Not too long ago, I did a live radio show and one of the callers told me I sounded like a socialist. Hmmmmm. I thought. Silly man! don't you know that only the private sector enjoys the benefits of socialism in this country? Take last week's conservative media onslaught about the "guv-mint wanting to take over your health care" In other words, taxpayer subsidized health care corporations don't want the government to negotiate lower prices on prescription drugs. Or the bounty of public financing going to the school testing industry? (No Child Left Behind is a social engineering endeavor that even Lenin couldn't have dreamed up. Rise Up! And Obey! ) But the most insidious one of all is the subsidization of companies making billions off of our legitimate fear. That would be those members of the defense industry who cling to the Cold War like barnacles on a Trident sub. And they get a boost from conservative organizations who are trying to send us back to the bad old days of nuclear inspired nightmares.
The Armageddon Lobby has even sent out talking points. A friend who works on Capitol Hill sent me this example:
"I support new and improved nuclear warheads for the U.S. I also support creating smaller warheads.
Even though we would prefer to never use a "nuke", some of our enemies have to believe that we might use it. Warheads deployed today are so large and destructive that they will never be used. I know it, you know it, everyone knows it. What kind of deterrent is that?"
This talking point refers to a new generation "usable" nuke called the "reliable replacement warhead"
(BTW, your elected leaders need to hear from you about this development. see www.fcnl.org for good ways to act)
Remember when that kind of crazy-talk had its own crazy-talk acronym "Mutual Assured Destruction" or MAD for short? But in so many ways those bad old days were far more progressive than today. I found some moldering files this past weekend, one held a stack of government publications...The first was State Department Publication 7277 from 1961 entitled "Freedom from War: The US Program for General and Complete Disamament in a Peaceful World". Try saying that in one breath, Senators.
Most are from the now defunct Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA). in the form of reports to Congress.(Conservatives have pretty much wiped the words "Arms Control" from the federal lexicon) Even the essays produced during Republican reign were full of dreamy American ideals. Çheck out these chapter headings from 1972: "Controlling Conventional Arms" and "Military Expenditures and Economic Impact" and "World Disarmament Conference".
These old documents made me think that I don't even care how much it costs anymore. We would be far safer if we just paid all of our brilliant physicists and scientists their yearly wages to do self-designed security projects based on realistic, imminent threats for today's world. Call it counter-terrorism, whatever. "Run wild and free, scientists!" should be our policy statement. We do this, after all, for former Soviet scientists because we don't want them to end up cooking borscht in some unsavory underground bunker in, say, Libya.
Then I found an old American classroom picturebook about the Soviet Union. Did you know that the second level of the communist youth organization were called the Pioneers? Those would also be President Bush's second best fund raisers ($100K minimum). The communist roots of conservatism! At last, it makes sense.
I wonder what Mr. radio caller would have to say about that.