From my Writing Room
Copyright © 2021 by Uwe Bahr
Under the influence of a primitive demagogue, the Republican Party leadership continues to feed its base with whopping lies.
After Trump’s presidency, many Americans believe that the current administration is destroying cherished American values and drives the U.S. toward socialism. In this context, Elise Stefanik, chair of the Republican House Conference, uttered a phrase that makes a person who had lived involuntarily in a socialism for almost thirty years cringe:
She called the agenda of the current US-Administration “far-left, radical socialist policies.”
At this point it should be noted: Whoever uses dull slogans exposes himself to the suspicion of wanting to take others for fools; he also reveals that he might be unable to contribute any conclusive arguments for the solution of real problems. By no means for the first time in its history is the GOP summoning the specter of socialism to scare Americans away from any acceptance of policies other than its own.
In contrast to Stefanik, this writer experienced socialism firsthand, opposed it in the GDR (“East Germany”) with modest means as much as possible, put up with personal disadvantages in the process, and experienced with millions of others the fall of the Berlin Wall as a result of a peaceful revolution.*
I can say with certainty: this woman has not the faintest idea what she is talking about when she mouths the word “socialism.”
I repeat here what should be easy for even the average person to understand: Socialism is when the means of production are not in private hands, but in the hands of the state. Period. There is not even a hint of a precondition in the USA that can bring the country toward socialism.
What the country lacks are accompanying governmental measures to curb social injustice, which cries out to heaven in the United States. Previous presidents have already denounced this and/or used government power to fight social injustice: from John Adams via Teddy Roosevelt (by the way: a Republican), Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman to Lyndon B. Johnson.
None of them was a socialist because of it.
Whoever manages to compare a policy of social justice with socialism, and in doing so also falls on open ears among the population, is in my eyes an unscrupulous populist. A person who has a minimum knowledge of history and is still of sound mind, will not follow these pipers.
By the way – anyone who fobs off his own base (de facto: his own family) with cheap, propaganda-ridden phrases should not deserve to be elected to any responsibility whatsoever.
What has the Republican Party turned into?
*I was born in 1961 at the junction of the Cold War, just 21 miles from the deadly border that once separated Germany. Bear in mind that I grew up behind barbed wire not because of a non-functioning socialism (which we did not want), but as a direct consequence of World War II sparked by Germany. In the further historical development, the inner-German border was built by communists in the midst of increasing tensions and the collision of interests between the U.S. and its erstwhile ally, the Communist-Bolshevik Soviet Union, which eventually morphed into hostility. – Without this illegal, impenetrable border, millions more people would have fled from the Soviet sector to the free West than had already done so before 1961.