It’s getting close to our next presidential election, and once again the GOP is clearing its throat to go full blast accusing Democrats of being socialists. That hoary accusation is their original sin of government — doing things that the voters want. Things like establishing a self-paid retirement system for working people called social security. Even worse to GOPers is the attempt to help retirees, workers and low-paid service employees to afford health care with Medicare and Medicaid. Regulating energy might clean our air and water, but the energy companies have learned to fight regulation of noxious waste and emissions by calling it socialism. As long as you hate government (in Texas they say gummint) enough, you ignore poverty, bad health and pollution, I guess.
The national media can’t tell the difference between an economic doctrine of government control of the economy and using the tools of government to regulate giant corporations and industries. No economic theory says corporations can do anything they want to make a profit,; that’s a political assertion to get more contributions.
More to the point, since Federalist Society founder Antonin Scalia convinced his fellow justices that corporations are people, don’t they have to follow the law just like us real people? Dare we say that corporations want it both ways: have the same personal rights as citizens, yet not be subject to the rule of law by a democratically elected government?
At any rate, we seem destined for a long-year full of TV ads deploring socialism and over regulation of business. Watching the talking heads cope with a political system on a roller coaster, a little bit of reflection would lead most Americans to wish for a responsible, steady government that responds to the needs of an industrialized, computerized, agonized country. We’ve had enough reality TV politics, if that’s what it’s called in polite society.
HARRIET H. YOUNG