Monday, October 20, 2008

"Daddy Grandpa, what's a "Socialist"

Gather 'round kids, and let me tell you a story about the old days of the Cold War, a war so cold that it almost froze us with fear.

We were afraid of a country called the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, or U.S.S.R. Never heard of it, not even in History class? Well, the core of the U.S.S.R was Russia. The U.S.A. and U.S.S.R. butted heads on nearly everything. Our philosophies were as different as night and day. Back in the 1950s when I was a kid, America believed in freedom and equality, except for Negroes (African-Americans were known by this term), immigrants, homosexuals and women. The Soviets believed in the enslavement of all people, including Negroes, immigrants, homosexuals and women.

The Soviets wanted to spread their philosophy to all corners of the world, including Wyoming, and we fought them every step on the way. That's why we have so many nuclear missiles burrowed into the prairie outside Cheyenne. If the Russkis came to Wyoming and tried to change our way of life, we were going to shoot their eyes out with nukes. In the process, we would all be blind too, but nevermind that.

Because Americans were so afraid, they labeled anyone who didn't agree with them as "communists." Being a communist is kind of like being a socialist, although much scarier. So, if you were suspicious of your neighbor, if you thought he was some kind of community organizer or peacenik or civil rights activist, you labeled him a communist. Every Saturday at noon, people would gather in town squares all across American and curse the communists, who had been gathered there for convenience sake. We would call them "commie" or "commie symp" (sympathizer) or "Red" or "pinko" even "Socialist." If an insolent pinko spoke up, we would stone him or her to death. This made us feel so much better. The next day, we all went to church.

So you see, kids, Americans have a long tradition of name-calling. You can see the same tradition in action every day at a John McCain or Sarah Palin rally. "Socialist!" they shout, as if they actually knew what that meant. "Community organizer!" Ouch, that hurts. "Believer in redistribution of wealth!" Uh oh, someone's been reading "The Communist Manifesto." If anyone shouts "terrorist," you know that person watches Fox News.

I wouldn't be too concerned that all of this name calling will lead to the actual stoning to death of your neighbor. But you never know...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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thanks for sharing with us ,,

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