Ted Salins © 2011
Remember that first time you went home from college or the military? You couldn’t wait to see your mom, your friends, your hometown, your favorite hangouts. That’s how most Americans feel about our country. We love it for what it has been to us.
How many of you felt, “no, instead of going home for Thanksgiving, I want to go Moscow where I’ve never been, have no friends, it’s cold and I can march lockstep with Marxists and give up my freedoms.”
Can we stop demonizing a large percentage of Americans as Soviet style totalitarian socialists? This idea is illogical and absurd. “Fidel Castro likes Obamacare, but the American people don’t” (Sarah Palin, CNN, 3/26/10); “Most of the liberals I know want to live in a nanny state” (CSPAN caller) ; “Russia called, they want their socialism back” (Teaparty sign).
In other words, conservatives choose to work hard and take personal responsibility while those who disagree are lazy and want to be fed and clothed by the government.
Think of twenty people you know. How many of them do not work hard? How many game the welfare system or attend Communist Party meetings? One? Two? None? Where are these lazy Trotskyites? These accusations are specious: Those who claim Government meddling is “socialism” overwhelmingly voted for politicians who borrowed money from Marxist China. Those that rail about “lazy” welfare recipients and brag about responsibility do not feel responsible to clean up man made pollution, whether it causes global warming or not.
Furthermore, it was a recent neo-conservative administration that subscribed to torture, passed off taxpayer paid propaganda as news, planted fake reporters in legitimate press corps, put undue pressure on scientists to manipulate research and spied on the public through telephone lines – actions one can attribute to Soviet style totalitarian models. In another era, I was tear gassed and beaten with a club exercising my right to peacefully demonstrate against the war in Viet Nam. Who attending a “tea party” can say that?
Recently, someone made the outrageous claim that “Obamacare” was “socialist” because it would deny breast exams for women until they were 50. I asked which specific provision in the proposals said this. In the time it takes to do a “Google” on his I-Phone, he came back with “It was at an HHS panel” (the source changed from a provision). I pressed, “When and where was the panel and who said it?” (I actually knew the answer). His response: “I’m not your librarian. Do some reading. Don’t be lazy”.
Again, with “lazy”. This person makes a vague claim he did not take the time to justify, yet I’m lazy? Confucius said, “He who thinks he’s superior proves he’s not.”
Columnist and talk show host Mark Joseph asks, “Why is ‘Socialism’ such a dirty word? A government for the people by the people should banish all pejorative definitions of it.” We have always socialized taxes, military, education, civic pride and protection. That’s the responsible thing to do.