I’m getting old, and I’m a traditionalist.
I believe that if you decide to call something an apple, it should, in reality be one of those round, normally red, juicy things that grow on trees. To decide to call it something else is folly, because whatever name you may select, it remains by definition an apple.
What is socialism?
So what is a Socialist state?
North Korea proclaims herself one, and if self-proclaimed Socialists in this nation believe they are of that tree, then they must be completely of that tree.
You can’t be half an apple and part tangerine, not when you proclaim yourself to be an apple.
To say you are a Socialist, when you advocate free health insurance, decent education for all, clean air for our grandchildren, a reformed and fairer tax system, and yet you do not advocate the State owning all businesses, then you have failed my crude Apple Test. Call yourselves cucumbers, but not apples. In the dictionary, “Socialism” has a definition, and to say you are one without meeting the demands of that definition simply means you’re not a Socialist, and cannot be one.
The New American Socialists
So what exactly, then are the New Socialists?
I honestly don’t know, because of all things, they are not Socialists unless they advocate all facets of the definition of that term.
Sweden is often pointed to as an example of a successful Socialist State, and one of their most respected historians is quick to point out that when they tried on that full-blown apple for size, Sweden went bankrupt.
So Sweden is not, in fact a Socialist State, and their successes of late are due to the privatization of many of their industries.
If you look around the globe, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a successful, flourishing Socialist nation, a full-fledged apple by definition.
Look East for Socialism
Except in North Korea, where whispers in kitchens by starving citizens are required in order to avoid certain imprisonment and death.
I’m concerned about any party becoming the sole choice in this nation, whether it’s the party of the left or the party of the right, or Centrists professing whatever. And I’ve mentioned North Korea, because that nation is the only one-party non-Leninist nation on the planet. North Korea is the full apple, and that nation, as was Sweden, is nearly bankrupt.
So sure, I am in favor of reshaping Obamacare, and if we can adopt a system of universal healthcare and broader opportunities for all.
“Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness,” at its core, means the right to live, the right to grow, the right to learn, the right to work, the right to achieve, the right to excel, the right to pray or not to do so, the right to prosper, the right to provide for your family, and the right to keep that which you have earned. The Founding Fathers, when drafting the Declaration of Independence, meant that those words are about the right to have opportunities.
“All men are created equal” in this great nation means that we each have the right to begin that path, as your personal journey toward greatness.
So does my belief in those words make me a Socialist? Does the desire to have better, universal healthcare in this nation make me a Socialist?
Absolutely not, because Socialism is a specific thing, and liking parts of a pseudo-socialist platform does not entitle you to call yourself a complete apple on the tree of Socialism.
Is Bernie Sanders Really a Socialist?
If Bernie Sanders does not advocate the philosophy that the government owns everything, then he is not a Socialist. Perhaps he aspires to be half an apple, perhaps if I met him, shook his hand, and complimented him for his equestrian skills, he might thank me warmly, as he is a well-known pedestrian. Those terms are not interchangeable, and I sense I’m living in the Tower of Babble.
I cherish language, but when you call yourself a Socialist without living fully to the expectations of that term, I fail to understand who you are or what you believe. And you either vote for a full candidate or you do not.
Imagine they each have segments of their platforms scrawled on their bodies. We, as voters, do not have the luxury of selecting a little left knee, labeled Socialized Medicine and a little right shoulder, labeled a Strong Military. I need to know who a candidate is, what he or she believes, and I somehow need a sense of how that person might perform, situationally. But telling me that someone is a Socialist when he is not only introduces confusion into any logical discussion.
What I am against (and one thing I am for)
So here’s the bottom line, and it’s more what I’m opposed to than what I favor.
I’m opposed to anything that heads us to become a one-party system, of the left or the right.
I’m opposed to the government taking over and owning all businesses.
I’m opposed to right-wing Fascists marching in our streets and breaking windows. One Kristallnacht in the history of mankind was enough.
I’m opposed to Fascists stifling free speech.
I’m opposed to Socialists stifling free speech.
I’m opposed to Donald Trump’s arrogant demeanor, and he is a disgrace to the office of the presidency.
I’m in favor of everything that’s done being done through the legislative process. That’s the only way peaceful change can be accomplished in this nation. It’s up to us to select legislators who can walk and chew gum.
And finally, an American cannot truly be a full apple Socialist, knowing the only nation that has fully embraced that concept is North Korea.
While I’m in that little confessional booth, I’ll also admit I rarely watch Fox News. It’s interesting that Leftists throw those accusations so easily, “brainwashed” Neo-Nazis must be my BFFs, etc.
Look up the roster of those who support UANI, United Against a Nuclear Iran. Those are the guys who play in my sandbox.
Alan N. Levy, who died in 2019, was a political columnist at Audere, blogger at The Times of Israel, and the author of The Tenth Plague, an acclaimed geo-political thriller that focuses on a future with a nuclear-armed Iran, published in September from Chickadee Prince Books. The book is available right now in paperback at your local bookstore, from Amazon and B&N, and also on Kindle.
This piece has been edited for accuracy and clarity. Image by Geralt/Pixabay