On KXNT‘s local evening radio show, host Casey Hendrickson said to Harry Reid, “So you’re on record as saying the government should be able to fire CEOs, which is a…socialist ideal.”
Reid, Senate Majority Leader (D-NV) responded,
“Well, I don’t know what the definition of ‘socialist ideal’ is…”
Casey was kind enough to inform the senator, as he quickly interjected with this most simple definition: “Government control of companies.”
So, the arguably most powerful senator in Washington doesn’t know the basic definition of one of the most common socioeconomic systems in the world today? Wow, that’s amazing. Should someone so ignorant really hold such a powerful office?
Of course, Harry Reid knows exactly what socialism means, but he is a politician whose practiced glibness slid him into one of the most foolish utterances I’ve heard since John Kerry ran for president.
Here’s what is really fascinating to me. I have noticed a disturbing trend since the “S” word first came up during the presidential election. Rather than confront the allegation that Barack Obama is a socialist, or that he even leans socialist, he and his supporters dodge the socialist question almost entirely by simply pretending that socialism is some abstract, amorphous thing that can’t be defined. And if it can’t be defined, then Obama certainly can’t be one. After all, how does one fit the definition of something without definition?
Socialism has become the new taboo. The merits of socialism are not to be debated.
So when it comes up, those accused of employing it simply shove the word under the rug, denying both that it indeed has a definition and that they actually fit that definition. This is a two pronged strategy. First, it deflects the debate from the merits (or lack thereof) of socialism, and second, it makes the accuser look bad…as if he or she is relying on nothing more than petty, dirty name calling.
The first time I encountered this I was so stunned at the sheer ignorance of such a tactic that I didn’t even know what to make of it. Someone responded to my calling Obama a socialist (during the campaign) with, “socialism is just a label.” Well, duh. What exactly does that label mean and can it accurately be applied to him is the real issue though. Harry Reid used the same tactic in his interview with Casey, and made himself look…even dumber, I’d have to say, than this person.
FOR THE RECORD:
A Socialist is “one who advocates or practices socialism.” Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary, definition 1
You don’t have to be a member of the Socialist party to be a socialist…so that makes Obama a socialist (little “s”), not a Socialist (big “S”).
Socialism is “any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.” Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary, definition 1
Repeat after me…”universal health care” (a.k.a socialized medicine), as just one example. Didn’t Obama campaign on this very thing? Does he not still “advocate” it to this day?
(Click here to listen to the full interview.)