With the election just a week away, the Letters to the Editor are getting more and more ridiculous. There were so many to choose from this last week, but here is the winner.
Obama a vote for socialism?
The socialists are coming! The socialists are coming! This tired old canard is the last desperate gasp of Sarah Palin and every other conservative who doesn’t have a single substantive issue left to stand on.
It isn’t socialism to expect the vast resources of our government to make minimal efforts at improving the lives of our citizens. It isn’t socialism for our elected officials to be concerned about the health, education and well-being of those who elected them. It isn’t socialism for every person and business to pay a reasonable and proportionate amount of taxes to run our country, repair our infrastructure, help those less fortunate and save our environment.
And finally, it isn’t socialism to expect our president and his advisers to preserve basic freedoms that allow some misguided people to shout “socialism” rather than joining the effort to move our United States back to a position of international respect and leadership.
Ross Freese Kansas City
Before I get into whether or not Obama is a socialist, let me first talk about the most ridiculous statement in this letter. Mr. Freese says “It isn’t socialism to expect the vast resources of our government to make minimal efforts at improving the lives of our citizens.” The government has “vast resources”? This is news to me. The only resources the government has are those that they have taken from us. They have no resources of their own.
Socialism is a generic term for several similiar political theories. Wikipedia says ”Socialism is not a discrete philosophy of fixed doctrine and program…Some socialists advocate complete nationalization of the means of production, distribution, and exchange; while others advocate state control of capital within the framework of a market economy”
Our government already controls much of the production and distribution in industries such as health and education, so all those things that Mr. Freese thinks are not Socialism could arguably be just that.
So is Obama a Socialist? I don’t know him personally so I can’t say, but is policy proposals are a lot closer to socialism than capitilism. Obama’s tax proposal is probably the best example. This plan would give tax credits to some people while raising taxes for others to pay for it. This is “nationalization” of capital distribution. In a free market capitilist economy capital distibution among workers is achieved through wages. Obama wants to circumvent this and take charge of dealing out his idea of “ecomomic justice.”
I do find hope in the fact that so many letters have been written arguing that Obama is not a Socialist. Does this mean that many people still find the idea of socialism unattractive? If so there may still be hope for our country after all.