Not too terribly long ago, I was driving down the road and saw a large group of people standing outside of a small shop, large yellow flags in their hands reading “Don't Tread On Me”.
I had an appointment to keep, so I kept on driving. When I came to the corner of that very same street, I saw a man, on stilts, dressed as Uncle Sam and holding a sign directing people to the “Tea Party”. I am bright enough to make the connection between the two things that I had seen in quick succession.
But I had an appointment to keep, so I decided to keep driving. But something started to eat at me about the whole situation, so I turned the car around and searched for a parking spot for five minutes.
I eventually got out of the car with my sunglasses on, for it was a bright summer day. I walked to where I had previously seen the large group of people, which was now even larger.
At first I simply observed, reading the signs that people were holding and looking at the people themselves. Eventually I leaned over to the gentleman standing next to me and said, “I'm just here as an observer, so what are we protesting exactly?”
A few of the people standing near the gentlemen chuckled, and he responded, “Last week, when we were protesting, the union we were speaking out against got violent with us, so that's why we're here today.”
That is perfectly reasonable.
“If you're here protesting the violence of a union, why does that guy have a sign that says 'Yes to Capitalism, No to Socialism'?” It seemed a valid question.
“Well,” the gentleman responded, “that's what we were protesting last week.”
I nodded. “Okay, so what exactly are you protesting this week?”
Okay, I now understood what was really going on.
“So,” I asked, steeling myself, “what exactly is wrong with Socialism?”
The gentleman with whom I was speaking, in addition to those around him, all laughed at me as if I were a child that was confused as to why the toy phone didn't call anyone but Elmo. “You tell me,” he responded.
This irritated me. I asked him to defend his position, or ostensibly his position, and instead he was asking me to do it for him.
“Okay, well, Medicare, public schools, taxes, and the GI Bill are all quite Socialist --” I was interrupted before I could finish.
“Medicare is bunk,” he exclaimed, as if that answered anything.
“All right, well what about public schools, then?”
Again, that smug laugh. “Well, you tell me how you think public school are doing.” This drew a laugh from his comrades.
Again, he did not answer my bloody question.
“Even at their worst,” I said, calmly, “they provide the opportunity for children to get an education who might not otherwise have had the chance. There are also many cases in which public schools are more successful than private schools.”
They simply laughed.
I wondered whether they had attended private or public schools.
“What about the GI Bill?” I asked.
They had no idea what it was, and I did not have the patience to explain it to them.
This is, to the best of my memory, and accurate representation of what occurred at that road-side protest.
This is, to the best of my knowledge, representative of the majority of people who call out 'Socialist' whenever they see Obama.
Our governmental system takes advantage of many of the successful aspects of Socialism, of which there are a few. Much in the same way does it use Capitalism, for our economic system is not pure Capitalism. A system founded on one precept alone is bound to fail.
We humans, as organisms, have evolved (fact), and so have our political and economic systems. Initially there were the absolute systems, such as Monarchies and pure Democracies. However, eventually people began to use what worked from each system, and thus they evolved into concepts such as Constitutional Monarchies. Our economic system works in the same way.
A little interesting fact concerning Capitalism and Socialism involved Obama's proposition for a Public Option in terms of Health Care. An inordinate amount of people feel, or have told that they should feel, that this is Socialist. But perhaps a little information will help to clear up this issue.
Capitalism requires competition, hearkening back, once more, to evolution. With competition, the successful and best suited to survive will continue on, getting stronger and better and smarter. With President Obama's Public Option, this competition would once more be entered into the equation of health insurance.
For so long, at least since the early 20th century, the major health care insurers have no had a great deal of competition, and thus have no always had to provide the best, because people would either get insurance from their job, from them, or from no one.
Now, if Obama's plan were to be put into action, all Americans would be required to get health insurance. This can involve keeping their current plan, buying a new one from a privately owned insurance company, getting worker's insurance, or taking advantage of the public option.
With one of the choices being affordable and backed by the United States Government, the privately owned companies are going to have to shed some weight if they want to survive: get rid of the unnecessary charges, ditch the regulations such as denying coverage to those with preexisting conditions and dumping people after they develop a serious condition. With these changes, health insurance companies will be cheaper, more efficient, and more fair, or they will fail.
This is Capitalism, not Socialism.
Now, it feels like I'm forgetting something...oh, yes! The Easter Bunny! Well, that's simply to say that if after reading all this, and getting any sort of formal education, you still believe Barack Obama is a Socialist, then you might as well believe that I am the Easter Bunny. You're just as correct.