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A Socialist by Any Other Name Smells the Same

Janet Kuypers
(this article was submitted to The Chicago Tribune 7/4/09)

    While we were out today, I saw the Business section of the Chicago Tribune (Friday, July 3 2009, Section 1 Page 29). We decided to read an article on the front page of this business section by David Greising because of the ludicrous title “Activist, Liberal Fall Short of ‘Socialist’” to his story. We saw this headline, and we agreed we should read it aloud and see if it is accurate, or if this is another liberal media outlet forgetting that socialist policies are not creeping into our country with President Barrack Obama, but that he has opened the gates to welcome any socialist policy, while claiming that it’s not socialism because “it is what’s best for our country right now.”
    In light of economic hardships, people ask their government to solve their problems for themselves. This country has done that for over eighty years, asked the government to step in to save us from ourselves, and we have welcomed more laws. Things like having the government mandate that seat belts or air bags are required in automobiles is actually a socialist policy, you know. So I read these Greising statements line by line, phrase by phrase, from this David Greising article, and disagreeing with every single unsubstantiated assertion he made.

    David Greising’s article “Activist, Liberal Fall Short of ‘Socialist’” tried to make the case that President Barrack Obama is not doing things that are socialistic, but he outlines in his article point by point all of the socialist things President Barrack Obama is doing. Allow me to explain, line by line.
    I started with the first sentence. “”Socialism’ has been a favorite and ridiculous invective hurled at President Barrack Obama almost since he took over from George W. Bush—the president who nationalized a large chunk of the financial sector.” The opening sentence doesn’t prove that Obama is not a socialist, but that George W. Bush even started socialist policies. President Barrack Obama has just magnified the socialist moves the country is making.
    Okay, let’s go the second sentence... “Obama has bailed out the auto industry...” to keep auto industries from failing. Well, that sounds like a socialist policy to me. (Refresh your memory on the definition of socialism, and you’ll see that’s all his policies are.) Sentence number three? “He has proposed a national health insurance program that, to some, contains elements of socialized medicine.” (Do I have to explain how this one reflects socialism, if it even mentions it in the article?)
     I then read the next line from this article, stating that all Americans can feel safe to celebrate the 4th of July “knowing that we absolutely do not have our first “red” President of the United States.”
    Really? From everything you have outlined so far in this article, you are reminding me that our current president is the closest thing we have to a socialist we’ve ever seen.
    “OK, so Obama sees an activist role for government,” Greising then writes. Well yes I suppose Obama does. But the American government and its philosophical foundation, is not supposed to take an activist role. That’s not its job. But Greising also then states, “...government policy can be used to shape industrial behavior” which, as far as I know, is a socialist philosophy or doctrine.
    Urgh, it is getting tedious going through this article sentence by sentence, dissecting all of the socialist remarks from David Greising. But as I read this article, I found that not only was he calling these Obama socialist policies not socialistic, but then he would go on to make unfounded socialistic assertions in his story.
    Greising mentioned that after “[Obama] invested government money in GM and Chrysler”. (I didn’t know the government had money, I thought it was the people’s money.) Obama only “reluctantly” did this (how good of the President, to state that he reluctantly chose the socialistic path – but he chose it nonetheless). Because the government is now the “owner” of these corporations, he “essentially fired the head of GM, Richard Wagoner.”
    How do you “essentially” fire someone?
    I think that was before we created the “car czar”. (What the Hell is that? These “czars” and their associated bureaucracies are just another excuse to have more government patronage jobs with fancy titles that we taxpayers have to pay for? Oh yeah, there’s also the newly created “pay czar” to investigate the “fairness” of CEO compensation packages.) And Obama says he made these choices “reluctantly” – but tell me the last time a temporary solution imposed by the government was actually temporary? Every law or change the government has made that was supposed to be a temporary solution to a problem has become permanent.
    Give the government some power, they will never give it back – and will do everything in their power to take more.
    Greising then mentions that Obama “shook hands with Hugo Chavez” (I’m not sure what to take from that Obama - Chavez interaction. But Greising used it as an example of what right wing pundits and those who threaten Obama with the Socialist nametag use to stoke anti-Obama rhetoric).
    The next sentence reflected the title of the article: “Activist, yes, Liberal, yes. But socialist? Come on.”
    Well, looking at the evidence Greising has brought up so far in this article, I don’t think the “come on” reply to the socialist question is appropriate. I think Greising’s sentence should probably read more like this: “Activist, yes, Liberal, yes. But socialist? Frighteningly, probably yes.”
    President Obama even planned to spend his 4th of July in the most American of all places: Communist Russia. I know it used to be the “Union of Soviet Socialist Republics,” but Greising wrote that Obama planned to head “to Moscow to visit a country still cleaning up from the wreckage of full-fledged socialism” (um, the last time every schoolchild checked, Russia was a communist country. Thanks for the heads-up that Russia is only a socialist country, Greising. Thanks.) But I’ve been there and have seen what Greising calls socialism and I learned was communism in Russia, and want no part of it for this country (isn’t that what the Cold War was about? We were stemming the Red Tide of Communism, not the chartreuse tide of socialism.).
    Greising then states that for many “clear thinkers with a firmer role in the belief of free markets than Obama have, any discussion about Obama’s “socialism” merely clouds the important public policy discussions that need to take place.”
    Good point, Greising (finally). Calling our president a socialist doesn’t solve any problems, but look at Obama’s policies for what they are – and you will realize how un-American these decisions are. This is only the first step in realizing what America’s role should be in economic times like these.
    Does that mean that Obama should have let the big names in the auto industry fail? Possibly. Does that sound cruel? Possibly. But like how alcoholics have to hit rock bottom before they can get better, oftentimes hitting rock bottom is what you have to do before you want start to climb to the top again.

Chicago poet Janet Kuypers
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