SAUL SHAPIRO: Socialism is the scarecrow of the GOP | Chroniclers

Halloween is a constant for Republicans who scare voters that Democrats will take us down the path of socialism and communism.

President Donald Trump proclaimed that the United States “will never be a socialist country,” then quickly increased socialist farm subsidies ($ 11.7 billion in 2017) to $ 32 billion in 2020 – $ 16 billion because of its trade policy.

The Conservatives proclaim the Founding Fathers as “originalists”. Yeah. “Socialists”, too.

Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution gave Congress the power to regulate money, commerce, the postal service (then not 99% junk mail), roads, the military, patents, and copyright, and fundraising. They took possession of large tracts of land to sell to pay the bills.

They also promulgated a Bill of Rights protecting against government oppression.

Republican Dwight Eisenhower was a closet “socialist”, founder of the interstate highway system with federal gasoline taxes paying 90% instead of outsourcing it to private sector tolls.

Democrat Harry Truman proposed a public health system in 1945. “Socialism! cried Republicans and the American Medical Association. Democrat Lyndon Johnson adopted Medicare – supplementing Socialist Social Security – and Medicaid in 1965.

People also read …

Only 12% of Republicans in a recent poll would end these socialist programs. (Medicare overhead is 2%; private insurance is 12%.)

All major industrialized countries except the United States have universal health care, but we are a leader in high per capita health costs.

Republican Theodore Roosevelt founded the national park system – more socialism, limiting oil and gas drilling.

Republican Richard Nixon created the Socialist Administration for the Protection of the Environment.

Republicans don’t want public schools – ugh, socialism – to possibly teach the warts of US history because students are “sensitive” and the truth hurts. (Who are the real “snowflakes”?)

Biden administration pushes national paid family leave – 185 countries have it, six don’t. The United States is the only industrialized country without it. Scary socialism?

Construction progress at the new Lowell Elementary School in Waterloo, Iowa.

Among the countries with the best quality of life, Western Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand – all firmly capitalist, but with social programs bridging the gap between rich and poor – are consistently among the top ten. first. The United States rarely does.

Integrating social programs into capitalism is not communism, which does almost everything wrong.

I visited the Soviet Union in 1987. People joked that their missiles did not have nuclear warheads, but were armed with color televisions and toasters that regularly exploded, causing residential fires.

The jeans supposedly made in Eastern Europe actually came from the West because the Communists couldn’t make decent pants.

State planners sabotaged crops with an insane farm-to-market distribution system, causing food shortages.

The state dictated how history was taught, ignoring communist atrocities. So sensitive.

Everyone in the old Soviet sphere is far behind the West in terms of quality of life and innovation, which capitalism promotes.

But get rid of all socialism? Sell ​​highways, public schools and parks? End Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid? Are you not protecting the environment? Limit the public good, but give carte blanche to the private sector? Yes, happy Halloween.

Saul Shapiro is the retired editor of The Courier, living in Cedar Falls.

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