Obamacare: the New McCarthyism?

By Andrew Bruskin

Fox News is at it again. According to Hannity, Obama is “pushing the single biggest power grab and move towards ‘socialism’ in the history of our country.” And according to the right wing blog The American Thinker, their writers have finally figured out what the American people should have known all along: Obama really is a “socialist”! From reading these media outlets, it seems like everyone should quickly gather their belongings and run to…Canada!


Oh, wait, we can’t go there. Canada is a very socialist country!

Well, then we will go to Mexico!

Wait, I take that back. The Mexicans are a filthy country who gave us the Swine Flu! They’re stealing our jobs, too…

Well, that means we’ll have to go to Europe!

Oh, wait, Europe is even more “socialist” than we are!

Isn’t there a place in our own country that values rich over poor, corporations over people, white over black, and, for the love of God…a place where nothing can ever get done?!

Yes, my friends, there is a place that values all of these things! It’s called…Capitol Hill.

No, my fellow Americans, Obama is not a socialist. According to the dictionary, socialism is “a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.”

If Obama was truly a socialist, he would have taken my house by now. But yes, there are far-right advocates (who I won’t point out by name) who continue to believe that Obama is the next Mao Zedong. Many of Obama’s fiercest critics target his “radical” health care reform policies. Even more interesting is the fact that while we denounce universal health care coverage for our own citizens, we are giving the people of Iraq and Afghanistan universal health care coverage through our own tax dollars.

Even though Americans die from lack of treatable health-related conditions every year, we are still generous enough to give millions of dollars in tax money for two countries to establish a universal health-care system. Isn’t that so nice of us?

Obama is labeled a “socialist” because many Americans don’t know what the word means, and as an end result, the label becomes an effective scare tactic. These are the same tactics certain people have used in the past. If people want to scare other people, why not use key words such as “weapons of mass destruction”, “big government” and, well, “socialism”? “Socialism” is the new McCarthyism.

You may be thinking that I am completely bashing the GOP. Let’s get some things straight: I believe that there are members of the Republican Party who want to do great things (this does not include the religious right, corporate puppets, and a certain old man who just won’t go away!). There are some self-proclaimed conservatives who back the public option. I do believe, behind the noise, that there are good hearted people on both sides of the aisle who want to create beneficial change in this country. And yes, I do like the Bill O’Reilly Show, what can I say?

With that being said, it is time for me to bash the Democrats. This bill is not being passed, not because of the Republicans, but because Democrats are absolutely atrocious salesmen. In mid 2009, most Americans supported this bill. Now, support for this bill is down—way down.


While health insurance PAC’s were dorm storming and rallying their troops to destroy this bill, Democrats stood idly by and let these organizations turn the vast majority of the American people against health care legislation, even if most favor universal healthcare to begin with. Which Democrats are responsible for this? Ever heard of Evan Bayh?

Unfortunately, President Obama, Speaker Pelosi and Harry Reid are also to blame for this. Maybe they should have concentrated on the unemployment rate before they tackled healthcare?

Wherever things went wrong, this is the sad news: if some type of health reform does not pass, then the uninsured will probably never receive coverage in their lifetime. Tens of thousands of Americans will die from preventable illnesses because of this. This is not a scare tactic. This is a fact.

Here’s what I don’t understand: why are Americans are supporting a trillion dollar war because of 9/11, but not a trillion dollar health care bill that will save countless more lives?

The health bill being legislated by the government is beside the point: I want people who don’t have healthcare to be able to have complete coverage in our country. Period. From the looks of it, there seems to be no other way to ensure coverage except a government-sponsored health care bill.

I hope both parties can come to their senses and work together to pass meaningful legislation. In the meantime, I won’t be holding my breath.

Published in: on March 2, 2010 at 5:11 pm Comments Off on Obamacare: the New McCarthyism?
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