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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 3/19/20

Democratic Socialism is Looking Pretty Good Right About Now

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The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic is this generation's smallpox.

It's our 1918 influenza pandemic.

Considering our financial infrastructure was already failing before the pandemic reached our shores, the sudden upset to businesses, medical facilities, education, transportation, employment--society at large--are also ushering in our very own Republican Great Depression.

Simply put, we are now about to experience how this country will respond to severe economic strain.

And right on cue, the very factions who every day decry the "evils of Socialism" are having to at least privately admit a little of that "S-word" is exactly what we need now to buttress the failings capitalism has wrought.

When Franklin Roosevelt assumed the presidency in 1933, he was not some flaming leftie.

He campaigned almost exclusively on rebuilding the economy that had collapsed under Herbert Hoover's failed economic policies.

Yet by the time March 1933 came around and he spoke those immortal words, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself," he understood the economy needed to be restructured. It could not simply be Rube-Goldberged together with bubble gum and bailing wire, and hoped if he crossed his fingers it would remain intact until he was out of office.

He therefore promised a "New Deal" that revitalized not only the economy, but the very foundations upon which the economy was built.

Arguably, we wouldn't have been able to win World War II if the country had still been in shambles.

FDR surrounded himself with brilliant advisers and listened to those who knew more than he in order to usher in the most robust four decades (1940-1980) of prosperity this country has ever known by borrowing money and putting it directly into average Americans' pockets.

That prosperity would not have been possible without a system in which the economy and society ran democratically to satisfy public needs, not for the purpose of increasing profits for an affluent few.

In other words, FDR relied on what we today call Democratic Socialism.

And if you think he didn't get criticized for it, think again.

There were plenty accusing him of being a "communist," just as those on the right now shout at anyone who even suggests doing a fraction of what FDR did.

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Ted Millar is a writer and teacher. His work has been in featured in myriad literary journals, including Straight Forward Poetry, Better Than Starbucks, the Broke Bohemian, Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices (more...)

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