October 12, 2021

I’m Not Scared of Words

By Glenn

Every time we turn around Fox News and the rest of the professional conservatives cry like babies about scary socialism.  It doesn’t take much education to know they haven’t a clue what socialism is.  They simply want to scare and paralyze American.

In the early 1900’s apartment and factory fires killed thousands.  As a society we decided to require manufacturers to build safer buildings.  Death by fire dropped dramatically.

During the Great Depression, Americans used government to dramatically improve their lives.  Voters supported the FDIC to insure bank deposits and the SEC to police the financial industry.  Americans elected Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1932 and then re-elected him three more times, including two after he created Social Security. 

Republicans opposed each and every one of these improvements.  They screamed “socialism” each and every time.  FDR and Democrats pushed ahead anyway. 

After FDR died, President Harry Truman famously retorted, “Socialism is a scare word they have hurled at every advance the people have made in the last 20 years.” Truman refused to fear a word.

Democratic reforms were so popular Republicans got on board after the Second World War.  Veterans demanded, and a bipartisan Congress provided, a host of new government benefits including education, healthcare, and housing.   President Dwight D. Eisenhower, a Republican, pushed forward with Interstate Highways and actively enforced Federal Court desegregation orders.

In the 1960’s Barry Goldwater tried to get Americans to turn back the clock.  He wanted to reverse the New Deal by privatizing Social Security.  Goldwater opposed federal Civil Rights legislation.  Lyndon Johnson crushed him at the ballot box.  

With the support of the American people, politicians of both parties surged ahead again.  They created Medicare and Medicaid.  They passed the Clean Water and Air acts.  Congress and presidents did this against a back drop of radical politicians screaming socialism.

It wasn’t until 1980 that the fear mongering finally broke through.  Ronald Reagan shamelessly, and falsely, blamed government regulation for the 1970’s energy crisis.  The origin of that crisis lay in the Middle East, not the Halls of Congress.  Arab states punished the United States for supporting Israel during the Cold War.

The truth didn’t matter to Reagan, however.  He plowed ahead with his sales pitch.  Reagan blamed Federal Legislation for everything from energy to poverty to struggling schools.  He found his scape goat and demanded a sacrifice.

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