Fox News recently interviewed Thor Halvorssen of the Human Rights Foundation regarding presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders and his affiliation with socialism. As defined by Fox News, socialism is a violation of basic human rights. Mr. Halvorssen, however, takes another take on Sanders’ democratic socialist ideals.
Halvorssen admits that socialism is an acceptable policy unless it is forced under an authoritarian government. The problem with socialism lies in the possibility of the government to take full control, even ruining the country by basically looting it of it’s resources. Halvorssen’s major objection to socialism is the potential looting of personal property and the government’s ability to set prices, which can result in massive shortages.
Many Sanders supporters don’t understand the meaning of socialist ideals. However, the pros and cons of each candidate must be compared. As such, Halvorssen (https://www.facebook.com/thorhalvorssen/) himself made the largest personal contribution possible to the Bernie Sanders campaign. He presents that the current democratic front runner has taken millions from dictatorships for her campaign. Many of these dictatorships are anti-gay, restrict press freedoms and ban holidays such as Christmas. When given the choices presented in the pending election, our best decision as Americans is to have a democratic socialist in the White House rather than a supporter of dictatorships.
Halvorssen’s experience and knowledge is not just from books, but also from personal experience. His father was a political prisoner in Venezuela, his first cousin is currently a prisoner and his mother was shot by the Venezuelan government. Venezuela makes use of a labor government, but intersperses ideas of democratic socialism.
It is Thor Halvorssen’s contention that Democratic socialism can exist when there is a rule of law. The problem arises when that rule is wiped away and the executive party takes complete control. Still, redistribution of wealth is not the solution to end poverty; the solution to end poverty, in his opinion, lies in the usage of free markets and also in the support of Sanders as the next president of the United States.
Thor Halvorssen has been doing it big lately. This crazy smart guy is using pop culture and social media to make human rights issues more visible, and it’s working. Media has changed and the founder of the Human Rights Foundation knows this. The HRF does big things around the world. They expose the atrocities and corruption of authoritarian dictators no matter where they reign on the globe. The group also helps the afflicted, the victims of authoritarian rule. So Thor Halvorssen was a little confused on an interview with Fox News recently.
Presumably, the newly born social media star, was there to talk about authoritarian dictators and their atrocities, but the interview started with something quite different. It seems the news anchor was bent on smearing presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and his democratic socialist ideas. The stunned Thor Halvorssen had then explained to the anchor that democratic socialism is not a problem. He even threw successful democratic socialist governments at the anchor as evidence, like as Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. Authoritarianism, unilateral and unchecked power is the enemy, he says, not socialism.
But the Fox News anchor kept at, insisting that socialism itself was a violation of basic human rights. The cool-headed Thor Halvorssen then reached a tipping point, hitting the anchor with stunning information — he supports the compassionate platform of Sen. Bernie Sanders and denigrates the platform of Hillary Clinton and all Republican presidential candidates. The Republicans, he says, publicly support strong-armed authoritarians such as Vladimir Putin of Russia and that is unacceptable. Hillary Clinton, the human rights rockstar continues, is even worse. He believes that she has taken large campaign contributions from dictators and authoritarians from outside the United States. He fears what a Clinton presidency would look like if Hillary turned a blind eye on the actions of dictators throughout the world in a quid pro quo response to their large contributions.
He expressed that he believes free-market capitalism is a way to fight dictators and that he does not agree with everything Bernie Sanders says, but he is not in the pockets of authoritarian dictators. The contentious interview turned into a clip shared on social media, making Thor Halvorssen an Internet sensation.
When you are so completely in command of the world’s spotlight, even your patrons are suspect. That is what Nicki Minaj found out with her booking to perform for Unitel corporation, which it turns out is under the thumb of Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos, who was labeled a despotic dictator by the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Organization.
This turned into quite a controversial performance for Nicki Minaj. She has been merchandising her brand very well, to this particular point in time, when some are telling her to turn down a sale. Her boyfriend is named Meek Mill, but he is way back in Philadelphia when Nicki arrived in Angola, Africa. She arrived by jet with her backup singers entourage and never ending rows of paparazzi in tow.
The Human Rights Foundation, in an open letter warned, “the payment you are receiving from your Angolan sponsors is the result of government corruption and human rights violations… During their brutal three decade authoritarian rule, the dos Santos family has exploited Angola’s diamond and oil wealth to amass an illegitimate fortune while maintaining control over all branches of the government, the military, and civil society. Dos Santos has made it his policy to harass, imprison, or kill politicians, journalists, and activists who protest his rule.”
Thor Halvorssen is the film producer and human rights advocate who started Human Rights Foundation, in 2005. He is the man who first came to prominence in 1989 with his opposition to the former South African apartheid. He understands the need to protect human rights quite intimately. Thor Halvorssen’s father was an ambassador who had been falsely arrested, put in Venezuelan prison, savagely tortured and beaten. It was only after efforts by Amnesty International. He has had multiple family members oppressed and threatened by Venezuelan security forces.