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Over the past few years, we have seen many significant changes to our government, thanks to President Donald Trump. But right along with those changes has come a rather scary trend and one that leans farther to the left than we’ve ever seen. Enter the rise of socialism.

Once thought of as nearly the worst type of government in existence, many Americans have now been persuaded to view it in a favorable light. In fact, according to recent polls, nearly one in five Americans, especially those of the younger generations, think they prefer socialism to capitalism.

Notice that I said ‘think.’ This is because most of them don’t really know all that much about it beyond the touts of self-proclaimed socialists like Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

These two, and others, would love for you to think of it as a system that is better for everyone because it makes us all precisely equal, mainly by giving us free stuff. Just look at Sanders’s failed presidential campaign for just a few examples: free housing, free education, free healthcare, etc.

But take it from someone who’s lived in a socialist country, this isn’t at all what it means.

Meet Victoria Spartz, newly elected House representative for Indiana’s 5th Congressional District. Spartz was born and raised in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, a member of the former Soviet Union. According to the Indianapolis Star, she fled the nation in 2000 and came to America, where she was granted citizenship in 2006.

Unlike most Americans, she knows about socialism because she’s lived it. And according to her, “it’s not pretty.”

She told “Fox & Friends” on Monday, “I grew up in a socialistic country. I grew up in socialism. I saw what happens when it runs out of money, and it’s not pretty.”

She said, “I was born in a country that doesn’t exist anymore, for good reason.” In fact, as she added, few socialist countries ever make it. “Let’s look at any country that’s had socialism. Every country failed because this system is not sustainable. The system created a lot of destruction and misery. So we have to be smarter than that.”

But how do we do that? As Spartz noted, “Unfortunately, there are a lot of socialistic trends in our country, and it breaks my heart because that’s not what makes our country the greatest in the world.”

How do we get rid of those socialistic tendencies and get back to makes us great?

Well, according to Spartz, that means being “good students of history. Our country, for the last century, fought against socialism.” She says that we cannot simply forget about that history and turn to something else, something wholly un-American, just because times get tough.

We have to remember “the beaches of Normandy” where “you can see how many young kids died fighting for freedom,” Spartz says. We have to remember what they died for. They stormed those beaches to ward off a Nazi regime from taking over the world, a government that many forget was birthed in socialism.

Yes, that’s right. Nazi Germany was a socialistic system. One where the governing rulers had so much power they could wipe out millions of a single race from the planet just because they wanted to. One where food, clothing, entertainment, books, and much more were all regulated and rationed out by the government.

Is that the kind of nation we really want? Because that’s where we’re headed if we don’t stop those in power from moving us in that direction.

Or we could look to the king of socialist nations past, the Soviet Union itself. It, too, reigned over its people like a dictator, doing what it pleased while its citizens lived in poverty and ashes.

Spartz has lived that life and knows the dangers of it. And she says that’s nowhere that America wants to be.

She says, “Every socialistic system is about suppression. We have to value our freedom.”

It’s a message every American needs to hear and understand. And it’s precisely why she got into politics, to let her sordid past be a lesson to the rest of us.