Thursday, October 30, 2008

Socialism, McCain and You

In only five more days, we will get a much-deserved break from Barack Obama being called a socialist by people who have no idea what they're talking about. I know McCain doesn't know that much about economics, but even with that caveat it's ridiculous for him to call Obama a socialist when he also voted for the bailout bill that started nationalizing our banking system. Which is, you know, actual socialism. Pinky McCain, they calls him!

McCain's supporters calling Obama a socialist is like a college freshman calling a cop a fascist after getting a jaywalking ticket. It's just somebody who's intellectually underwhelming throwing around big terms in an attempt to seem well-informed. Like David Cook speaking awestruck about "The brevity of the moment" singing the national anthem before a Chiefs game. Brevity doesn't mean big, sport. It means brief. And I don't see too many history professors, economists or well-informed folks in this crowd. I do see a lot of bad hair, however.

Although the red-baiting by the frothing right wing is probably fun to experience for fans of Mad Men who wish they could've lived through those swinging times, our nation is too big and varied to ever democratically elect a true socialist or communist finance system.

Even if Obama was a socialist, what is he going to do about it? Nationalize the airline system? Okay. All that would entail is a government takeover of five billion-dollar companies, laying off about 100,000 people, repainting every airplane, rejiggering 10,000 flight pattern, cancelling the publicy-traded stock of these companies (and doing who the hell knows what with the assets held within those stocks) and putting strict tariffs on international flights that originate from outside the U.S. I'm sure that motion could pass the Senate with no problem, even with 60 Democrats!

Then, in 2016 when we decide we don't like socialism any more because airplane interiors are too gray and depressing, we elect a Republican capitalist who would immediately privatize the airline industry, and those birth pangs would just as complicated as when we nationalized the airlines eight years before.

That's just one poorly-conceived, hardly thought, scratching the surface of the top of my head example, but instituting socialism in this country would be impossible simply from a practical standpoint.

The other thing we will get a deserved break from in five days is Sarah Palin, and not a moment too soon. She can go back to Anchorage and sit down her newspapers again. You know, all of them. As for the talk that Palin will be back in 2012 with her own Presidential bid...well, we can all hope. The idea of the Republican party finishing off its own grave with another campaign directed at the willfully and actively ignorant is quite exciting to somebody like me, who is loving the backlash the GOP is suffering through right now because of their rampant anti-intellectualism.

I'm looking forward to living in a country where being smart is an admired asset again. Good times.

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