SOCIALISM

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.

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6 Responses to “SOCIALISM”

  1. kozmicdogz Says:

    I like the people who rail against Obama and then complain when their social security check is late! or maybe they are living on disability!

  2. Conservative Republican Says:

    I won’t even waste my time reading this socialist garbage!

  3. Melanie Bond Says:

    Hi Ted – Great writing! I think we are living in another generation that could be called “the silent majority”! I can’t believe that most people agree with the Tea Party position, but why don’t they speak up and say so? Let’s hope they’re waiting to voice their opinions via the ballot box, and we can finally be done with all the wackos that claim to be patriots but don’t know any history!!

  4. Mark Joy Says:

    thank you Ted

  5. Hello Mr. Ted.

    I do not think Obama is a socialist, (small or large S).
    When he was running for POTUS, his oratory convinced me that he was socialist leaning like JFK; someone above money & class who would fight for everyman. A fairy tale, I now know. This impression was created partially because he was using a Kennedy man as a ghost writer to get him in office. Awakened, I would call his highness DaBama an opportunistic, almost centrist, status-quo new Democrat, a pedagogue, and/or far worse , as you well know.
    What i thought was a friendly regime change has shown itself as as ” Bidness as usual” in a new suit.
    We need some socialist leaning free thinking choices in government other then Bernie Sanders or the recently departed Dennis Kucinich just like we need a few more moderate thinking republicans like Olympia Snow. Government by & for means a variety of covictions like the braodly diverse population. No more. We have gone from tweedle-dee vs. Tweedle Dum running for President in the 60’s/70’s to Tweedle Dum Jr. vs Tweedle Dummer ll throughout much of national politics. Where i live there are no contests to vote in…it is always the annointed Democraccker of party choice…I used to generate interest by voting in the republican primary which was open to independents…it is now closed.
    Freshly Gerrymandered Maryland now has even less choice!
    Steny Hoyer-Land…next Tweedle Dummest….but I digress….

    When & how did socialism get such a bad name, (to the tune of “you give love a bad name”), Once upon a time in a far away place called Europe there was a cadre of thugs who took control of Germany & who practiced what they called socialism as did another faction of thugs who gained control of mother Russia. These Axis powers were our evil enemies during of the “Great War”, WWii.

    This collective hatred gave right wing politicians the cover of “higher moral ground” in “public” opinion to get rid of most of the strong workers organizations created during the home grown socialist movement which became strong during the US’s boom of factory growth and industrialization, (stones factory girl plays in background), In response/self defense of the power of the robber baron class, (which had also grown very strong in the politics of the 19th century). These same socialist organizations, (which were populist worker-rights dominated and had helped build our middle class’s high quality standard of living), were discredited and dismantled by descendants and the minions of the robber barons families in their witch hunt from the late 1940’s (post-war), through the 1970’s and had been rendered impotent by the mid 1970’s. By mid-century the mere taint of Socialism or worse Communism could be used to discredit and neutralize any such forces.

    Where did this Taint get it’s power ? The short answer is from our parents. Every boomer was educated in the evils of socialism by the Great generation, (often family), and also by the propaganda machine which while created to give support to our boys during WWii which never quite wound down and morphed into the private and public sector advertisers in Newspapers and into our living rooms on TV.

    We were all taught to hate Nazi’s and Commies, brown shirts & Reds. Pinkos, even home grown like like Alger Hiss deserved death; nothing less. ask Joe McCarthy or Joe Six-pack or Joe the Plumber. You can ridicule these Joe’s and most do in liberal circles, but ridicule from the college-boy “elite” does not diminish their strength. Since we all hold them in our collective psyche. We all hate Joe Stalin, (not to mention Adolphe). So we all, contrary to our interests, without thinking hate socialism.

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