Hyperbole is the theme of modern political discourse. Whichever channel you turn to or table you sit around, it’s always “he hates America” or “he’s probably Hitler,” but among the most common epithets spat at the American left is “Socialist.” Barry O, being the most prominent of the coalition of milquetoasts known as the Democratic Party, gets that one especially frequently.
And boy howdy is that some bullshit.
Given how far right politics has shifted, it’s not surprising that there are a lot of folks who can’t tell the difference between a socialist and anyone to the left of Attila the Hun, but even a cursory glance at his economic policies proves otherwise. Dependably hyperbolic Marx described capitalists as “vampire labor,” sucking the lifeblood out of their workers. I can’t think of a better metaphor for Goldman Sachs than the bloodsucking undead. Remember how the president dealt with that little kerfuffle in ’08? He wasn’t exactly scrambling for the stakes and holy water.
To be fair, most folks today don’t actually know the first thing about socialism other than that it hates freedom, so it must be bad. People associate socialism with foreignness in America, and if bumper stickers on battered pickups around the nation are any indication, we sure hate us some foreigners.
Given the birther movement and the common, bewildering insistence that Obama is a Muslim, it’s hard to pin this phenomenon on anything save poorly disguised bigotry.