I should state for the record that I do remember the 70’s fairly well, and the 80’s even more clearly than that. I remember sitting at my desk, watching the government approved short film on how to hide under our desks covering our heads in case of a nuclear attack from the Communists. Russia. Russia was evil. Russians were bloodthirsty people who lived in a corrupt country that was always cold and whose children were forced to become either ballerinas or gymnasts or soldiers (if they were boys). We had to be careful of the Commies! They would kill us all if they got the chance, just like in Red Dawn where the only thing that saved us was a teenaged Patrick Swayze and a few friends with guns up in the mountains. Yeah. Growing up in the midst of the cold war was a blast, let me tell you.
Eventually, the ‘evil empire’ fell (the other one, not ours) and all was peace and Perestroika and glurgey songs by The Scorpions. Which was great, ‘cuz I was 19 and seriously into stadium rock. Unfortunately for those in the political world…people stopped hating the Russians and started looking at our own policies. The whole guns for cash/Iran-Contra thingie. America went through a period where we tried hanging the sign ‘next Evil Empire’ on various countries…China, Iran, Iraq, …but our hearts weren’t in it.
I am so pleased to announce that is finally over. Our long period of life without a national bogeyman is over! We now have SOCIALISM! Right here in River Ci… er, downtown Dallas! The socialists are coming! The socialists are coming! And they’re bringing their icky government healthcare with ’em! Because in Canada, you’re required by law to wait 18 months to see a doctor for a broken leg, and even then the doctor just tells you to walk it off and rub some dirt on it. And in France, the government will dictate to you who your doctor is, even if you’re a man and they send you to a gynecologist, even if you just need an eye exam and they send you to a proctologist. And in Belgium, something something, baseless lies and pointless fearmongering and SOCIALISM! SOCIALISM! AND FASCISM, TOO! BOTH AT ONCE! FASCO-SOCIALISM! SOCIO-FASCISM! Where’s Obama’s birth certificate, and why does he want to steal my guns from me?
Am I the only one here who gets the feeling that these people who cry ‘fascism!’ ‘socialism!’ in tortured tones of great fear aren’t even really sure what either term means? All they know is, it’s bad and they don’t like Obama and they heard some politician or Glenn Beck or someone on Faux News call him a socialist so that must be where we’re going because they wouldn’t lie and THEY LOVE OUR COUNTRY!
No. We are not moving toward socialism. Or fascism. Quite the opposite, in fact, moving AWAY from that one. Want to know what we really have? I’ll tell you. What we have is a Republican minority. And when the Republicans are in the minority, the only way they know how to get back in power is by scaring the living daylights out of people. It’s a proven game plan, so why bother actually helping the current administration come up with anything workable? Why try to be for something when you can be against everything? “If we were in charge this wouldn’t be happening!” Well, no, but we wouldn’t have any money at all and we’d be in the middle of a huge depression.
Stop worrying, folks. We’re not socialists. All we’ve done is taken a turn toward the middle of the road. Right now we’re so far right than anything left of Genghis Khan looks dangerously leftist. The socialists are not going to come take our wages while we sleep in our beds. All will be well. And maybe we’ll be able to climb out of the cellar of the worst neonatal and new mother death rates in the industrialized world. Wouldn’t that be nice?