the drift


Wednesday, April 08, 2009

word 'socialist' trademarked by Fox News

And I know I sound like a dbag when I talk politics. What's funny is -- in the 8 years that we had a Republican White House and I had plenty of drive to banter on about politics, I never once offended a conservative friend to the degree that they got truly angry and/or refused to talk to me any more. In the last 6 mos that's happened a couple of times already.
Maybe I should take the hint?

Excerpt from an email exchange between myself and a funny con friend of mine who spends way too much time on Right wing conspiracy blogs but who also never fails to get me thinking ...

You don't even want to know the scroatattacks I'm planning with Natasha. I've noticed she doesn't find scroats nearly as hilarious as we do. This is going to change.

I'm not pointing to Bush only. If cons are so up in arms about socialism, why aren't they petitioning to repeal the policies of the New Deal? Maybe Social Security was a bad idea? Clearly Medicare is unnecessary and those people should just be shot or deported if they can't heal up and pay their own way. Or, maybe you want to talk big government -- Maybe this whole security force run by our government and patrolling our airports isn't a great idea? Or at least the department created to oversee it along with a million other 'security' depts is a bit of unnecessary bureaucracy?

In other words, no, Obama shouldn't be allowed to take us further down the path of socialism (unless a policy that could be spun as 'socialist' is inherently the right solution for the problem). But where is the activism to reverse the trend? Where WAS the activism to prevent the Bush administration? Or the Roosevelt administration? It is/was non-existent. Why is that Bush context important? Because it's not about being anti-socialism at all -- it's about the opportunistic Right co-opting a term that most citizens of middle america couldn't provide a decent definition of on their own other than to say it sounds bad and re-branding it as a conservative media talking point. It's about Fox News and Rush Limbaugh needing to create controversy to stay relevant. It's not about socialism at all or there would be anti-social security and anti-labor laws rallies going on right alongside the tea parties.

I heard a great quote about progressive v conservative. Conservative policies are designed to work for the good of the individual. Progressive policies are designed to work for the good of the many. Actually, that's not the quote but it's as close as I can remember. But the point is, neither of those is inherently WRONG. But there are times when one of them is the more appropriate response to the difficulties at hand. Additionally, most people kind of innately fall into one of those camps when they form their own cultural and political cosmologies.

All that is stuff I came up with from that bastardized quote. And likely someone else has said it before and more succinctly.


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