to the abolition of private property.” Shocked, the man said: “Do people really believe in that? Why are people socialist? They are really bad people, aren’t they?”
TFP volunteers went to their last stop: Pensacola. Long hours under intense heat did not dampen their enthusiasm but only bolstered it.
Here, an array of arguments ensued. One man insisted that all taxes are a form of socialism. Another group of people – ignoring history – claimed that communist and socialist regimes never had a central form of power because “the people” were in charge. A TFP volunteer responded with a list of communist and socialist despots who ruled the state with an iron fist, provoking the death of millions of innocent victims.
Although the anti-socialism caravan concluded, the fight continues. Socialism is a specter that looms over America and the world. If America is not vigilant, it may succumb to what Our Lady of Fatima called the “errors of Russia,” which are the errors of socialism and communism.
May God strengthen our beloved nation to remain on guard against the forces of darkness that conspire to destroy the perennial values of Christian Civilization: tradition, family, and private property.
May God protect America from socialism.