Thor Halvorssen was recently a featured guest on Fox Business Network’s show “The Intelligence Report with Trish Regan.” He was interviewed for his perspective on the democratic socialist principles being promoted as part of the presidential campaign of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders. Halvorssen is the founder and current president of the Human Rights Foundation, which is headquartered in New York City. Halvorssen has a long track record as an advocate for human rights on the international scene. He has also worked as a film producer in the area of public policy. Halvorssen is from Venezuela and has worked tirelessly to fight political oppression and support human rights in that country specifically. Halvorssen and his family have had quite the experience fighting the oppression of the authoritarian Venezuelan government. Both Halvorssen’s father and first cousin were held as political prisoners by the Venezuelan government, and his mother was shot during a peaceful political protest. These personal experiences give Halvorssen unique insight into the dangers of allowing socialist policies to centralize excessive power for the government.
In the interview for Fox Business Network, Thor Halvorssen explains the basic realities of socialism to the audience. He says that the realities of socialism are much different than the ideals discussed by academics or taught in courses. Rather, socialism can mean the redistribution of resources and the potential centralization of power in the hands of the national government. Halvorssen’s main concern is that if there are not enough appropriate checks and balances already in place, then socialism can result in the central government exercising too much control over the lives of its people and using that power for pure political gain. Halvorssen points to the example of Venezuela as a warning sign for the audience against this type of reality.
Although Halvorssen has concerns over the potential problems with socialist policies, he still supports Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton in the upcoming presidential election. He says that Hillary’s unscrupulous ties to known dictatorships around the world are far more of a threat to human rights than Sanders’ support of democratic socialist policies to help the lower classes of society.