Socialists?

The first thought that I had when I first  heard the word ‘Socialist’ connect with Obama (a year ago, going door to door in the March primary in Ohio), was that I didn’t consider that word pejorative.  (The first attack on expanded health care is often, of course, that it is ‘Socialized ‘ medicine.)     To the author, ‘Socialism ‘means what it did to socialists and communists in the past: the common ownership of the means of production.  Mr. Harold Meyerson writes a piece in the Washington Post.  From Meyerson: “… socialists and communists both spoke of nationalizing all major industries and abolishing private markets and the wage system. Today, it’s impossible to find a left-leaning party anywhere that has such demands or entertains such fantasies. (Not even Hugo Chávez — more an authoritarian populist than any kind of socialist — says such things.)”

In the 1960’s, I worked for IBM, and our president – Tom Watson – was a liberal Democrat.  A decade ago, when I read his autobiography – “Father, Son, and Company”, I learned why.  His father – as president of the US Chamber of Commerce – had gone to Washington to meet with Roosevelt, who said to him: “Tom, you go back to Wall Street and tell your friends that we are going to save this country, and them with it”.  Tom wrote that his Dad became a liberal Democrat, and he followed in those footsteps.  From Meyerson”…in the United States, conservatives have never bashed socialism because its specter was actually stalking America. Rather, they’ve wielded the cudgel against such progressive reforms as free universal education, the minimum wage or tighter financial regulations. Their signal success is to have kept the United States free from the taint of universal health care. The result: We have the world’s highest health-care costs, borne by businesses and employees that cannot afford them; nearly 50 million Americans have no coverage; infant mortality rates are higher than those in 41 nations — but at least (phew!) we don’t have socialized medicine. Give conservatives credit for their consistency: They attacked Roosevelt as a socialist as they are now attacking Obama, when in fact Obama, like Roosevelt before him, is engaged not in creating socialism but in rebooting a crashed capitalist system.”

see:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/03/AR2009030303207.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

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