I touched on this earlier this morning. For years, the right has gotten away with casting evil labels to certain words or beliefs. It’s been very effective for them because all they have to do is like a child calling someone “fatso” on the playground, they don’t have to define any particular act in detail, they just use the word leaving many to either shy away from the word or work to defend it, totally avoiding the issue at hand.
So, the right have successfully labeled anything “Liberal” or “Socialist” as bad. They’ve done this over the years even though little specific negative connotations can actually be ascribed to those terms. Even though this country consists of a multitude of political, moral, economic and social views, the right defines those outside their narrative under a one or two-word label. Liberal, Socialist, but they never define the specific act or believe they concern themselves with and how it specifically harms the well-being of the nation. This country from its founding has been, and continues to use a combination of capitalism and socialism in building the economy and seeing to the welfare of the people. It’s a fact. Many on the right deny that this is a “socialist” country or that those on the left are striving for socialism. They often conflate socialism with fascism which is interesting considering socialism is geared to have government see to the needs of the people while fascism is by definition corporations taking control of government for their own needs minus those of the people, but I digress.
We have several socialist institutions in this country that although the right won’t see as socialist, they would fight having them eliminated. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, The Military, Police Departments, Fire Departments, EMTs, The Power Grid, The Interstate Highway System, Veteran Service, The NFL, are all examples of socialism in this country. Many of them meld with Capitalism to not only garner profit and growth, but serve a social function. With the exception of the NFL, they all see to the needs of all the people, supported by tax dollars provided by the people and governed by the needs of the people. privatize them, make them purely capitalistic, then the profit margin would leave these service unavailable to those on the lower rungs of society.
So back to the original point, the push for the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare has been vilified because it’s been called “socialist” despite the fact we already have medicare, Medicaid and veteran services that are just as “socialistic” as ACA, even less so since private insurance companies still are the primary source of delivery of service. But by that label, it’s been vilified. When asked what specifically people have against it other than socialism, the response is often, we don’t need a nanny state. But this comes from people who want their Social Security and Medicare. Even worse, they complain of the individual mandate while at the same time saying that people should be responsible for paying their own way. ACA in its present form came from the Heritage Foundation, Bob Dole, and pushed by Mitt Romney. It’s as Republican as any social program can be, yet because a Democratic Congress and Democratic President passed it, it’s suddenly labeled as Socialism and evil. People can do their own speculation as to why.
To sum up, I see no problems or sin in any particular act being labeled as Socialism, Liberal, Progressive, or even Capitalistic. I’m more concern about the act or program itself and what service it provides to the community. Rather label the act for what it does than what someone with an iron clad political agenda/ideology labels it as without citing why it’s specifically bad to the people and what do they have that they can show will work better to address a need.
That’s my first long rant. Let me know what you think and whether I should continue with this way of getting things off my chest. Thanks