Monday, April 2, 2012

Socialism - what's the big deal?

I keep hearing people call President Obama a "Socialist."  That comment always comes with a sneer, accompanied by blood vessels that appear ready to burst.  It's as if the speakers equate a "socialist" with "wife beater" or "sex offender."  The word "socialist" has become an extremely ugly label.

So ... let's take a look, shall we?  One standard definition is hard to find because it means a lot of things to different people.  Here's one definition I like:

Socialism refers to a broad array of ideologies and political movements with the goal of a socio-economic system in which property and the distribution of wealth are subject to control by the community for the purposes of increasing social and economic freedom, equality and cooperation.

So what does that mean?  Maybe some examples would be good.

Public schools
Publicly-owned airports
Public parks
Public libraries
City roads
Public beaches
City fire departments
City police departments
Benefits for members of Congress
Public health clinics
Social Security
Public universities
City garbage pickup

Really ... don't these fit in the definition?  The property and wealth are controlled by the community - and public taxes go to pay for them.  The purpose is for the common good.

Let's face it:  Socialism is an integral part of what sustains this country - and it's always been that way.  In fact, socialism played a part in the colonies becoming a new country:  taxes paid for part of the American Revolution!

So the next time, someone yells "Obama is a Socialist!" ... ask what road he drove on to get to where he is.  Ask her if she has a child in a public school.  Ask if Medicare paid for his last surgery.  Ask if his garbage was picked up by the city this week.  Ask if he's glad we had a military to defend us in World War II.  

And then sit back and smile when you get a blank stare.  Those folks won't get it.  They never do.

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