Friday, April 10, 2009


Keep talking about socialism, Republicans, so more people will want it

by Larry Geller

Interesting Rasmussen Report, mentioned in today’s Democracy Now headlines: Just 53% Say Capitalism Better Than Socialism (, 4/9/2009).

Republican congresspeople still accuse those who (for example) want single-payer healthcare for everyone in this country as favoring “socialism.”

Heck, maybe those increasing numbers of US citizens newly without work and without health insurance might reply,”Is that socialism? Bring it on!” The poll says the scales are tipping, if slowly:

Only 53% of American adults believe capitalism is better than socialism.

I was surprised by the the poll results. (Actually, the above statement is the best spin that could be put on it, the poll doesn’t find that 47% of adults favor socialism). But maybe, as capitalism and the so-called free market continue to produce more and more palpable harm in the general population, views will change. The partisan battle has come to the point where Republicans oppose what will benefit the average citizen, while continuing to intone their capitalist/free market mantra.

Democrats may be little different in reality, but real or imagined, the public is certainly drawing a distinction as party line votes block relief action. So the Dems are not socialists, but neither are they rabid capitalists, leaving that image to  the Republicans. Senate filibusters may further burnish that image, especially if they succeed in blocking relief measures or in favoring CEOs and the big financial firms over the little guy.

Maybe Comedy Central should look into this evil socialism thing a bit more. We need to advance the idea of health care for all in the most effective ways we have.


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