Obama is a ______
Reading Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto, and Matthew’s Crowley’s excellent post on this very blog, got me thinking about the definitions of Communism, Socialism, and Capitalism. Thinking about the definitions, and how they don’t matter. Here is yet another video–yes, Fox News again–of a debate over whether Obama is a socialist. It seems that 55% of Americans believe that Obama is a socialist. America has a long history of attaching negative connotations to the “dirty words” of capitalism and socialism.
The thing is that’s not the problem, it’s that every single person, policy, and political idea has to fall into one of these camps. It’s similar to the issue of the Democratic party and Republican party being the be-all and end-all. Issues aren’t being judged on their merit. Some Republicans will disagree with anything Obama proposes and call him a big-spending socialist. No matter that these people often don’t know enough about the issue, they are just supporting their team. George Bush didn’t exactly solve the budget deficit and cut spending either. The same goes for many Americans on the far left. In an ideal world, every issue would be looked at in a vacuum, not by who proposed or if it is socialism. The question shouldn’t be if is Obama is a socialist. It should be: do you fundamentally agree with the idea that every American has a right to basic healthcare? That people who make over $250,000 dollars should be taxed significantly more that those who don’t? If you don’t then that’s fine. But don’t dismiss an idea just because you are a Republican or a Democrat. And I apologize if this post comes off as liberally biased, but the example i always heard as a kid was that if you give a poor man $20 he spends it on food, if you give a rich man $20 he puts it in the bank. Our obsession with classification is something to think about.