With an election on the way, don’t let fear govern your choices

Self-awareness will save us this coming presidential election.

  • Thursday, March 5, 2020 1:26pm
  • Opinion

Bernie Sanders has been heavily criticized because he said Cuba’s Castro did some good things. History tells us that Mussolini was well loved because he got the trains running on time in Italy. These statements don’t negate the evil that Castro and Mussolini did. Why are they construed as either right or wrong? Can’t even the most evil person also do some good?

President Donald Trump has done some good by finally publicly stating that China has been stealing our technology. He has also correctly stated that our European allies have not been paying their fair share for their defense. I don’t like Trump, but he told the truth on these occasions, no matter how obnoxious he is.

I’ve had progressives gasp when I point out areas of agreement with Trump because they can only see the evil things he’s said and done.

An example of an irrational statement by Trump is his comment about Michael Bloomberg being only 5-foot-8. I thought Bloomberg’s rebuttal of Trump: “The president is lying. He is a pathological liar who lies about everything: his fake hair, his obesity, and his spray-on tan” was a great comeback!

If we take President Trump at face value, then all people 5-foot-8 or shorter are therefore inferior. That covers most women whose average height is 5-4 and many men. How does a person’s height have anything to do with leadership? U.S. Grant was, after all, only 5-8, and he helped win the Civil War and then led the nation as president for eight years.

I’ve had at least two conservatives tell me I’m not a moderate because I’ve said things that fall in the spectrum of a liberal. What they didn’t mention is that I also wrote publicly in a previous column that I equated abortion with what ancient Israel did to its children by sacrificing their children to the god Moloch. Why must I be put in an either/or box?

Trump and other Republicans have defined “socialism” as a four-letter word. You’re going to hear it a lot if Bernie Sanders gets the Democratic nomination. Unfortunately, most people can’t define what the word actually means.

My libertarian friend got all upset about me using the word. He went on a rant. I asked him to define the term. He got angry and gave me a website that had 50 videos defining socialism. He thought I should know what socialism is. Finally, after much coaxing, he gave his definition as, “More government control over everything.”

I define socialism as an economic system where goods are shared with the weakest and the despised in society for the public good. Socialism is neither good nor bad. We could pick the good parts and ignore the bad.

Capitalism only arose in the 1850s with the coming of the Industrial Revolution. And its definition was only solidified during the Franklin D. Roosevelt era into the two camps that exist today. I told my friend that capitalism is a great economic system – if it’s regulated by government to temper its evils. He called me a “quasi-socialist.” I responded that I was also a “quasi-capitalist.” He retorted that “quasi-capitalism” is an oxymoron.

My friend objects to government because it takes money from the wealthy and gives it to the poor. It often does that badly. He believes that, once started, socialism’s slippery slope will drag the whole country down to loss of freedom for all.

I suggested he consider that a family is a form of government. A family is, by its nature, socialistic. Kids produce very little when they are young, but they’re provided for and cared for without any expectation that they should carry their own weight. Based on his definition of government, we should take our infant children and tell them that they should fend for themselves and not live off the labor of their parents. That’s the real beginning of the slippery slope of socialism that he hates so deeply.

Some might contend that Jesus Christ made strong socialist statements about caring for the weak and despised and acted socialistically when he healed thousands of people and fed thousands without asking for a copay or a fee.

This is already an emotional year. It’s only going to get worse as November approaches. Both political parties are going to push our buttons and manipulate us by causing us to fear. Words have the power to disconnect our ability to reason.

Let’s not allow fear to govern our choices. Let’s conquer it by becoming more self-aware of the hot buttons that set us off and control us. My friend is deeply afraid of being controlled, but he has let his emotions rule him. Let’s not make the same mistake.

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