Now that we have a man that actually cares about democracy in the White House, I can't get away from the obnoxious term that right-wingers use as their only reactionary weapon against him: his "Socialist Agenda." Sort of like the Gay Agenda--you know, gay people are really really powerful and are trying to turn your children gay, by pushing their way into every part of our society's infrastructure. Similarly, apparently socialism is so popular among very powerful politicians, including our President, that they might succeed in overriding our wonderful capitalist system.
As a socialist who would readily applaud an actual Socialist Agenda, I laugh. I laugh mostly because I'm tired of crying. And I'm tired of fantasising about taking out my very much internalised aggression and anger on anything in my way, which usually in practice ends up being cushy chairs and bathroom stall doors. But I'm still unmistakably laughing. Because I see this ridiculous rhetoric for what it really is. Creating a monster that threatens the very foundation of many Americans' ways of life: taking away unnecessary, excessive possessions; "depriving" wealthy people of their "hard-earned" millions. Obstructing Americans' "freedom" to do whatever the fuck we want to others and get away with it, as long as it doesn't threaten those in power. This obstruction of this false "freedom" is far more terrifying than the real dangers out there: global warming, global hunger, massive depletion of resources, and the inevitable collapse of an unsustainable economic system.
What is society coming to, getting worked up about the concept of equitable distribution? This "socialism" monster is truly a ghost. Socialists do not have power (except in a couple Latin American countries. And no, I don't think Americans should be afraid of VENEZUELA unless they're unaware of our excessive military strength). When I admit to people that I'm a socialist, it's like I'm "coming out." People have commended me for my bravery. That's not because socialism is taking over the world. It's because socialism is a dirty word.
As for Obama, he's just as terrified of socialism as any other mainstream American. Otherwise, he wouldn't have been voted into the White House. Otherwise, the vast majority of the country and the world wouldn't love him as much as they do. He wouldn't have given massive hand-outs to—no, not poor black women with five children living in shacks*—but our country's most massive financial institutions. (I have my own ideas about a very different category of socialism that the bailouts fall into; corporate socialism, which has existed for a while in the US already.) Notice how those who accuse Obama of socialism are not against hand-outs to rich corporations. But give the hand-outs to people who are actually starving or living on the streets, and they throw an infantile hissy-fit. Socialism is about re-distributing the wealth, and that doesn't actually mean distributing it to the same people who already had it.
So "Obama-Is-A-Socialist" people, stop making up ridiculous conspiracy theories and consider this: You want to be terrified of something? In our culture, we don't need conspiracies in order for masses of people to commit horrific deeds. All we need is complacency. You don't have to do anything at all! And that is the most terrifying thing in the world.
*For the easily offended: This is referring to the image that a lot of conservatives see representing welfare: poor black women who keep having kids.