Letter: Opposite of socialism

March 22, 2014 

If "socialism" is when the government owns Exxon-Mobil, what is it when Exxon-Mobil owns the government? It's amusing to see Republican letters to the Herald frequently refer to our "socialist" president. Doesn't anyone ever pause for a moment and ask, "What is socialism, and is he really taking us down a road in that direction?"

The direction this nation is heading, distressingly evident since the Reagan administration, is corporate, kleptocratic oligarchy, which is precisely the opposite of socialism.

Back in 1960, President Eisenhower, as he left the White House, warned of the military-industrial complex gaining control of the legislative process through bribery in the form of campaign support or threats to withhold that support. Long before that, the notorious "Robber Barons," at the outset of the Industrial Age, turned their enormous wealth into political power that enabled them to destroy the very capitalism they had used so skillfully to amass their fortunes.

Feeding the hungry, housing the homeless and providing health care to the sick is not socialism; it's simply what a wealthy, compassionate nation should do for its least fortunate citizens. It's time to vote those Republican hypocrites out of Congress and install representatives who will pursue genuine American values.

MARTIN BENSKY, Richland

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