Regarding socialism, I wanted to make a point that I inexplicably left out of my last post. The frequency with which President Obama has been accused of socialism -- and the alarming speed with which he has fled from that word -- disturbs me, and it makes me wonder about the true purpose behind the GOP throwing that word against him constantly.
Now, bear in mind, this is my own opinion, based largely on what I have seen and heard dating back to the 2008 presidential campaign. I don't have anything hard or substantiative to prove this feeling.
I wonder ... do those on the right call President Obama a socialist because they truly feel he is one? Let's face it, if he was a socialist, he wouldn't have taken single-payer off the table at the beginning of the health care debate. In fact, he would've likely advocated for opening Medicare to every American citizen.
Cause that's a socialist thing to do (not to mention a damn fine idea).
I don't think the establishment GOP -- and by this, I mean elected officials, talking heads and media personalities -- truly believes President Obama is a socialist. Instead, I think they use "socialist" as a code word, a replacement for a word they really want to use.
These people can't use the word they really want, because they know the public outrage would render their scheme useless. Racism still exists in this country, but we have progressed enough as a country where the use of that particular word brings with it heaps of rightful scorn. If a Republican were to call President Obama that word, his or her political career would, in effect, be over.
But by calling President Obama a socialist, these people are playing to those same emotions and fears, but they're disguising it in a code word -- a word that some people truly don't know the meaning of, which provides the GOP all the fear it needs.
It's classic Southern Strategy; play on the racial fears of white people without actually being racist. The Southern Strategy, which has existed in one form or another for decades, thrives of subtlety -- that's the only way it can be successful.
President Obama is no socialist; you know it, I know it, the Republican Party knows it. But the party is choosing to play on the fears of the conservative portion of the electorate, while simultaneously hoping to pry the ill-informed and frustrated independents from the Democrats, by using code words.
We all know what word they want to use on President Obama, just as they know using that word would be political suicide. So they mask their hate in a word they're betting a lot of people don't understand.
And sadly, it's working.