From my Writing Room
Copyright © 2020 by Uwe Bahr
Those Americans obsessed with the term “Socialism” and inclined to exploit it propaganda-like for the upcoming election should first of all consult the history books or simply a dictionary to get things straight in their head. Having spent nearly 30 years in the pseudo-Socialism of the German Democratic Republic (GDR), I have experienced history first-hand. Socialism in its definition places the means of production not in private hands, but in the hand of the state. This much is certain: No economy can effectively function under such condition.
I cannot even notice the slightest sign of such development in the United States. Instead, I see a largely absent system of government-controlled provisions which could protect the little man from being squeezed out like a lemon. If you do not know what I am talking about, go – for example – and work for America’s largest retailer and try to make it from paycheck to paycheck while caring for a family. If folks there do get additional “handouts” from the government, it originates from the ordinary taxpayer and not from those shoveling Billions into their greedy gorge. In conjunction with that, think about the unjust distribution of the enormous wealth in the United States. Think about the unscrupulous profiteering of Health Care Insurance companies at the expense and health of the common people.
If any corrective measures to curb the very big money would be judged “Socialism”, then your country in its history has produced outstanding Americans who could easily have qualified as “Socialists” – one of them long before the term was even coined.
He was John Adams, second President and the only signer of the Declaration of Independence who never owned a slave. Adams was already concerned about “the few versus the many” in the young American Republic. In other words: Despite the absence of a nobility like it existed in Europe, he feared that sooner or later the country’s wealth would be concentrated in the hands of few people and institutions to the disadvantage of the working majority.
Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt, 26th President and a Republican, openly sided with the Unions when coal miners in Pennsylvania took their issues to the street. Try to say the word “Union” nowadays in a break room belonging to that sacred retailer mentioned further above. They will talk to you in private.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt rescued millions of Americans from the despair of the Great Depression by creating Public Works programs. He initiated Social Security, encouraged the formation of labor unions and committed himself to the revival of more equal liberty in his country.
Three great men in American history: Did they leave a smack of Socialism in the history books just because they took a stand for the general welfare?
Sure, America today finds itself in different times with different problems. But to really save the country from further decline, a new type of President combining the attitudes of the three great Presidents would have to emerge. A President with a sense of mission.
I do not see it happen anytime soon. Instead, clueless windbags on the political right parrot dull paroles about Socialism and other brainwashing nuisance, thereby polarizing and dividing the United States of America even further.