SAN DIEGO, Feb. 3, 2016 — In a 2010 article for Townhall, conservative radio talk show host Michael Medved challenged any fellow conservative who would paint President Obama as a socialist. Much of Medved’s argument had to do with how this would sound as opposed to how true the assertion was. Supposedly, a bad sound from conservatives would more than likely be rejected by the majority of Americans, thus assuring President Obama another term.
“Hysterical rhetoric about socialist takeover and looming dictatorship will lead the public to fear conservatives more than they fear the president.”
In this same article, Medved went on to chastise those who make an issue out of Obama’s birth certificate or suggest that he’s a Muslim or perhaps the anti-Christ.
Such a list provides a good example of guilt by association. Those other issues are indeed nonsense, but the allegation that Obama is a socialist happens to be true. When “socialist” is added to the list of false accusations, it tends to look every bit as false. And so the argument becomes muddy and deceptive.
In any event, Mitt Romney was about as moderate as they come, and he treated Obama with kid gloves. How did that work out?
Meanwhile, the only real argument against Obama’s being a socialist is that he has managed to avoid describing himself by that lightning-charged word.
Still, as the old saying goes, if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck. Throughout Obama’s first term, from his health care plan to his EPA regulations to a whole host of other policies, a fair question was being asked by many frustrated conservatives: “If this man doesn’t champion government redistribution of wealth, who does?”
Actually, we now have an answer to that question; Bernie Sanders. Old Bernie makes no bones about being a socialist. In fact, he revels in the term. Certainly Bernie has been talking this way for quite some time but now it’s catching on. Why? Because the times have changed. Americans have gotten so used to the stench of socialism they can barely smell its potent odor any more.
A recent Gallop poll shows that 47 percent of Americans would have no trouble voting for a socialist.
Among other Americans, Bernie Sanders is connecting with college students who enjoy hearing the word FREE, especially in regards to college tuition. And why not? Everybody loves a Santa Claus. What Bernie fails to explain is that a lot of middle class elves are being financially strangled in order to pay for this sleigh full of “free” goodies.
If these same students experienced the other side of socialism, they would see it differently.
“”Excuse me, professor. As I look at my math test it seems I scored a 99. That would be an A, wouldn’t it?”
“Well then why did I get a C?”
“Good question. You see, some of your classmates are not as fortunate as you. They scored much lower. Some earned D’s. Some even got an F. And so, to be fair, I am just going to give everybody a C.”
Actually, an economics professor in Texas tried an experiment very much like this. It did not go over well with the students. Truth is a hard pill to swallow.
But America-at -large is not being forced to suddenly swallow a pill. Our situation is better compared to the frog that was boiled slowly. A gradual increase in temperature kept the frog comfortable, with familiar water. By the time he realized he was going to burn to death, it was too late.
Back in 2010, when there was still time to cry out the accusation of socialism, it may have sounded ( as Medved put it) “hysterical.”
It does’t sound hysterical any more, because now the idea of socialism taking over a country founded upon freedom just doesn’t seem so bad anymore.
Perhaps it’s time to take a look at other rising water temperatures while we still have the ability to control the thermostat.
This is Bob Siegel, making the obvious, obvious.
Bob Siegel is a weekend radio talk show host on KCBQ and a columnist. Details of his show can be found at www.bobsiegel.net