THE BLOG
11/24/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Trying to Help This Country Makes Obama a Good Candidate, Not a Socialist

Since the phrase "pals around with terrorists" didn't stick, the Republican campaign has now begun slinging a little "socialist" mud tinged with communist undertones. They throw words around like "Obama is a Marxist" and "Obama is a Socialist" as if they want you to believe that you're going to wake up November 5th on a collective farm somewhere on the outskirts of Kiev if you vote for him. Lately, during Sarah Palin's stump speeches, she accuses Obama of leading our country toward socialism, mud I suppose she hopes will stick to those who still remember the song "Duck... and Cover!" If Sarah Palin doesn't really know what a vice president does, how can we believe she even knows what a socialist is?

According to Wikipedia, socialism is an economic system based on cooperation rather than competition; a planned economy governed by the state. Socialists believe that capitalism unfairly concentrates power and wealth among a small segment of society that controls capital and creates an unequal society. There is revolutionary socialism - think Bolshevik Revolution - and then there's the electoral path toward socialism - think Benevolent Socialism or Norway's "spreading the wealth" with their oil dividend checks type. So I guess that oil money Gov. Palin's been doling out to Alaskans isn't really socialism. What the heck does she think it is then - an Amway pyramid incentive?

The term "socialism" is so vague, no one truly knows how to define it. But the Republicans would have you believe that it means only one thing, "communism" - Marxist, Leninist, Maoist communism and an end to capitalism, your jobs, your choice of healthcare and even your liberty. Talk about winning at any cost - Hey, isn't that what evil communist dictator's do? Hmmmm.

Canada has a form of democratic socialism yet I don't see them suddenly amassing an army and marching across the border to impose their health care system, crazy accents, and Moulson beer on us. Inflicting Celine Dion on us was enough. Capitalism in Canada is alive and well. They just have a lot of infrastructure that their tax dollars go to. I don't think communist country when I see a flag adorned with a maple leaf. Hockey, yes; Breadline, not so much.

But those of you who are still skeptical and believe that socialism is communism, I'll throw you a bone here. Red freakin' China. First off, they own our debt. That big screen TV, pair of Manolos in your closet, Trig Palin's Baby Gap jumpers - it all goes back to China. I'm not entirely sure what social programs the Chinese people have going for them but damn, that capitalism sure has run amuck in that country. Did you see the Olympics? But here is a country that not only owns our debt but can also demand payment of that debt in the form of military confrontation. Our industry and our education in America cannot keep up with theirs. If we keep going the way we are going now with the Republican policies of the last eight years and even beyond that still in place, we will be in serious trouble with this country. We need to think long and hard about that one. I mean really, do those Chinese symbols you have tattooed on your arm say "Faith, Love & Hope" or do they actually mean "Late Charges Now Due & Owing?"

My point is, Democratic socialism has been around for a long time, even in this country. The New Deal, Social Security, Medicaid/Medicare, and President Bush's farm subsidies are social programs here in America. That $700 billion bailout with the government owning a stake in our banks that McCain and other Republicans voted for - Socialism. Those checks you Alaskans are getting back thanks to your non-socialist governor - Socialism. Vermont even has an independent socialist senator, Bernard Sanders, who won 65% of the vote. This isn't communism, folks. Communism is a totalitarian system of government in which a single authoritarian party controls state owned means of production. America, even with its social programs and controversial expansion of eminent domain law, isn't even close to becoming a Red Commie State.

We have serious problems in our country right now. Our infrastructure such as education and healthcare is falling apart. We have families without health insurance; graduating high school students who still can't read, write or do arithmetic; small businesses struggling to compete in this global based economy; and mothers and fathers watching their sons and daughters march off to die in an unpopular war. If solving these problems for the benefit of America is considered "socialist" then what the heck does keeping the same policies in affect for the next four years mean - "patriotism?" Please people, the only things Red in this election year are states (and that map is shrinking), McCain's face during a presidential debate, and Sarah Palin's red Valentino suit from Neiman Marcus.