Posts Tagged ‘Socialism’

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Elected To Do So

09.14.09

Andrew Sullivan writes:

The protestors keep saying that they want their country back. Sorry, my fellow small-governmenters, but this country is a democracy, and you didn’t lose your country, you just lost an election. You had your chance for eight years. You blew it, and you lost. What Obama is doing is what he was elected to do. The principled response is not a massive, extremist-riddled hissy fit a few months in, but a constructive set of proposals to build on universal care for a more market-friendly and cost-conscious system in the future. You have to win some political credibility for that; and then you have to beat the man you lost so badly to last year. That’s the civil and civilized way forward for the right. It also seems, alas, to be the one they are currently refusing to take.

We just need Obama to actually DO what he was elected to do.  That might not necessarily mean universal health care in the Medicare Plus model, but it sure doesn’t mean announcing that just about all the major points in the bill are still up for debate.  Granted, Obama has said that his door is open for those willing to bring a serious plan to the table and I bet that he really would dismiss a radical legislator who simply comes in without an honest agenda.

No social program has passed without a fight.  In fact, most have passed with strong opposition.  Medicare and Social Security had their battles.  Medicare didn’t get through originally with Truman – it had to wait until Lyndon Johnson came into office for it to be enacted.  And all the while the same outcry from the right: SOCIALISM!  And now, see if any American really thinks that Medicare or Social Security has pushed this country to the point where we’re waiting in line for bread or that we would be any closer to that if we had universal health care.  See what would happen if the fringe right wanted to repeal Social Security and Medicare for the sake of capitalism and freedom.  Talk about uproar and outrage.

I can’t understand the ignorant insanity of people who truly believe that providing health care to all Americans will begin a slippery slope toward a socialist state.  Perhaps the model that Obama and the Democrats have set up isn’t the way that the fiscal conservatives would do it, but the idea behind it – the richest, most prosperous country in the world providing affordable health care coverage to ALL of its citizens – is something to aim for, to strive for in bettering our society no matter what your party affiliation.  How can your political stance be in favor of denying MILLIONS of Americans proper access to health care?  And how in the world isn’t there a large uproar over that?!  Bettering our society, improving the quality of life for all of our fellow Americans: why are these deemed to be socialist concepts?  How are they being painted as communist, evil thoughts?

When did people become so selfish?

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“Enhanced Interrogation”

04.17.09

george-w-bush-picture

Andrew Sullivan:

[George W. Bush] was either therefore a fantastic liar on one of the gravest matters imaginable or so psychologically compartmentalized and prone to rigid denial of reality and so unversed in history, law and morality that he had no reason being president.

If you haven’t read about the release of the Bybee memos regarding the use of torture authorized by Bush/Cheney and “legalized” by their team of attorneys who took oaths to uphold the law, you owe it to yourself to check them out.  You can read Andrew Sullivan’s continued discussion on his blog.

Remember that Clinton was impeached because he lied about having a personal, extramarital affair.  Bush endorsed the torture of prisoners-of-war while condemning the horrors of Abu Ghraib prison.  For all of those who are screaming bloody murder about how Obama is taking America into a social-fascist state, open your eyes.  Administering torture techniques used by Stalin, the Gestapo, and the Khmer Rouge is fascism.  Taxing Americans at the same rate they were 10 years ago is not.  It’s depressing and shameful that people have the energy, time and audacity to protest the American president on Tax Day simply because they are greedy and whiny when true atrocities are happening and have been happening under the previous administration’s watch.  Funny how those same people voted for Bush and McCain – essentially endorsing torture methods that really are the strongest attack on civil liberties imaginable – yet now claim that Obama is the socialist.  It would be funny if people weren’t so stubborn in their beliefs.

This isn’t some good news.  This doesn’t make someone like me – who was staunchly opposed to Bush – happy.  I’m not glad to see proof that he truly was as awful as I thought he was.  I’m not sure what was his bigger downfall: believing that he really was ordained by God to be president, or his sheer, utter stupidity.  I suppose one begat the other.

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Mr. T(ea) Party

04.16.09

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I respect the right to protest.  But like so many other freedoms, just because you’re allowed to do something, doesn’t mean you’re even in the vicinity of being right or smart.

Had I not been on tour and maybe even had a few dollars to my name, I would’ve loved to have printed out a little pamphlet called “Socialism and You: A Fact Guide for the Uneducated (Yes, This Means You)” and gone to the nearest tea party and passed them out free of charge.  Or maybe I could’ve just rented a bus and packed them all in for a quick little field trip to the nearest high school for a brief lesson in civics from one of our many underpaid teachers.

Being totally against taxes is one thing; but, it’s a ridiculous notion that pretty much makes no sense at all if you want to live in a civilized society with government.  And then to claim that taxes equals socialism just adds ignorance onto stupidity.   What a wonderful mix.  Then again, you’re entitled to what you want to believe.

For those who think that Obama is the next Chairman Mao, remember that he has done more to help protect the freedoms that allow you to oppose and protest his policies than our last president (whom you most likely voted for).  There’s more to a government and an administration than simply increasing the tax rate for the top 1% by less than four percentage points (and this was going to happen anyway once Bush’s tax cuts expire in 2011).

I understand having a cause to get behind and fight for, but I pity the countless fools who truly think that our country is slipping into a communist state.  I pity them because they are so uneducated and closed-minded to their own idiocy that they can’t even accept that they don’t understand these basic political terms and types.

There may not be a better example of why we need more funding for our public school system than this.

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This Is Not Socialism

04.04.09

While bored, I ended up jumping around friends’ Facebook walls and read posts from random people that I may or may not have ever met.  The Six Degrees of Facebook, essentially.  On one wall I found a post that read as follows:

yeah, i agree, i am not against Obama, but i disagree with the philosphy that the stimulus package and more government spending is the right solution. and i don’t think pelosi and reid did him any favors by locking out the republicans when they created the bill and then expected support for it. but it is what it is – moving towards national healthcare run by the government and nationalization of banks is socialism.

This person has every right to disagree with Obama’s politics.  But the final remark is incorrect.  A country can have social programs without being a socialist state.  No one was screaming socialism when Bush was in office, yet he was the one whose spending was completely out of control to the point where the administration claimed that deficits don’t matter.  We’ve also had social programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security for decades, yet again, the Republicans weren’t screaming socialism 6 months ago.  In fact, Bush spent a TON of money on Medicare just before he left office.  Finally, Bush was the one who started the whole “nationalization” of banks with the Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and AIG bailouts.  Again, no calls of socialism, yet these were all characteristics of socialist policy.

Obama does have a plan for health care reform and so did all of the other presidential candidates.  Only Clinton’s even came close to being universal coverage.  I am not sure that Obama’s plan of forcing employers to provide health care really is the answer at all, but I do know that it’s not national healthcare nor socialism.

I am not an economist.  I’m not even an political scientist by degree.  I have no idea what the best course of action is with regards to the banking system.  In my gut I would rather them fail than the Big Three.  I also would rather the president didn’t tell the GM CEO to step down – but that’s what happens when the government essentially owns part of the company.  I can see this being a dangerous state of affairs but I also don’t see it as socialism.  If you ask for the government’s help, then you should be held accountable to their stipulations.  If you don’t want the help, then let capitalism do its thing and GM would most likely be going through bankruptcy right now.  Which they still could be doing soon.  Either way, it wasn’t a hostile takeover by the government like what happened in Venezula.  Far from it.

Regardless of how it all turns out, we are not living under socialism, we are not heading toward socialism, and having social programs when you’re one of the wealthiest and strongest countries in the world is not socialism.  It’s part of what makes us one of the best nations on the planet.

(P.S. I don’t know the protocol for the content of a random Facebook wall posting.  I don’t want to credit the writer because I would like for him/her to remain anonymous.  It’s nothing personal and if he/she so chooses to want credit for said quote, I’ll be happy to attribute accordingly.)
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Rush Limbaugh and the Fairness Doctrine

02.20.09

Limbaugh spouts off, per usual, this time in a direct letter to President Obama (in the form of a WSJ op-ed piece, of course) about how he wants to keep the talk radio airwaves free from governmental censorship that he claims the president wants to impose.  He goes so far as to even somehow work in Acorn and MoveOn.org into his argument when they really have nothing to do with anything here.

Because he’s talking about the Fairness Doctrine, which, if enacted, would require that controversial issues talked about on the air have the opposing viewpoints shared to provide balance.

This isn’t happening.  It’s not being passed.  The President said so two days before Limbaugh’s “letter.”

What I find so intriguing about this is that Limbaugh is the same person who argues vehemently about the so-called “liberal media bias.”  So, if that truly were the case, wouldn’t the Fairness Doctrine actually help balance the media back toward his side, the right?  Why wouldn’t he want that?  It would essentially take away any bias for either side (in theory).

Granted, the Fairness Doctrine isn’t truly fair and would be a form of governmental censorship, so it’s good that President Obama doesn’t want anything to do with it.  Nor should he.  This is just Limbaugh trying to expose the president for something he’s not: a socialist.

He just wants the American President to fail.  How come no one is calling this guy anti-American?  Or accusing him of treason, or at least of being vehemently unpatriotic?  It was one thing to not support President Bush’s decision to go to war in Iraq.  It’s quite another to openly call for him (and, let’s be honest, the country) to fail.