The “S” Word

January 12, 2012
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As I was watching television one night, I stumbled upon a show that was poking fun at a comment that actor Craig T. Nelson made. Mr. Nelson stated on Glenn Beck that he was mad at the way that the government was being run today. He went on to say that he believed that teachers and schools should be better funded. As the interview went on, Mr. Nelson also said that he would refuse to pay anymore taxes. He continued to speak and I quote, "I've been on food stamps and welfare did anybody help me out? No. No." My mouth dropped and then my mind began to ponder a question, “Why do Americans fear socialism so much?” I am, by no means, a socialist at its purest form. I believe that a strong economy and government can only be built upon a capitalistic mindset, but I feel that socialism brings in a balance to the government that is greatly needed.

As the GOP is creating its platform for the upcoming 2012 election, one of its many promises is to limit the amount of socialism in the government today. The word “socialism” throughout history has spurred great fear among Americans. Today the fear is present and very much alive. It is hard not find a sign of our president Obama depicted as a dictator from history at many of the Tea Party rallies.
As the election comes around, there will surely be many swayed by the GOP being the “people’s” party. One that will abolish socialism from this great nation. The irony is that many of these rural conservative folk are the ones who reap the benefits of socialism. It is this group that are in need of the welfare and the food stamps. Despite that need, they vote their rights away because they have a misconception of the word socialism and what it means to the country.

Socialistic practices include the Medicaid that so many people depend on and the food stamps that so many live on. The government gives healthcare to millions. Millions of these people would not like to see that benefit being taken away from them.The matter of the fact is that Americans love socialism with a passion. They await for socialism each month to bring them their social security check. Americans enjoy the luxury of having free education for its youth. Americans drive roads that were built by the government and are owned by it. As one can see the government has many everyday things nationalized to the core and yet there are many that feel that socialism is a thing to fear.

There are many that believe taxes are too high, but what they fail to realize is that they have been at there lowest since the time of Eisenhower where the top tax bracket was at 91 percent. Today, it is only at 35 percent. The taxes that citizens pay, for the most part, are returned back to the citizen though schools, roads, employment benefits, and other services. The opposing side may also view that too much socialism gives the national government too much power. While this is true, it is not the case in the United States. You see, many of the services that are given to the citizens of this country are on the state level. For example, food stamps are on the state level. Even while Mitt Romney was governor of Massachusetts, he enacted a healthcare reform very much like Obama’s healthcare plan.

The “s” word engraves a fear and a sense of self preservation among Americans. This is a word that is feared because many believe that it goes against American values. The issue is that Americans have acquired a taste for socialism. It is a safety net for millions of people who need assistance. It serves to make the economy of the US stronger by providing a balance to its capitalism. Socialism is what kept Craig T. Nelson warm at night with food in his belly. The dirty word gives children an education and free healthcare in many states, including Illinois. It is a word, a controversial word, that continues to make this country the great nation that it is.





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IntrepidRose This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 27, 2012 at 3:01 pm
Bravo! I may not be an American, but I'm glad you're speaking out to the teenagers of your country. Socialism, is to me, one of the things that will save democracy. I consider myself a democratic socialist. The problem with American politics and media, is that they get communism and the ideals of socialism confused. Great little article you've got here.
 
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