Monday, July 9, 2012


Frequently when debating a political issue we need to use words and terms to describe a position or argument.  If we use a word that is not "nice" or politically correct we will lose credibility and the debate will devolve into name calling and insults.

A textbook I once read in school said that if we want to learn as much as possible about a person by only getting the answer to one question, then we should ask how that person describes himself politically.  If a person answers "liberal" or "conservative," for example, we may then know what that person's views on a wide variety of issues.

Words like "liberal" and "conservative" are words that describe how a person thinks and feels about a wide variety of topics.  Words like "car" and "cell phone" similarly describe complex things simply and in a way that people can have a conversation, or debate, without needing to spend time trying to define every word.  If you ask me how I travel to the grocery store I can say: "car," and then you will know how I travel to the grocery store.  You will know this without us needing to describe what a car is.

A problem in political discussion is the avoidance and misuse of words and terms.  There are some words that people don't like to be called, like "fascist" and "socialist."  And there are some words that are used incorrectly or misleadingly.

The reason I wanted to write this post is because I have been annoyed by how much harder it is to talk about political issues when we need to first redefine many words that we should have had the same definitions to from the start.

I'd also like to know what to call people who are on the left of the political spectrum.  Nearly everyone on the right is a "conservative," but I've heard that "socialist," "liberal," "leftist," and "communist " are insulting and mean things to call someone on the left.  (How can "progressive" be the correct term to describe people who advocate: trains, no cars, windmills, chemical free foods, locally produced products, etc.)

If I call someone on the left, like the current President, a "socialist" that is not meant to be insulting or mean.  Calling someone a socialist lets us know that that person has views and opinions similar to other people who we might call "socialist."  The rejection of some words and terms makes talking about things less productive because we need
to spend time going back and redefining these terms or defining new one to mean the same thing.

Lets look at my calling the current President, and all other Democratic politicians, socialists.

According to  Socialism is:

"a theory or system of social organization  that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole."
If you look at the President's election website, in the issues section, you'll find platitudes. But his, and other democrats', positions sure look like socialism. The two relevant points in the definition seem to be: 1 ownership and 2 control. The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) moves us towards community ownership of the healthcare industry. Social Security, MediCare, and MediCaid all expand the community ownership of retirement accounts and healthcare. The federal reserve is only legal community owned money creator in this country.  Elementary education is community owned.  Mail, roads, and radio airwaves are all community owned.

As for community control: we have the EPA, IRS, OSHA, and endless rules and regulations from who knows where.

I understand why politicians do not want their views and beliefs compared to people with similar views and beliefs.  But, can we call a spade a spade, and a socialist a socialist?

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