No B.S. It says so right here.
President Obama's plan to deliver a speech to public school students on Tuesday has set off a revolt among conservative parents, who have accused the president of trying to indoctrinate their children with socialist ideas and are asking school officials to excuse the children from listening.
If only. Maybe then we can get some real health care reform up in here.
But applying the word "socialist" to any person, place, or idea that in some way runs counter to the right-wing conservative agenda has quickly become a comfy verbal crutch for conservatives, like saying "death tax." "flip-flopper," or "tax and spend." From The New York Times:
The Republican Party chairman in Florida, Jim Greer, said he "was appalled that taxpayer dollars are bing used to spread President Obama's socialist ideology.
Like I've said, the GOP is rapidly becoming the party of Crazy Uncle Ned In The Basement Fiddling With His Scanner And Homemade Pipe Bomb Kit.
But many Americans - and most conservatives - still insist on ignoring the fact that, to some extent, we've lived in a society that embraces many components of socialism for decades (yes, even under Reagan), and that a just, civilized society calls for it.
Also, that certain portions of the nation's economic sector are socialized doesn't necessarily require us all to wear our hair like this, or change our flag's emblem to this, or to accessorize with one of these - or even to switch the national anthem from "The Star Spangled Banner," to "We Labor to Produce Grain."
What it does require is for us to accept the notion that there are certain areas of the economy that should be completely off-limits to profiteers. And I think that when most of us introspect, we see the virtue in the prospect of a socialized economy.
In fact, I've always insisted that most conservatives like the thought of being conservative more than than the application. So let's see if I'm right.
Here's a quick quiz all of you conservatives can take while taking a break from fortifying your End of Days bunkers, just to ensure you're as right-minded as you've always claimed to be. It'll either reinforce your political beliefs or cast doubt on the person you've always conceived yourself to be, sending you into an abysmal and prolonged existential crises. So slather some Helmann's over a couple of slices of raw Wonderbread, grab a pencil, and answer true or false to the following questions:
(Again, this quiz is for conservatives only. So all you spineless cut-and-run liberals beat it - at least for now.)
- I currently receive my mail from the U.S. Postal Service
- I have one or more parents who have, at some point, received medicare benefits
Now remember, conservatives: Just put true or false. There's no need to justify, quantify, or expoundify upon your answers with disclaimers like, "But it ain't like we have a choice!" You do have a choice, and it's called moving to a godforsaken third-world country, where governments are in far too much disarray to provide social and civil services like these for their citizens. Oh, and when you get there, don't drink the water.
(NOTE: All modern industrialized nations - except for ours - provide these socialized services in addition to providing their citizens with some form of government-sponsored universal health coverage.)
Now then. Let's continue.
- I have one or more children who have, at some point, attended public school
- I have, at some point, attended community college and/or a state university
- I am the current recipient of weekly garbage pick-ups
- If my house were to ever erupt in flames, I'd prefer a trained firefighter to put them out, as opposed to me with my 8-foot garden hose, hiked-up brown dress socks, wife-beater, and yellow sprinkler attachment.
- If given the choice, I'd prefer it if cops were given the responsibility for apprehending dangerous criminals, as opposed to, say, my cousin Richard.
- I believe in a strong military that must also follow strict codes of conduct
- I believe that all military veterans should have access to low-cost comprehensive health services
- I have, at some point in my life, checked out a book from a public library*
*I considered omitting this question, as only 1 in 4 Americans have read a book in the past year.
Finished, right-wingers? Good. Here's your key:
1-4 "True" answers: Say hi to your militia for me
5-6 "True" answers: Nobody else has to know
7-10 "True" answers: Please recite the following - I, (state your name), am a bleeding heart, tax-and-spend, Kucinich-loving, left-wing liberal socialist - with closed markets and big government for all.
It feels good bein' liberal, doesn't it? Or not.
But fear not, conservative parents. Your child will not be forced to endure one moment of Comrade Obama's insidious propaganda:
The schools will provide an alternative class for those whose parents object, a spokesman for the district, Lee Vela, said.
Will all Ted Haggard High students please report to The Hall of Creation. Juniors and seniors, please be seated beside the statue of Twelve Apostles grooming the brontosaurus; freshmen and sophomores, take a seat inside the Chamber of Abstinence. In lieu of listening to the president's subversive indoctrination, we will be showing today's educational video in five minutes, "Louis and Clark: Their Dark Journey Into Velociraptor Country."
One final note. We've all had to endure a puerile nonsense from conservative voices for the past month or so, as the health care issue has raged on. Within this thicket of irrational chatter has been allegations of socialism, fascism, the subversion of democracy, and the demise of our republic as we know it.
Fine. If some people think that by ensuring that slapping more stringent regulation on health insurance and pharmaceutical companies - along with offering a cheaper public alternative to these blood-suckers - is a slippery slope into turning this country into The Iron Curtain with Wall-Marts, then there's nothing I could ever write here that could convince them otherwise.
But what I would like to know is this: Where were the voices of rabid dissent when the previous administration was "subverting democracy"? Where were the raucous outcries, the town-hall gun crazies when virtually every member of Bush's cabinet claimed, as a pretext for invading Iraq, that Sadaam Hussein was part of the braintrust behind 9/11 and that he also possessed W.M.D.'s, including nuclear arms?
And why wasn't it a slippery slope to fascism when John Ashcroft used material witness warrants to arrest and detain innocent civilians?
Then-Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft violated the rights of U.S. citizens in the fevered wake of the Spt. 11 terrorist attacks by ordering arrests on material witness warrants when the government lacked probably cause, a federal appeals court said in a scathing opinion Friday.
Or when the Bush Administration hid behind the USA Patriot act so that they could circumvent the law in order to search citizens' homes?
Mayfield was released after the FBI admitted his fingerprint had been mistakenly matched with one found at the scene of the Madrid attacks. The FBI has described this as a rare mismatch of a fingerprint that reveals little about the Patriot Act.But the government has admitted to Mayfield that his home was searched secretly under a special court order authorized for intelligence purposes. The American Civil Liberties Union says that the search amounts to an abuse of the Patriot Act: It was conducted as though it were an intelligence search, when in fact agents were looking for evidence to use in a criminal prosecution.
And are you aware of the total number of town hall meltdowns that occurred when the Bush Administration was offering up no-bid contracts for the Iraqi reconstruction to their cronies in the private sector? I'll give you a hint: It was less than one.
And how many of us had a say in whether or not to invade Iraq? Isn't it our tax money that continues to feed this ceaseless campaign? Is it socialism that every citizen is forced to pay for two dubious wars? Fascism? Tyranny? Or just stupidity? I wonder how many years of free health care $680 trillion would buy us. (Answer: Our children and grandchildren would be covered for life.)
And isn't it fascist when the government won't let us marry the person we love - even if it means that that person is of the same sex? Is that an assault on democracy, since it inhibits the civil rights of millions of American citizens? Or does it not count because they're fags? I propose that all the anti-gay marriage members of the Senate set-up town hall meetings in San Francisco, West Hollywood, and Fire Island to discuss.
So why is the Bush Administration above such allegations when what they were engaging in was so much worse? Or does it all ultimately have very little to do about policy and a lot more to do with not trusting someone with Obama's I.Q. and skin color?