Socialism? It’s American

You have to wonder why many Americans are afraid of Bernie Sanders,  Senator Sanders, who is seeking the presidential nomination from Democratic voters although he is an Independent, describes his political movement as Socialist Democrat.  The first part of that, “Socialist” is what scares ignorant voters.

“Socialism,” they say, “isn’t that Communism?  We don’t want a despotic Russian-type government running our country.”

Too late.  America is and has been for a long time a socialist country.

The U.S. military, for instance, is the largest socialist program in the world.  Social Security is a socialist program.  So are the VA, public education, the court system, federal prisons, Medicare and Medicaid. The list goes on and on.  Millions of Americans use these socialist programs every day of the year.

To the surprise and likely dismay of Obama-Haters, the Affordable Care Act ((Obamacare), is not a socialist program.  It is a quasi-private business program, which probably explains why it has so many bumps along the way.

How do you identify a socialist program?  Simple.  It is a government-run program doing business in a government-owned building with government-paid employees.  Socialism and capitalism can live together, not always in harmony but together.

Communism, on the other hand, seizes private corporations, usurps the profits for its own benefit and shares some of the lucre with its citizens.  Communism and capitalism can not live together, at least not comfortably.

Except for the military, Republicans hate socialist programs.  They hate Social Security because, they say, private businesses are more efficient and can save tax dollars.  What Republicans really want to do is to “privatize” all these social program so their wealthy friends can feast on taxpayer money.

Republicans hate social programs so much that they lie and pull all sorts of tricks with the public in order to kill them.  One of their favorite scare tactics is to use the U.S. debt, now at 18 or 19 trillion dollars, as an example of how big government and its socialist programs are putting the country in danger.  What goes unsaid is that this debt is largely driven up by Republican presidents, namely Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, and then blamed on Democrats’ spending policies.  That way they create a false-alarm and urge voters to “shrink government,” or in other words get rid of Social Security as we know it and Medicare, Medicaid et al.  It is not surprising, I suppose, how much of this stuff sticks and hoodwinks the public.

Socialism is a good thing.  So is government, although it could shed a few pounds here and there. Like the military budget.  .

It’s time for Americans to hear the alarm clock.  Bernie Sanders and socialism are far from the bogeymen decried on Fox News, headquarters for Republican propaganda.

Many Americans have benefitted from socialism for a long time.  They just don’t realize it.

 

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