Poll: Republican 'Capitalism' or Republican 'Socialism'?
Republican 'Capitalism' or Republican 'Socialism': Which Would You Rather Have?
Republicans are big believers in hammers. Hammers are their 'go-to' tools for fixing every problem. If the hammer they have isn't working, it never crosses their minds that the particular task at hand might require a different type of tool - maybe a screwdriver or a wrench. They just get a bigger hammer. Then they beat the hell out of whatever it is they're trying to fix until it accidentally starts working, or until it's just beat to hell and useless.
The point is that if it works, it's usually nothing more than a happy accident. Like the 'surge.' They decided to get a bigger hammer. Of course violence is reduced in specific areas when you send tens of thousands more troops in. More than 9 out of 10 experts agree that most people don't like dying in a hail of gunfire and grenade fragments. It's also a given that when you send thousands of police in full riot gear to beat and gas protesters, there will be fewer people willing to show up to protest. It doesn't change the fact that the people not showing up still don't agree with you. You're not not changing any minds. You're just scaring them off the streets with your hammer.
That's why the 'surge' definitely did not work. There has been no political progress, which was its defined purpose as articulated by Bush and McCain. Its purpose has not been fulfilled in any sense other than to scare everyone off the streets because they really aren't fond of dying.
Another of the hammers which has long been a favorite of Republicans is redefining words. Today's Republicans aren't very good at doing many things, but they are excellent at taking a word and turning it completely on its head. Their magic feat in this election was in demonstrating that a young black man raised by his grandparents who sometimes had to rely on foodstamps to make ends meet, and got where he is by hard work, determination and exceptional intellect can be redefined as an 'elitist' by people like John and Cindy McCain, who live lives of extravagant luxury on wealth that was inherited through no work of their own. They pulled off a miracle when they convinced nearly half the people in America that having 9 houses, and not even being able to remember how many you have, does not make someone 'elite'. Having one relatively modest home (and being black) makes you 'elite.' (However, they may have gone a little too far when they had a surrogate from the Rothschild family, one of the richest in the world, go on television to call Obama an 'elitist' for saying that people were 'bitter,' while in the very same sentence calling those same people 'rednecks' herself.)
But the hammer wielded by Republicans most often, and to greatest effect, has been the word 'socialism.' Every election year that I can remember, and probably most that I can't, that is the weapon they have swung to cause blunt-force trauma to whoever was running on the Democratic ticket. The reason they like to throw that word around is because most Americans in the past have associated 'socialism' with evil foreign governments. Hitler's Germany, Red China, North Korea, North Vietnam, and the Soviet Union were all the Republican examples of the evils of socialism. (Yes, they have used communism and socialism interchangably, depending on who was most 'evil' at the time. Most Americans couldn't tell you the differences between the two, and don't really care -- they're all 'Reds,' and if you even know the difference, then you must hate America, ya stinkin' commie!)
They make no distinction between the differing philosophies of socialism, nor between the philosophies and the actual practices of those regimes. They also make no distinction between real, all-out socialism and the relatively modest reforms that Democrats have advocated to make the system more fair for everyone instead of being biased in favor of the rich. For them, at least in most of their rhetoric, everything besides completely unfettered 'free-trade', with no restrictions on businesses, no collective bargaining or unions, no minimum wage, no government standards to protect the health and safety of workers -- is socialism.
'Privatization' was another big one -- all the way up until two weeks ago. "Privatize Social Security!" shouted George W and his older, droopier twin McBush, holding hands and smiling at the crowd. If they had gotten their way, every person you know who depends on that check to live (and the millions you don't know) would have nothing. It would ALL be gone. I guarantee that you will not hear the word 'privatization' come out of McCain's mouth again in this election.
The only thing Republicans want to privatize is profits. They are all for socialism, as long as the only thing that is socialized is their own losses. When the companies they invest their money in fail because of their own ridiculous policies, they want YOU to save THEIR companies. THAT is the truly bad form of socialism. That's the kind of socialism that we now have right here in the United States. The kind where the rich complain about the taxes they pay to help the poor (when they are really only pay their own proportional share since they get the greater benefit from the roads and other infrastructure built with that tax money), so they get all the tax breaks. Then when their greed becomes so great that they end up cannibalizing themselves, they force the poor to rescue wealth. their
If you believe in a progressive tax system in which those who have prospered more greatly from the benefits and opportunities of citizenship and trade pay their fair share for the public good, then you are an evil 'socialist.' You're Hitler, Castro, and whatever other name they can dredge up that makes people cringe.
Angie Riedel writes in an excellent article at OpEdNews.com entitled " Socialize This " that the rich love socialism when it benefits them:
The thing that makes rich people's skin crawl is the idea of our money being used to benefit us. That's something they see as evil and they've tagged it with a word, socialism. The intent is to send chills up and down our spines and make us feel very afraid. We can't have socialism here, it's downright un-American. Well that's all well and good but the bottom line is, we've already got socialism here. Rich people's socialism. Our money is taken from every last one of us, and is given to the rich. ... What they like is welfare for the rich, bail outs for the richest Wall Street tycoons in the world, fat subsidies for themselves, no taxes for themselves, in fact, nothing for themselves but our money. All of our money.
So the choice really isn't between real Capitalism and real Socialism. The choice is between the reality that occurs by applying the Republican definition of Capitalism and the Republican definition of Socialism.
Country 'A' is the reality of the Republican definition of 'Capitalism':
This is a country where millions of people have no healthcare. The infant mortality rate is worse than in many "third-world" countries, and there is no safety net for the elderly and disabled such as Social Security. Millions of people are thrown out of their homes while the government spends over a trillion dollars of the taxpayers money (YOUR money) to bail out the huge banks and financial institutions that caused all those foreclosures, and caused the markets to crash with their insatiable greed.
Tax cuts go to the richest 5% of the population who don't need it. There there is no minimum wage, and giant corporations are given billions of dollars in tax breaks and "incentives" even as they ship jobs overseas where cheap slave-labor is permitted, and devise schemes to avoid paying their fair share of property taxes. Employers are allowed to discriminate against women and racial minorities in their hiring practices and wage scales. There is no such thing as "overtime pay." There are no basic safety regulations to protect workers and the public.
Country 'B' is what Republicans derogatively label 'Socialism':
This is a country in which the rich pay their fair share. Everybody has healthcare. The young and the old have shelter, heat and enough food to eat. Corporations and the financial system are regulated by common sense rules that protect their workers and the public, and ensure fair wages and prevent discrimination. Businesses that create jobs here instead of using cheap foreign labor get preferential treatment. Corporations have much less political influence in Washington, and the interests of citizens is paramount.
The question is:
Would you rather live in Country 'A', under a system which the Republicans call "capitalism"?
Or would you rather live in Country 'B', under a system which the Republicans call 'socialism'?
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