HuffPo: What's Wrong With Socialism, Anyway?

Barack Obama may not welcome defenses like this one, but they represent the views of many of his acolytes, nonetheless. It’s no secret that the liberal elites who’ll hold the levers of power in an Obama administration really are eager to give socialism its first real test in America. And while this essay comes from someone at Hufington Post, it would just as easily come from half the Democratic Congress speaking in a moment of candor:

According to Wikipedia, socialism is an economic system based on cooperation rather than competition; a planned economy governed by the state. Socialists believe that capitalism unfairly concentrates power and wealth among a small segment of society that controls capital and creates an unequal society. There is revolutionary socialism – think Bolshevik Revolution – and then there’s the electoral path toward socialism – think Benevolent Socialism or Norway’s “spreading the wealth…”

My point is, Democratic socialism has been around for a long time, even in this country. The New Deal, Social Security, Medicaid/Medicare, and President Bush’s farm subsidies are social programs here in America. That $700 billion bailout with the government owning a stake in our banks that McCain and other Republicans voted for – Socialism. Those checks you Alaskans are getting back thanks to your non-socialist governor – Socialism. Vermont even has an independent socialist senator, Bernard Sanders, who won 65% of the vote. This isn’t communism, folks. Communism is a totalitarian system of government in which a single authoritarian party controls state owned means of production. America, even with its social programs and controversial expansion of eminent domain law, isn’t even close to becoming a Red Commie State.

We have serious problems in our country right now. Our infrastructure such as education and healthcare is falling apart. We have families without health insurance; graduating high school students who still can’t read, write or do arithmetic; small businesses struggling to compete in this global based economy; and mothers and fathers watching their sons and daughters march off to die in an unpopular war. If solving these problems for the benefit of America is considered “socialist” then what the heck does keeping the same policies in affect for the next four years mean – “patriotism?” Please people, the only things Red in this election year are states (and that map is shrinking), McCain’s face during a presidential debate, and Sarah Palin’s red Valentino suit from Neiman Marcus.

Carnes’ essay is pretty confused; I suspect it has to do with getting your definitions from wikipedia. For example, socialism, communism, and capitalism are economic systems only — at least in theory. It’s only in the real world that communist regimes are totalitarian ones. But Carnes is clearly not talking about the real world, because in the real world capitalism is both the only system that works, and the only one consistent with our constitution and history. Nevertheless, Carnes’ views are consistent with what Barack Obama has called for — higher taxes on already highly-taxed earners, removing a majority of Americans from the tax rolls entirely, and government control over an ever-growing portion of the economy.

Ms. Carnes makes clear that electing Barack Obama president would set the economy on a brand new socialist path. Her eagerness to label it that way is both surprising and refreshing. Let’s hope the voters think carefully about the revolution they may be starting when they cast their ballots.