By Jason Easley
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Bill Maher said,
It’s time to stop fighting it and just come out of the closet, and the group I’m talking about is the American public and the love they’re denying is their love of socialism. Now I know that there are few words in America more toxic than socialist, and these days big government spending is about as popular as Casey Anthony at a Chucky Cheese. Yes, Americans say they hate socialism but when it comes to Social Security, Medicare, unemployment, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, corporate welfare, bailouts, and farm subsidies, what we really say to socialism is I can’t quit you.
Americans don’t want less spending on healthcare, by almost 2 to 1 they want more. Only 7% of Americans are willing to do away with either Social Security or Medicare, and even 62% of tea party members say those programs are worth the cost, yet 91% say they want smaller government with fewer services. They’re like the guy whose been to prison and says sure I gargle with a guy’s balls once in a while, and there’s nothing I love more than ass play with other men, but no I can’t stand fags.
Remember this guy, the keep your government hands off my Medicare guy? He’s not alone. In one survey, 40% of people who get Medicare say that they have not used a government program. Really? Who do you think paid that hip replacement, your secret Santa? The actor and not very bright person Craig T. Nelson once said about hitting some rough spots in his life that, “I’ve been on welfare and food stamps, but anybody help me out? No.”
Or take Michele and Marcus Bachmann, or I like to think of them America’s indoor Palins, yes the Bachmann’s tireless advocates of cutting people off of the government tit. Well it turns out they live on the tit. Their farm takes farm subsidies. Their counseling clinic takes Medicaid, and their mortgage was underwritten by Freddie Mac. Michele knows civil servants are evil because she was an IRS agent, and Marcus hates government employees because sailors are so rough, but come on, if hypocrisy was uranium they could power the planet.
And that’s what’s so hard about being a closeted lover of big government you have to lie to yourself, but that’s why I’m here tonight with a special message for all you deniers. It gets better. Yes, there are millions of people in the world just like you in nice places like Switzerland and Sweden. They enjoy high standards of living and freedom, and they’re socialists. Studies show they’re actually happier than we are, and that’s not surprising, because the only difference between American socialism and European socialism is European socialism works.
For their tax dollars Europeans get full health care coverage, generous pensions, daycare, long paid vacations, maternity leave, free college, and public transportation that doesn’t smell like pee. Whereas our tax dollars go towards military bases in Germany, subsidies to oil companies, building bridges to nowhere, wars, and putting half of Cheech and Chong in prison. They get universal health care. We get a Blue Angels flyover at the Fiesta Bowl. They get paid maternity leave. We get the Octomom. They’ve got Airbus. We’ve got the bus. Isn’t there anything we still do better? Even their paranoid racist loners look like speed skaters, and ours look like Porky Pig.
My colleague Ray Meideros wrote about a Duke and Harvard study that found that 92% of those Americans surveyed supported the Swedish model of income distribution. Voters say they love the idea of small government, but in practice it’s a no go. When the Ryan budget passed many usually Republican voters absolutely freaked out over the possible gutting of Medicare. The conservative backlash over killing Medicare as we know it has already cost Republicans one House seat in the redder than red, NY-26.
The same result happens anytime privatizing Social Security is mentioned. Heck, even putting the idea of changes to entitlements on the table during debt negotiations gave constituencies on both sides of the aisle the beginnings of nervous breakdown. Americans love their socialism. In fact, when asked about the fate of socialistic entitlement programs they always respond that they would like more.
Republicans never seem to get it. Americans really don’t want smaller government. Oh sure, they’ll say they do. They may even vote for candidates who promise smaller government, but if those candidates actually try to implement their small government dreams they become the least popular politicians in America.
The problem is that conservatives have spent decades demonizing, “big government.” Many Americans have been taught that expressing a belief in government spending is a bad thing, so they give all the correct answers to the pollsters and hide their true beliefs. However when pollsters get specific, Americans start to show their true colors. A recent National Journal survey found that twice as many Americas were worried about deep cuts to entitlements (39%) than were concerned about the government spending too much money (19%).
Republicans have successfully permeated the national consciousness with the false equivalency that small government equals freedom, and nobody hates freedom. Right? What Americans actually want from their government isn’t more “freedom” as defined by the right. The vast majority of Americans want their socialism. They love their socialism, and a popular uprising ensues anytime anyone mentions changing their beloved entitlements.
The most successful Republicans like Ronald Reagan know/knew not to touch America’s beloved socialist programs, but today’s Republican is an ideological warrior. They don’t care what the people want. They are on obsessed with undoing the last bastions of liberalism. As we continue to see in the deficit ceiling crisis the tea party Republicans are on a political suicide mission, and they don’t care if they take the rest of us down with them.
Because they never understand that in its heart America loves socialism, Republicans are destined to always fail. They are always confused by this failure and blame “the liberal media” for not telling the truth about them, but what conservatives mind refuses to comprehend is that they are the minority in a country that deeply loves its socialism.
Republicans love their socialism too, but their socialism is of the corporate variety and hidden behind a free market disguise. The battle in this nation isn’t between socialism and freedom, but liberal socialism versus corporate socialism. Republicans want to end entitlements and redistribute the wealth to corporate America through a facade of “free market” privatization. The free market is how they justify spending billions of tax dollars on oil subsidies and agribusiness. Many on the right don’t seem to get the obvious contradiction that the existence of these federal subsidies violates the notion a free market and in fact are socialist themselves.
America loves its socialism. The problem is that most Americans are too afraid to admit it.
"Or take Michele and Marcus Bachmann, or I like to think of them America’s indoor Palins"