Monday, October 05, 2009

Socialism as a red herring

For some time the political news programs televised have routinely been using the battling spokespersons gimmick to give the illusion of being thorough or even-handed. So they present talking heads who are paid and partisan attack dogs. Predictably, those presentations often degenerate into shouting contests about ideology.

It appears the TV bosses remain convinced that the public can’t get enough of the bickering blowhards they’ve been dishing out. Yet, rarely are such presentations edifying.

Isn’t some part of why political discourse at every level in America has gotten to be so rude that too many citizens don’t understand the issues of their time below the surface?

It seems to me the pols, the flacks and the pundits have all been pitching their propaganda at what they see as a shallow-thinking audience. They would have you believe it’s all about slogans and personalities.

Now we see hotheads tossing words like “socialism” around in ways that plainly reveal they don’t even know the meaning of the word.

After all, public education is socialism. Taxes pay the salaries of our policemen and firefighters. The public pays for the medical care of veterans and social security for seniors. We don't drive on private highways, public funds build our roads. Socialism is all around us. Whether we need more of it is a question worth asking, but to pretend it's a matter of socialism, or not, is a red herring. And, the ruse only works on chumps who wear their ignorance like it's a medal of honor.

The irony here is that with the Internet, today’s voters now have access to more raw information than ever. However, it seems the still-young Internet has been better suited to amplifying frivolous distractions than it has been to promoting reason and understanding.

Maybe that will change.

Meanwhile, doesn't it seem those in charge of information dissemination at the highest levels generally like it better when their consumers can't think for themselves?

1 comment:

Dale Brumfield said...

FT - It's true we currently live with many socialistic services, such as the post office, police, public schools ,etc; however, unlike a purely socialistic state, these services work in tandem or in competition with similar private enterprises. For example the PO also competes with FedEx & UPS; in addition to public schools we have private school options. They are not sole providers, which would tag them as purely socialistic if they served alone, with no private competition. The problem with adding government-provided health insurance as a public or "socialist" option is that as written, this public service would not fairly compete with the private services. The public health service is tagged as a compulsory fallback in the event someone wishes to change or is dropped from current private coverage, but private health care coverage is not a fallback from the government service - it is a 1-way street with an unfair advantage only, which over time slowly chips away and eliminates the private services. Medicare is a good example of a pure socialistic service as it has no competition in the private sector - but it is incurring horrific debt. We could expect similar debt from a socialistic health insurance option also, since rates would have to be set regardless of health.
It seems to me, though, that in this case it is the government that is assuming the public cannot think or make health insurance decisions for themselves. more so than the media.