Monday, November 03, 2008
Lately, we're hearing a lot about how that risky Barack Obama might be (gasp!) a socialist. This, apparently, is a very bad thing. If you're an American as old as I am, raised in the cold war, you were taught that our great enemies were the communists. The communists wanted bad things, like the destruction of America. Now that can't be any good. What is socialism? Well, apparently, it's communism lite. Perhaps it means the partial destruction of America. Well, that can't be any good either, if you ask me.
So when every industrialized country in the world but us has health care for its citizens, people say it's socialism. Not only that, but people have to wait to see doctors (which no one in this country ever has to do), and things are not perfect like they are here in the US of A. Let's not improve on what the other countries do--let's just keep the same crappy system we've always had and screw those 47 million uninsured. Never mind that Americans are literally dying from lack of coverage. Policy experts like Joe the Plumber know better.
Those nasty socialists, now, want to redistribute the wealth. What does this mean? It means that Barack Obama wants to take hard earned cash from Joe the Plumber and give it to poor people. I mean, sure, Joe the Plumber only made 40 thousand bucks last year and he'd actually do better under Obama's tax plan, but that's not the point. It's the principle of the thing. What if Joe wants to buy a 250K business? True, it's rougher for him to get a loan now that our economy has collapsed under the weight of just such loans, but taxpayers could always pay if it didn't work out.
Wait a minute. Isn't that socialism? And didn't Maverick Johny just vote for it?
No, Americans. It's only socialism if we squander our money helping the poor, giving the middle class a tax break, or investing in the health of our citizenry. Covering high-risk idiotic unrealistic loans by short-sighted predatory lenders is just the price of our free market. And while many will say labeling your opponent a socialist (or a terrorist) is bottom-of-the-barrel desperation intended to frighten the ignorant and uneducated, that can't be the case.
After all, UFT President Randi Weingarten, a slam-dunk favorite, didn't hesitate to use that same tactic against her largely unknown, hugely outfunded and out-organized opponent in the UFT election. I mean, she didn't even bother to debate her opponent, Mr. What's-his-name, and still managed to turn out almost 25% of working teachers in the general election. Clearly Ms. Weingarten is not a socialist herself.
But if Ms. Weingarten can play the socialism card when she's way ahead and largely assured of victory, how can we criticize Maverick Johny when he's facing such a discouraging electoral map?
Special thanks to David Bellel for the photo