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Socialism and the Presidential Election

October 21, 2008

sharing American wealth

sharing American wealth

Both presidential candidates have bordered on the poetic regarding middle class tax cuts. Now the dirty face of socialism has once again been inserted as a cause celebre. “Barack Obama’s tax plan would convert the Internal Revenue Service into a giant welfare agency, redistributing massive amounts of wealth at the direction of politicians in Washington… At least in Europe, the socialist leaders who so admire my opponent are upfront about their objectives. They use real numbers and honest language. And we should demand equal candor from Senator Obama,” McCain quipped. This writer demands candor from both candidates and so should you. We aren’t getting that from the press and certainly not from a word-wielding John McCain.

You can debate whether the IRS is in fact a socialist arm of the U.S. government if you like. In fact, the IRS is the U.S. government’s grand instrument of wealth redistribution. What is more, the Republican Bush administration turned the IRS into a welfare program by bringing about the benefits of stimulus payments to many that normally wouldn’t need to file tax returns. John McCain has nothing to say unless he wants to abolish current practices of wealth redistribution that the IRS and the U.S. Government toute.

So really what is socialism or how is socialism defined? In the classical sense, socialism actually refers to a broad set of economic theories that advocate state or collective ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods, and the creation of a society of equals.  Modern socialism was birthed out of the working class political movement before the twentieth century. Karl Marx held that socialism was achieved through class struggle and a revolution against power. The general consensus is that socialism is a bridge between capitalism and communism.

What elements of American policy and election politics really sound like socialism to you? This writer sees socialism as a misnomer since even socialism requires a set of rulers that seek their own benefit. Therefore, socialism in a strict sense is impossible with a distict ruling body. You may see elements of socialism, but likely see something else entirely that is being labeled as socialism. Therefore, the word socialism is being grossly misused in a general sense.

The redistribution of wealth could considered to be a socialist component depending on your point of view, but the purpose of the distribution would seem to run counter to the tenets of socialism based on the real actions of the United States government. Unfortunately in the Marxist sense, you can argue that the United States already fits the mold. The same components are in place including the pronouncement of a society of equals. In the same sense, the election could be called socialist since it could be seen as a revolution against power in place. The reality is simply that the election is a struggle against competing parties, which at this time are meeting more in the middle than every before in history. This middle ground has created a real problem for national parties in the U.S.  The resulting dissatisfaction and unrest in the United States will pose a continuing problem for this nation if leaders don’t create reasonable results.

As usual, the French see the situation more aggressively. The Agence France-Presse says that John McCain warned voters that his rival Barack Obama was a shifty, job-killing socialist who wasn’t ready to take on the challenges facing the next US president. Take your pick, reporting is often about attitude just as politics is about attitude.

“He believes in redistributing wealth — not in policies that grow our economy and create jobs and opportunities for all Americans. Senator Obama is more interested in controlling who gets your piece of the pie than in growing the pie.” Senator McCain is doing no less with his health care plan: a similar redistribution of wealth.

None of the candidates in recent years, nor a significant body of Congress have truly stood for the plight of the American worker. Rather, politicians have been happy to send jobs overseas with poor policy and manipulation of tax code under the pretense of supporting wealth. Instead, they have exported it, using American prosperity like toilet paper. After 26 years, John McCain is no outsider to Congressional pork politics or gobbling up pieces of American pie. He would do well to take his own medicine or some of his own advice. He does not stand out as part of the solution, only as a manipulative politician that has little to stand on with regard to true acumen. Many Americans would sooner choose a junior Senator from the North than have more of the same and what has evolved into Republican lies and deceit with little base. You don’t have to love Barack Obama to see that truth.

“After months of campaign trail eloquence… we finally learned what Senator Obama’s economic goal is. As he told Joe, he wants to ‘spread the wealth around.” McCain reportedly said this to a crowd gathered on a high school football field in Belton, Missouri. Who in their right mind is against spreading the wealth around and how would that be bad, especially when Americans are working hard for it?

The fact is that politics in America has a screw loose, starting with what they define as a given political agenda. Truth is in short supply while accusation is not. Unfortunately, with the loose lips and vacant mind of John McCain spewing out what could amount to hatespeech, Americans will ultimately decide whether John McCain is a real maverick or someone that is riding the coat tails of his political party persuasion. ~ E. Manning


One Comment leave one →
  1. McCain Supporter permalink
    October 21, 2008 8:03 pm

    It is quite obvious who you support and what your point of view is – albeit wrong! This country was built and prospered on the premise of a free market economy, and I’ll be damned if I let it fall to a crowd of ignorant socialist pigs without fighting back! Barack Hussein Obama is so deep in socialistic views he can’t see true American prosperity for what it is. McCain and Palin have the desire and ability to perform the tasks they have before them. Obama can only HOPE he can CHANGE this country into a socialistic democracy. Obama is not fit to be the President of this great nation!

    This country was built on a free market economy, but that free market no longer reigns supreme, instead polluted with the foreign philosophies of European economic head cases. A retired economist like myself would know. We have sullied our national economic philosophy with shades of fascism, communism, socialism and have made what we call capitalism as our god. We need to restore a free market economy. As far as socialism, both parties have adopted similar views. Condemn one and you must condemn the other. Sorry, that is life.

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