The Redefinition of Socialism.
(ThyBlackMan.com) President Obama’s political enemies and critics repeatedly refer to him as a socialist. These people used the words socialism and socialist as smears – as badges of dishonor and disdain. I think it’s a fair question to ask if they’re engaging in this incessant campaign of name calling accidentally or deliberately. And if, in fact they’re doing so intentionally, do they even know what the word socialism means?
Perhaps socialism needs to be redefined. Here in America, examples of socialism are all around you – and they come in shapes, forms, and institutions which virtually no one has an issue with. Do you enjoy traveling on interstate highways? Have you or your children ever attended public schools, public libraries, or public parks? Isn’t it wonderful having the local police department, the local fire department, and the EMTs at the ready 24/7 in case of emergencies? I certainly think so. If you agree, I hate to break the news to you – but you’re a socialist.
Socialism occurs every single time the Sanitation department comes to pick up and take away your trash. Socialism happens each time you or your parents or your grandparents receive a disability check, a Social Security check, or Medicare benefits. Do you know anyone who hates Social Security or Medicare? I don’t. Socialism takes place whenever someone receives an unemployment benefits check. If you’ve ever received any of the aforementioned things, you are undeniably a socialist.
Professional sports is filled with proud and unrepentant recipients of good, old American socialism. The Atlanta Braves are getting their ducks in a row so they can build a brand new $700,000,000 state-of-the-art baseball stadium in Cobb County. The Braves organization will only pay $200,000,000 of that $700,000,000. Guess where the remaining $500,000,000 will come from? That’s right: from higher taxes on tourism dollars in Atlanta. People who dine in Atlanta restaurants will pay more for their food. People who fly into Atlanta – for whatever reason – will pay more for their airfare.
People who rent cars in Atlanta will pay more for that privilege. People who stay in Atlanta hotels will pay more for their stay. Whether they’re Braves fans or not, Cobb County residents will pay more in taxes just because the Braves’ new stadium will be located there. Atlanta is merely the latest example of rampant sports socialism. It happens all the time; all over this great nation. It’s as American as mom, baseball, and apple pie (pun fully intended). As of yet, I’ve heard no cries of outrage from the Tea Party. I’ve heard no demands for investigations from the Georgia statehouse. I’ve seen no picket signs outside Turner Field. See? Socialism is OK in the U.S. of A.
Need another example? Try this. A primary talking point conservatives declare as proof positive of Obama-as-socialist is the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or as I love to refer it – ‘Obamacare”. Neocons would have everyone believe that this law of land is destined to bankrupt America. They relentlessly claim that the President exceeded his executive branch powers by fighting hard to advocate the ACA before, during, and after its ratification. What they never tell you is that Presidents Bush, Bush, Reagan, Eisenhower, Roosevelt, Roosevelt, Clinton, Johnson, Kennedy, Ford, Carter, Truman, and Nixon all attempted to do the exact same thing. President Obama happens to be the one who actually succeeded. Were all these Presidents – progressive and conservative – actually socialists? You betcha! So am I. And so, friends, are you.
The benefits provided by the United States Government for members of the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives and their families are glaring examples of socialism. Isn’t it peculiar that the very people who demonize socialism the most are those who benefit from it the most? Conservatives mainly want small government because they also want huge free markets. Small government cannot regulate anything. Small government can’t rein in Wall Street or the expansion of the military industrial complex. Conservatives seek to privatize everything in sight. Anyone who stands in their way is quickly branded anti-American, a communist, or even a socialist. Like President Obama, for example.
Corporate welfare is fine, but food stamps to malnourished Americans must be cut. Subsidies to multinational oil/gas industries makes sense, but unemployment benefits to Americans who desperately need them is heresy. That makes about as much sense as Oreo cookies in gravy.
The next time you hear someone call the President a socialist, ask yourself what that person’s or group’s true agenda is. Are they misguided – or are they purposefully spreading misinformation? Mr. Obama is fighting for the preservation of American institutions you know and love. Where I’m from, we have a name for such people: patriots. Folks, either we’re all patriots; or we’re all socialists. You decide. That’s the redefinition of socialism.
Staff Writer; Arthur L. Jones, III
This talented brother is a local Minister, weekly featured Democratic Op-Ed columnist, non-profit advisor, and sees the Braves winning it all this fall. Rev. Jones welcomes your comments! Please email him directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org.