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The Same Old Scare Tactic About Socialism

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From Common Dreams

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When the Republican candidate inscribes the slogan "Down With Socialism"...what he really means is, "Down with Progress."

Don't let them scare you with words like
Don't let them scare you with words like 'socialism.' These policies are just common sense.
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I keep hearing a lot about "socialism" these days, mainly from Donald Trump and Fox News, trying to scare Americans about initiatives like Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, universal child care, free public higher education, and higher taxes on the super-wealthy to pay for these.

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Well, I'm here to ask you to ignore the scaremongering.

First, these initiatives are overwhelmingly supported by most Americans.

Second, for the last 85 years, conservative Republicans have been yelling "socialism" at every initiative designed to help most Americans.

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It was the scare word used by the Liberty League, in 1935 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed Social Security.

In 1952, President Harry Truman noted that "Socialism is the epithet they have hurled at every advance the people have made in the last 20 years..."

Truman went on to say,"Socialism is what they called public power"social security" bank deposit insurance. ..free and independent labor organizations., anything that helps all the people. Truman concluded by noting "When the Republican candidate inscribes the slogan 'Down With Socialism' " what he really means is, 'Down with Progress.'"

Third, if we don't want to live in a survival-of-the-fittest society in which only the richest and most powerful can endure, government has to do three basic things: regulate corporations, provide social insurance against unforeseen hardships, and support public investments such as schools and public transportation.

All of these require that we pool our resources for the common good.

Regardless of whether this is called democratic socialism or enlightened capitalism, all are necessary for a decent society.

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Fourth and finally, America spends very little on social programs compared to other industrialized nations. As a result, almost 30 million Americans still lack health insurance,nearly 51 million households can't afford basic monthly expenses including housing, food, child care, and transportation. And we're the only industrialized nation without paid family leave.

Our infrastructure is literally crumbling, our classrooms are overcrowded and our teachers are paid far less than workers in the private sector with comparable education.

We can and must do more.

So don't let them scare you with words like "socialism." These policies are just common sense.

 

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Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor and Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, has a new film, "Inequality for All," to be released September 27. He blogs at www.robertreich.org.

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2 people are discussing this page, with 2 comments  Post Comment


Richard Girard

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If we adopt Thomas Paine's ideas from The Rights of Man, The Age of Reason and Agrarian Justice, as well as FDR's Second Bill of Economic Rights; we will have a democratic socialist state built on the ideas of our greatest thinkers and statesmen.

Henry Clay's ideas for an American System of "cooperative abundance" (purest state subsidized expansion of the railroads, telegraphs, homesteading) formed the basis for the domestic policies of Abraham Lincoln, permitting the settling of the West. Further, Thomas Paine undergirded the political thinking of Jefferson, Madison, and Lincoln, as well as Franklin Roosevelt

Democratic Socialism is an American Creation, yet we would permit those who would turn us into serfs claim that it is a foreign idea, and as contrary to the American Dream as the Soviet Gulags. In reality, it is a creation of the most deep thinking of our Founding Fathers, Thomas Paine. According to Benjamin Franklin, he was more responsible than any other living person on this continent for the creation of the United States of America.

We must educate the American people that Democratic Socialism is not some form of Stalinism, but an American creation for the vast majority of American's benefit.

Submitted on Tuesday, Jun 11, 2019 at 7:45:42 PM

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Michele Goddard

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Great article. You're absolutely right. They have nothing but fear mongering and demonization going for them. Zero ideas. I remember my parents ranting about Obamacare. Flipping out. Losing their minds. No matter that two for their children were uninsured they still follow the survival of the fittest bs. I told them, "Do you know who you have to blame for Obama care? Bush and the Republicans because they had 8 years to work on something, 8 years to address the high cost of medical care and insurance and what did they do? Nothing." So the people voted in someone they thought would do something. Its sad that people keep voting against their own self interest because of fear mongering.

Submitted on Wednesday, Jun 12, 2019 at 1:05:58 AM

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