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Socialism is not a dirty word
For those who shudder when Trump and conservatives utter the word "Socialism" I offer these thoughts.
First, of course, what do you consider as socialism when you here in the context of a conservative or a liberal campaign?
When I go to town hall events for conservative candidates I hear talk and comments that suggests to me that most of those in attendance automatically go to the political talking points of the candidates that "...all socialism is bad".
Never once have I heard a conservative candidate or TV pundit take even a second to explain that the negative sounding word does not have a single meaning, preferring to let the uneducated listener remain ignorant. There is no single definition of socialism, it is a collection of variations.
There is the ultimate socialism which conservatives like to encourage their base to consider as the only form, this is the model we see in places like Russia, North Korea, Cuba and to a lesser extent, China. All most all of those leaders are basically dictators who Trump calls his friends.
One model that we are never really educated about is that "socialism" is how people, through central governments where they have a say at the voting booth, to collect taxes to provide for services those taxpayers cannot provide for themselves as individuals.
America, in fact all modern democratic nations use this system to the benefit of their citizens paid for by those citizens. Contrary to the conservative notion, nothing is free and no liberal makes that claim. You get something in return for your tax dollars, with the goal to reduce cost and increase efficiencies. I know...does not always work that way in practice but the basic premise is sound.
If you are one who drank the conservative cool-aid let me just ask you a question. If you could be king for a day which of these following "socialist" programs would you volunteer to give up:
- Social Security
- Veterans Hospitals
- Public roads
- Public Schools
- Public Libraries
- Municipal utilities like sewer and water
- Fire Department
- Emergency Response (EMS)
- US Armed Forces
- Homeland Security
- National, state and local parks
- National Weather Service/ NOAA
- Public owned transportation
- Centers for Disease Control
- Department of Justice
- Department of Agriculture SNAP
I am sure you could think of more if you put your mind to it. Each of the above is an example of a form of socialism governments use in order to provide citizen owned services paid for by your tax dollars.
Some counter "free markets" but to that I ask, did you ever get to vote for an insurance CEO? Privatization of public assets is just another way for a conservative to reward large campaign donation and to relieve themselves of responsibility over what they decide to privatize. It takes your voice and your vote out of the loop when it comes to accountability. It also inserts a profit motive that raises the cost to consumers of services. People don't think about who a private corporation is obligated to. It is to share holders profits not the public good. Every corporation has a fiduciary obligation to make the most money for it's owners. To that end; make the product as cheap as possible and charge the highest price you can expect to collect. This is the worrisome difference between "free market" and government services that are owned and paid for by taxpayers. An honest government is obligated to provide the best service for the lowest cost...total opposite to "free market" agenda.
When there are things we MUST have and CANNOT do without I don't want to be in debt to a privately owned corporation I have no control over. I can bitch to or vote my representatives out of office, I cannot vote any CEO out of power over our lives. ( Yes health insurance companies I mean you! )
For the record: Obamacare / ACA is really not socialism because all your insurance if provided via free market privatly owned insurance companies, the only "socialism" aspect are subsidies to help those who cannot afford the high rates charged by insurance providers.
Socialism is a neutral term with no specific definition. It is a word constantly used as a weapon by the right to beat followers into submission.