From my Writing Room
Copyright © 2022 by Uwe Bahr
Too many Americans obviously don’t know much about the history of their own country. Many have no knowledge, for example, that the social measures proposed by a certain Bernie Sanders are very similar to the measures implemented by one of the most famous U.S. presidents, FDR; measures that have brought millions of Americans out of the misery of the Great Depression. Nobody in America therefore seriously thought of calling Roosevelt a socialist. And it’s worth noting that to this day, schoolchildren in the U.S. every morning recite a pledge written in 1892 by an avowed socialist, Francis Bellamy.
As a contemporary witness who had to live in a socialist form of society, my assessment of the USA is that the term “socialism” in this country is continuously misused by the political right for ideological purposes as well as propaganda of the most primitive kind. In truth, the opposite of socialism has been taking place in the U.S. for a long time, at least since the days of Ronald Reagan: It is the greedy seed of neoliberalism that is dividing and destroying the country.
The recurring warning of an alleged, American socialism serves the political right as a bogeyman to protect their real clientele, the super-rich corporations and their billions in donations to the very same politicians. Among the profiteers, by the way, are also large parts of the Democratic Party, which 40 years ago would have been identified as moderate Republicans.
It is a sad fact that the party of Franklin Delano Roosevelt has turned its back on the working class and is shamefully abandoning it even in the time of Joe Biden.