Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) urged young Americans on Thursday to defend liberty and fight hard against Democrats’ socialist ideas.

“Our country is in a vast debate, a vast argument about what direction to go,” Cruz said while speaking at the Young America’s Foundation’s annual student conference. “The Democratic Party has gone stark-raving nuts … they are galloping so far left, but the big debate we’re having is socialism verses free enterprise.”

“I’ve got to say, it’s terrifying,” he continued. “We’ve all seen the stats that show up to 50% of young people think socialism is a good idea.”

The Texas senator further urged the crowd to vehemently debate with their peers in order to defend liberty over the growing socialist movement in America.

“Why? Because socialism has been a manifest disaster, an absolute failure all over the face of the globe,” Cruz said. “Socialism has been responsible for suffering, and misery, and poverty, and death of billions across the planet earth.”

Using Venezuela as an example of failed socialist policies, Cruz highlighted the dramatic decline of the once-prosperous country. Prior to the reign of former president and socialist dictator Hugo Chavez, as well as the subsequent reign of Nicolas Maduro, the South American country was, by some measures, the fourth wealthiest country in the world. Now, he noted, Venezuelans are starving, often resorting to salvaging through garbage for nourishment.

“The thing liberals never seem to notice, if you go down to the Florida Keys, is the rafts are all going one direction,” Cruz added. “Just once I’d like to see some Hollywood liberal head down to Florida, jump on an inflatable raft, head 90 miles south to the socialist utopia that is communist Cuba.”

“When you see each of these Democrats say the government should be in charge of everything — of the economy, of health care, of education — what they’re saying is some nameless, faceless bureaucrat in a windowless office in Washington, D.C. should control your life,” he continued. “We’ve got a message that is much more powerful than that, which is the person in charge of your life is you.”

As the Democratic Party swings further to the far left, Republican lawmakers have been sounding the alarm on the disastrous implications of government control of the economy — and the necessity of American free enterprise.

Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) introduced a resolution into the Senate on Monday proclaiming socialism as a failed ideology that “inevitably ends in misery and suffering.” The resolution further declares that the United States will never be a socialist country.

“We, as Americans have a choice: One path leads to complete government control, undermining our constitution and our American way of life — the other path is the path of freedom,” Daines said on the Senate floor. “Capitalism and the free enterprise system has done more than any other system in the world to lift people out of poverty.”

Cruz, an outspoken opponent of socialism, has yet to formally co-sponsor the resolution.

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