Obama: not a communist
The current readings of Karl Marx have got me to think about the current political climate in our country. Mostly about how the words communism and socialism currently carry extremely negative connotations pertaining to our government and that people do not even understand their full meanings. The reason I began thinking this is that hate speech by talking heads on radio, print, and television lead to many Americans believing that their own president is a socialist or a communist. It began when Obama was running for office that people who did not like his policies would accuse him of being a socialist or communist so as to scare people.
To understand this one has to first look at America’s history with communism. At the beginning this was always a foreign and scary idea to us and the fact that it threatened our very existence during the cold war still makes it a touchy subject for many Americans, especially those who lived through it. People now because of our past few anything remotely communist or socialist as a threat to America’s democracy and freedom. This comes from a basic misunderstanding of the true meanings of these terms especially socialism. What most Americans do not realize is that a democracy can have some things that are socialist and still thrive. There are many European countries that have many things that make them socialist, such as high taxation and universal healthcare that make them socialist yet they are still our allies. The universal healthcare that is in many countries around the world that democrats are trying to bring to America is what angers many people. There are reasons why we should have open political discourse about issues as important as this but there is no reason to discount ideas that can possibly help our country because they are “socialist”.
As I just said I am open for open political discourse and even though I am a democrat believe that ideas from all parties should be taken into account including those that may be deemed socialist. Taking this course has taught me that there are many different political ideologies and it is all about finding the right balance. No one political belief is an absolute truth we must be able to look past our political affiliations to find the right answers. Lastly these criticisms bother me because those who call Obama a communist and socialist do not understand the true meanings of these ideologies as even though communist countries ended up creating massive state bureaucracies, it was Marx’s intent for their to be little governmental control. Obama on the other hand believes in a larger government, so it is clear he is not a communist despite what Fox News may tell you.