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Rhonda Robinson

Chris Matthews Wants to Know Why Socialism is a Bad Word in America

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Posted on November 21 2009 12:00 pm
Rhonda Robinson is part of NewsReal's editorial team. As a columnist, Rhonda has provided readers with thoughtful insight into social, political, and parenting issues since 1995.

When my family lived in West Berlin, some of the simple personal freedoms Germans enjoyed — freedoms that we here in the US don’t have — amazed me. They were small things, really – like no speed limit on the autobahn (highway), and no legal restrictions on the drinking age. Such restrictions have become so commonplace for us, that we can scarcely imagine life without them.

I told a German friend of mine that I found it odd that her fellow countrymen had so many more personal freedoms than we do in America. She shrugged her shoulders and said, with a sly smile, “We know first hand what socialism is, and constantly fight it. You don’t know it when you see it.”

Until recently, I didn’t realize the depth of the truth that statement held. Throughout the 2008 presidential campaign, John McCain refused to label Barack Obama a socialist, probably because he didn’t want to be accused of mud-slinging. On Friday, Chris Matthews, host of Hardball on MSNBC, brought the S-word out into the open for just few brief moments.

With socialized health care inching our way, it’s more important than ever that we stop using the vocabulary handed to us by leftists. We must force them to defend the real-world ramifications of their ideas, rather than gloat about the cheerful figments of their Utopian imaginations.

Yesterday, with the health care vote just hours away in the Senate, Matthews brought his guests, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) and Sen. Judd Gregg (R-New Hampshire), onto his show to discuss health care.

One accusation Matthews constantly flings at Republicans is that when they were in control of Congress and the White House, they didn’t “fix” health care, and that every time the Democrats have tried (to socialize it), the Republicans have said they had a better answer—but have done nothing.

The short answer is that we do not believe a capitalist system is a broken system, simply by virtue of being capitalist. Nor does the system’s profit motive make it evil. Flaws in a capitalist system will not be fixed by socialism.

Matthews asked:

“Why is socialism a pretty okay word in Europe? It’s not a hated word in Europe, Sen. Sanders. But United States it’s a bad word. What’s the difference between the two cultures—when it comes to medicine?”

Sanders replied:

“In Europe, for many, many years’ people have seen democratic socialist society’s policies provide health care to all people. They have seen these countries provide free college education to working families, and they’ve seen a much fairer distribution of wealth and income. In this country, for a variety of reasons, you’ve had a right-wing Republican Party and a centrist Democratic Party. In my view, not effectively representing working families, being dominated by big money interest. So what you have seen in recent years is the very richest people become richer, while the middle class collapses and poverty increases. I think we have a lot to learn from Scandinavian countries.”

Then Gregg said:

“…Why doesn’t socialism work? Because it undermines the basic core of American values. First the people have choice. Second the people are entrepreneurial and want to go out and be, create better things by being entrepreneurial. Thirdly, people expect to be rewarded for that. We have a capitalist system. And it works pretty well to have a capitalist system. Now, Bernie doesn’t like profit, I understand that, he is a socialist. And it appears a lot of people in his party doesn’t like profit either.”

And once again the window slammed shut.

Communism is a deadly enemy of capitalism.

Just as terrorists hide in plain sight, under the cover of political correctness, so do radical leftists hide their identities and ideology within the political system. Until both are identified by name, and their terminology is truthfully defined and exposed, both will remain deadly enemies that continue to defeat us on our own soil.

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