Xavier Smith Center hosts journalist for town hall

By Trevor Tiemeyer, Staff Writer

Xavier’s Smith Center invited Wall Street Journal (WSJ) editorial writer Kimberly Strassel to speak to students, staff and donors last Wednesday in a keynote titled “The Resurgence of Socialism.”

Strassel began her career in journalism in Brussels before making her way to London and eventually landing in New York. She has worked at WSJ since 1994.

Before she was in the field, Strassel received her bachelor’s degree in public policy and international affairs from Princeton University. In 2014, she was a Bradley Prize recipient and the author of two New York Times bestsellers.

As a precursor to the event on campus, students from the Smith Scholars honors program met with Strassel to ask her questions prior to the keynote presentation. 

Photo courtesy of Williams College of Business.
Kimberly Strassel (right) stands with Williams College of Business Dean Tom Hayes (left) during Strassel’s keynote at Xavier last Wednesday.

Strassel divulged some of her thoughts on capitalism and her career as a whole. She referred to her career as a “craft” or a skill. She continued that there is a formula to writing a good editorial or news piece; for her, the main component is practice.

Additionally, Strassel insisted on the importance of reading. As a part of her job and for fun, she said she read two to three books per week. 

During the keynote, Strassel laid out her thoughts on how and why socialism is a popular movement in modern times and why she believes that it should not be the future of America. Strassel began by defining America as a constitutional republic, and that it can never be socialist at its core. 

As a limited government developed and built around capitalism, countless laws and documents would need major amendments for anything that resembles socialism to take hold.  

Photo courtesy of Williams College of Business.
Wall Street Journal journalist Kimberly Strassel addressed a crowd of Xavier students, faculty and staff in  Cintas Center last Wednesday.

According to Strassel, socialism feeds off people’s emotions and their notions of “fairness.” She believes that because socialism feeds off of emotion, it is easy to explain and sell. 

Strassel also sought to demonstrate how socialism fails in practice. Her main examples of the poor performance of socialism were Sweden and Venezuela. 

Strassel went on to quote James Madison: “If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.”

Referring to her belief that no governing body will ever tell you its plan to take away your freedoms, she claims that socialist leaders in America are not telling the full story of socialism. 

She believes that the implementation of socialist policies would end up limiting the liberties and freedoms of all Americans, regardless of socioeconomic status.