Socialism is the newest four-letter word we can add to our political glossary of epithets.
The problem with the word, though, and the way it is tossed around is that those who oppose socialism hang the label of “socialist” on folks for the wrong reasons.
They don’t know — or choose to ignore — the true definition of the word. Yet we hear it all … the … time! It comes from those on the right and the far right. It is meant to tear down the ideas of those with whom they disagree.
Socialism defines an economic system that spreads public assets around. Government takes over private industry and distributes assets to everyone the government represents. Here is one definition I found: a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.
I heard Donald Trump — yet again! — toss the s-word out there during a recent campaign rally. He said Democrats are not-so-closeted socialists who want to destroy our way of life, our economic system, our prosperity. He and his allies contend — and they are largely, but not entirely correct — that socialism doesn’t work.
I have been accused of being a socialist by readers of High Plains Blogger. They make me laugh. For starters, I’ve never posted an entry on this blog that espouses the economic benefit of a socialistic society.
Why is that? I am not a socialist! I am as much of a capitalist as any of my friends who happen to oppose the views expressed in this blog.
I have not endorsed the idea of Medicare for all, or a single-payer health care system, and I damn sure haven’t endorsed the notion of the government nationalizing heavy industry.
And yet …
We hear critics of those who tilt left accuse them of being socialists, of wanting the government to do everything. They say we lefties are in favor of creating something called a Nanny State.
C’mon, folks! Let’s get real!
Socialism — and those who believe in it — have become a convenient political rallying cry at right-wing rallies. Hey, whatever works, right? It’s working for those level these accusations against those who oppose them.
It damn sure is working for the president of the United States, who got elected by stirring up fears and anxiety of voters in precisely the right states to win an Electoral College majority in 2016.
Stoking those fears and leading the cheers of those who believe this nonsense is no way to govern.