It's not a perfect system. In fact, if we were witnessing such a vise-like control of a two-party system in any other democratic republic, we would decry the mockery it makes of the label "democracy"--in fact, we do decry such blatant systems of overt control and power over governments supposedly by the people. It is easy to become jaded to the point of not caring, because Party's A and B aren't too terribly different, and honestly, every ten or twenty years, they simply switch positions so that neither one looks like the one held by the last elite generation of politicians...
It's also very easy to romanticize, isn't it. After all, our forefathers fought tooth and nail, with their lives and their children's lives to secure us this land, this freedom, this democracy. We even delude ourselves into thinking that preemptive strikes are for our security, and our good, lest this nation fall into the hands of evil Others from across an arbitrary boundary...
In all honesty, I would love to vote for any one of the 109 candidates running for president this year--after all, I would like to think that voting for president is a bit more important than making a menu choice at Lorenzo's Pizza, and Lorenzo's gives me ten times the number of choices than Pennsylvania is giving me this year:
- Lorenzo's: 91 items to choose from
- Pennsylvania Election 2008: 4 Presidential candidates to choose from
My mother just phoned. She is voting. My father has decided he isn't sure if he is or not. When pressed, my father replies:
You know, sometimes when you really talk things out like that, you can solve anything, can't you?
Dad: Because socialism will destroy this country, and Obama is a socialist. McCain has taken the low road, and even if I agree with McCain, I can't vote for him for taking the low road.
Me: And... what makes Obama a socialist?
Dad: I don't have to explain that.
Father, if you are reading this, let me clear the air for you and explain why Obama is not a socialist.
Socialism defined is: 1: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.
What is it about Obama's stand that makes everyone around here claim he is a "socialist"? One of the main themes of his campaign has been "A tax cut for 95 percent of American families" and "spreading the wealth," which, on the face of it, do sound pretty socialistic, I'll give you that. But how, in what way, does that sound like government ownership of products and goods? You want government ownership of products and goods? What was that we've been hearing in the news? Our democratic republic buying into and owning banks?!? That is socialism, my friends, and that's why we were all so pissed about it (rightly so!) That was the blatant disregard for the quasi-free-market capitalist system we've been using for the past 95 years (with both socialist and free market undertones with the blessing of both Democrats and Republicans)--and McCain and Co. call Obama the socialist?? McCain wants the government to buy everyone's mortgage and refinance their home loans. McCain wants (in a complete and utter flip-flop from just a few weeks ago) to über-regulate the banks and market (as does Obama, but differently... I can go into this further if you need me to, but please people, try to do your own homework, okay?). And Palin?: "You know, take the oil profits, impose a tax and kick it back to Alaskans." I think this qualifies her, under the new anti-Obama definition of socialist, as a socialist. There's your ten thousand spoons, Alanis.
Our tax system (much as most of us love to hate it) has always been based on those who make more, pay more. Sometimes it ebbs, sometimes it flows, but its called (and I know all you conservatives will howl and kick and scream when you hear this...) a progressive tax system, and much of the world employs it.
Of course, a lot of you are also claiming that Obama is all about "class warfare"--funny, where was that charge of Bush when he decided the wealthy all needed a tax break? Is this not also a symptom of your lala-land "class warfare"? Where were all the cries of "socialism" then?
I think Darrell West (director of governance studies at the Brookings Institution) said it best at the Huffington Post
But then again, my father voted for Bush, so he couldn't possibly be a socialist, right?
Obama is about as far from being a socialist as Joe The Plumber is from being a rocket scientist. I think it's hard for McCain to call Obama a socialist when George Bush is nationalizing banks.
Okay, that's a bit unfair. Bush wasn't a socialist back then, he was just plain incompetent. But it still doesn't let my father (and all of the others who wrongly think of Obama socialistically) off the hook when it comes to such a flat-out wrong charge. I realize he probably has other reasons not to vote for a Democrat (which I will defer on for now), but socialism?
That's really almost as bad as people still believing Obama is a Muslim... Or that Saddam Hussein had anything to do with 9/11...
Which I will state for the record: Obama is not a Muslim. And Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11.
And here's one more for you to ponder on: Mars Bars are made right here on Earth! Believe it or not...