Saturday, February 14, 2009

Eugene Debs was a Socialist

Debatable Opinions; Letters to the Editor
(originally published at OpEdNews)

Some time back, I wrote an article entitled Socialism and Democracy – The People’s Combination. In the article, I tried to make the point that words aren’t inherently “bad”.

As reinforcement for that premise, I invite you to read the late George Carlin’s comedic dissertation in which he substitutes the word “fuck” for the word “kill”. It becomes clear via the great Carlin’s logic that words are emotionless, lifeless character formations which have no particular agenda.

Absent the comic genius of Carlin, I used his logic in my article to talk about the word “social”. The conclusion I came to was that the word “social” in almost all of its variations carries a positive ambiance; in almost all of its variations. However, combine the word social with the suffix “ism” and, voila, Mr. Hyde! A word otherwise used to describe a desired relationship among people becomes instantly dangerous.

I don’t bring this up as a veiled attempt to get readers to go back and read my article. That having been said, I don’t write for practice, so I’d never discourage anyone from reading or rereading any of my articles.

I bring up this article to explain why the following question doesn’t shock me:

“Does anyone reading this realize how close we came to having a completely socialistic government?”

This question was submitted in a letter to the editor of Montana’s Billings Gazette. The writer reminds us that 60 Democratic seats in the senate would have given them “unbridled control of this country.”

The letter writer is determined that this “socialistic” Congress, along with its “Messiah”, would be certain to go from hunter’s home to hunter’s home confiscating rifles and ammo.

Obama’s stance on gun control, and guns need to be controlled to some extent, can be found at the On The Issues web site.

He wants most semiautomatic guns banned and he wants to keep guns out of the inner city where they serve one purpose and one purpose only. Aside from those caveats, it’s clear that it’s not his intention to take sports men’s guns away. The letter writer’s insistence that The President does, indeed, want to take them away shows the lack of research effort that was made before the letter was submitted.

According to the writer, it gets worse. “goodbye Bush tax cuts- which people living on the backs of working taxpayers hate - and goodbye freedom.”

The tax cuts that The Regime passed were passed for the benefit of those who collect their money by waiting, not by working. The tax cuts that The Regime passed lessened the tax burdens for nonworking taxpayers and corporations, not for “working taxpayers”. If people are living on the backs of these wealthy taxpayers, that can be easily resolved. The filthy rich taxpayers and corporate upper management can get them off of their backs and hire them.

“Good-bye freedom” is an interesting phrase. We see this man’s warning progressing from a hunter’s weapons search and destroy mission, to a repeal of tax cuts for people who don’t need them and whose taxes would pump needed revenue into the economy, to some kind of government driven incarceration. The writer predicts all of this because of a change from capitalism to socialism that’s never been proposed by anyone in the Obama Administration. Ah, but let’s not lose site of the “ism” that magically creates high stepping Soviet troops marching through Moscow – or, possibly, Billings - on Mayday.

Fortunately, in the opinion of the writer, “Chambliss, the Republican incumbent senator” won Georgia’s revote. There’s no doubt that the writer attributes this good fortune to the fact that Chambliss’s “Democrat” opponent brought in old drunken, skirt-chasing Ted Kennedy and self-confessed war criminal John Kerry” from the “socialist state of Massachusetts” to stump for him.

Saxby (for the writer's sake) Chambliss, on the other hand, brought in “Wonder Woman Sarah Palin” to campaign for him. Noting that Palin drew thousands and thousands of people to Chambliss events, the writer confidently states that “The liberal Democrats are scared of her.” He reminds us that, had Palin’s husband not been arrested for DUI 20 years ago, she would now be the vice-president of The United States, which, I guess, means that she would have carried McCain with her. At any rate, the writer may have reminded some of you about the twenty year old DUI incident that decided the 2008 election, but I don’t remember that being the case at all.

As far as the writer is concerned, the Palin DUI was but a minor peccadillo compared to Obama’s past during which he’s admitted to smoking pot and snorting coke. The implication is that this should have been taken into account by those who voted in the 2008 presidential election. Again, I could not have taken into account that which I didn’t know in the first place.

Neither Obama nor anyone in his administration has spoken about making the American government “completely socialistic”. I’ve heard no talk by The Obama Administration about taking over the production of refrigerators, shoes or basketballs. That would be complete socialism, wouldn’t it?

The closest The United States has ever come to having a Socialist president was in the 1908 presidential election when Eugene Debs collected 450,000 votes and again in 1912 when he received 900,000 votes.[1]

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Obama is not a Socialist, complete or any other brand.

In the article I mention above, I go into much more detail, as do comments posted to that article, about how Americans are still indentifying “Socialism” with “communism” and “communism” with tyranny. This points to the sad fact that there are still Americans who’ve never heard of successful Democratic Socialism. There are still Americans who don’t realize that democracy is a form of governance and Socialism is an economic system which protects a nation’s citizens from unnecessary poverty.

This brings me to my final thought. So what if Obama was or is a Socialist? The Socialist Party and the premise of Socialism do not conflict with The Constitution of The United States. We all know that, after The Bible, The US Constitution is the most “interpreted” non-fiction work ever written.

No, I guess that wasn’t my final thought. My final thought is whence do people like this letter writer come? They seem to be let out of “the hen house” just long enough to repeat the fox’s words.

To friendship,

“There is no nonsense so errant that it cannot be made the creed of the vast majority by adequate governmental action.” - Bertrand Russell

World Conditions and Action Items
The World’s Condemnation

[1] . Zinn, Howard. The People’s History of the United States, HaperCollins Publishers, p. 341

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