David Rosman, Columbia, MO – This commentary is in response to an April 1 column written by “Augustine 25” on the blog site DRScoundrels.com. Regardless of what Beck, Coulter, Limbaugh, others and he say, I believe we have forgotten what the words defining governmental forms mean and, therefore, are mislabeling the President and government. So, from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:
Communism: a totalitarian system of government in which a single authoritarian party controls state-owned means of production.
Democracy: a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation.
Fascism: a policy that exalts nation and often race above the individual (ethnocentrism) and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation and forcible suppression of opposition.
Republic: a government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by elected officers and representatives responsible to them and governing according to law.
Socialism: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods, in which there is no private property.
Social Justice: a society that gives individuals and groups fair treatment and an equitable share of the benefits of society
If we take Merriam-Webster at its word, the new health care laws are not communist, socialist, or fascist. It is a privately run insurance program under federal regulation, mush like Medicare supplement plans are today. But not everyone agrees.
In a House Joint Resolution, the Missouri General Assembly wishes to declare that the US Constitution “is not a living, breathing document.” This resolution is supported by the neo-conservative side of the aisle, not the liberal, who wish to return to the original language of the Constitution. But, they must also return to the original meaning of that language.
The HJR would have Missouri refusing to recognize federal laws concerning the any “public option” health care law. In addition, other items listed include the hot button issues of our day – abortion, gun ownership laws, civil rights, hate crime legislation and more.
The Constitution’s preamble provides that the new nation is designed to, “establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence (original spelling), promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.” To meet this criterion, we must have a healthy nation. To have a nation of healthy and happy citizens promotes prosperity. We need a public health system to counter greed enterprise.
Our government is a democratic-republic that promotes social justice. Our federal and state governments do not advocate a Socialist, Totalitarian, Marxist or Fascist society. These are emotive words designed to create more fear than to define a purpose or direction. As the great Bertrand Russell,
Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd. – Neither man nor crowd nor a nation can be trusted to act humanely or to think sanely under the influence of great fear. (Russell, Bertrand. “An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish.” The Portable Atheist. 2007. Comp. Christopher Hitchens. Da Capo Press, 2007. Print.)
Is this the philosophy of the Tea Party? The neo-conservative Republicans? I think so.
The 2010 health care reform law is not fascist, socialist or communist in nature. It is designed to be a government sanctioned health care program to cover all Americans, thus meeting the Constitution’s requirement to “promote the general welfare.” I find it strange that many of the same people who want to eliminate social justice as provided through a government endorsed health care package are also the ones who are fighting to keep their Medicare, Medicaid and VA medical benefits, all government sanctioned social justice medical programs.
So, here is the deal. If my neo-conservative friends learn the definitions of governmental structures and philosophies, and stop using fear mongering as a tool to insight hatred towards our federal government, I will find something nice to say about Ann, Glenn and Rush. However, do not throw fuel on a fire that is on the verge of going out of control. Yes, this is a slippery slope argument, but many are predicting the coming of American political chaos.
David Rosman is an award winning editor, writer, professional speaker and college instructor in Communications, Ethics, Business and Politics. You can read more of David’s commentaries at ColumbiaMissourian.com and New York Journal of Books.