The election deadline in the U.S. is three weeks away and I have to say, I’ve never seen any election like this one. It’s indescribable. And since I’m a writer and am sensitive to how words are used and what they really mean, I thought I’d write about some words that are being used in the campaign.
Political campaigns always give new meanings to words for use as propaganda. That’s nothing new. But that means we have to be vigilant about what the politicians are actually saying. We have to examine the words they use, and their motives for using them.
The word Socialist has been shot at progressive and even moderate candidates hoping that the emotional charge it carries will cause fear in the hearts of the voters. But what is Socialism? Here’s the dictionary definition: “1. a theory or system of social organization that advocates the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, capital, land, etc., by the community as a whole, usually through a centralized government.” (Dictionary App)
Okay, I get why this word is used as a weapon and sticks in some people’s craw. People hear the word socialism and think of Communism, which is based on definition #3. “the Marxist theory that socialism is the stage following capitalism in the transition of a society to communism, characterized by the imperfect implementation of collective principles.” (Dictionary App)
Well, we know how well Communism worked out for most of the countries that subscribed to that form of government. Not so well. But Socialism has worked out well for most of the European countries. For the most part their people are happy and prosperous.
We, the people of The United States, have socialistic programs. We own The White House, The Capital Building, The Supreme Court Building, and thousands, if not millions, of acres of public lands. We share them and are responsible for maintaining them with our tax dollars. We also share roads, bridges, and lots of other things. We also have social programs like, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and a whole slew of other programs for our people from Vets to school children. Many citizens benefit from these programs. In my opinion these programs help people live happier, healthier lives and that makes our country stronger.
I think moving toward socialism and away from capitalism, is a good thing and I base that on the definition of capitalism: “1. an economic system in which investment in and ownership of the means of production distribution, and exchange of wealth is made and maintained chiefly by private individuals or corporations, especially as contrasted to cooperatively or state-owned means of wealth.” Okay, that right there tells me, I don’t want our country to operate on capitalism any longer, because the top 1% who control everything don’t share well with the rest of us. And the bottom 99% are getting poorer all the time. Let me give you a personal example.
My sister and her family live in Renton, Washington. When they moved there, they had to rent a house because of some financial set backs. They’ve lived in this house for five years. It is falling down around their ears. It’s owned by a huge corporation that owns many rental properties all over the country. They pay almost $3000 a month for this trashy house, which they have a hard time getting repairs for. When the Covid-19 virus hit, my sister was working as a massage therapist. They needed both incomes to make ends meet. However, because she takes care of my 88 year old mother, she took the option to stay home and receive unemployment benefits so that she could protect the family, but most particularly my mom. They are caught in the trap of a huge corporation that charges any amount of money they want for substandard housing.
I know of young people who work, but can’t afford to rent apartments, or to buy houses, so they live with their parents. And of other people who can’t afford the medicines they need. I’m sure you do too. It’s obvious to me that we need to make some changes so that everyone can have a roof over their head, a good education, meaningful work, and proper health care.
Perhaps getting rid of privately owned businesses isn’t the answer. Maybe we need to come up with a new financial system that benefits all the people and allows for financial innovation. I’m not an economist but I bet there are some creative people out there who could come up with something great.
To compare our system of government to socialism here is the definition of a Republic, which the United States is currently: “1. a state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives chosen directly or indirectly by them. 3. a state in which the head of government is not a monarch or other hereditary head of state.”
I would like to point out that that the people having a say in running the government applies to many Socialist countries as well. They have constitutions, they vote for their leaders. Even countries, like England that have a Monarch, are not ruled by that Monarch alone. It’s the Prime Minister and her or his coalition of elected officials the run the country in tandem with the Monarch.
It seems to me that we’re getting all hot and bothered by words that have been used as weapons to sway voters to particular candidates for so many years, we’ve stopped taking the time to examine just what the catch phrases mean. That’s why I did some research for this post. I wanted to be sure I knew exactly what I was talking about and voting for.
But ultimately for me, this election is about which candidates care for his or her fellow citizens? Getting to the bottom of that isn’t very hard. It’s said that actions speak louder than words. So we should be looking at the actions of all the candidates running up and down the ballot. What is their core driving intent? What kind of character do they have? I’m not going to answer that one for you. You have to drop all the rhetoric and look at how each candidate running for office treats people. Have they learned anything from their mistakes? Are they willing to put the people they govern first? If not, I’m not voting for them. You are free to make your own decisions about who to vote for in this election.
Welcome new followers. Thanks for reading, liking, and commenting. I hope you stay safe and well.
Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2020
Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards.
Have you ever experienced life shattering events? Yeah, most of us have. In The Space Between Time, Jenna Holden gets slammed by her fiancé walking out, her mother’s untimely death, and losing her job all in one week. But she receives unexpected help when she finds her three-times great-grandmother’s journals and begins the adventure of a lifetime.
The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published.
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