Original post made by Don Frances on Dec 10, 2009
Yet it seems the battle rages on. On the national stage, for example, Obama's (or just anybody's) attempts at much-needed health care reform are [Web Link disparaged daily] as "socialist."
The slur is so common these days that its use has leaked into Mountain View's conversations as well. Last week, for example, a certain "Concerned Citizen" of the Shoreline West neighborhood [Web Link wrote the following] on the ==I Voice's== Town Square:
"Let me get this straight, I pay my rent and also somebody else's rent? Isn't that socialism?"
In this case, Concerned was concerned about the City Council's recent enthusiasm for an affordable housing project on Evelyn Avenue. (Funding for this project has already been collected over the years from developers working on other projects.)
But my favorite part of this post by Concerned and the reason I'm reprinting it here was his invocation of the very spirit of capitalism, which is synonymous with the history of Silicon Valley:
==I Socialism did not create the light bulb, the transistor, television or anything else, capitalism did that. In 1956, Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory, at 391 San Antonio Road, Mountain View, was the first company to work on silicon semiconductor devices in what came to be known as Silicon Valley. Silicon Valley was not a product of Socialism.==
==I Low income housing is a "nice" word for a tenement or slum.==
==I So if I dropped out of high school because I was lazy, then the people who worked hard owe me a living? That is not the values that my parents taught me. If I wanted something, I had to earn it, have always done that and always will. Lazy people and low achievers can move to some third world socialist country if they want a free ride off of people who have to work for a living.==
I couldn't agree more, Concerned. The truth is I see socialism (and lazy people, for that matter) everywhere I go.
I see it every time I drive on one of these socialist roads, built by taxpayer money. The whole state's filthy with them.
Or when the socialist firefighters douse the flames consuming my neighbor's house what is this, Russia?
Or just by hanging around Shoreline Park, a [Web Link socialist enterprise] built atop a former landfill. Nice park, comrades!
As for the lazy people, they're easily found at Shoreline Park, lolling around with the geese. Some are on the roads, too, neglecting to use their turn signals.
And a few are leaving comments on Town Square. You know them when you see them.
on Dec 11, 2009 at 10:01 am
Bravo, Don! Nicely put.
on Dec 12, 2009 at 12:24 am
Yes, the partisan rhetoric gets silly, but I am disappointed when an intelligent professional such as yourself, a newspaper editor, focuses in on the hyperbole rather than seeking out and giving consideration to the more well-spoken criticism of the current health care reform plan that is available. Here's a good starting point: Web Link
on Dec 14, 2009 at 11:07 am
Don Frances is a registered user.
Thanks guys for your comments. Mike: I appreciate that link, as Matt Welch, editor of Reason, is an old friend of mine. I bet he'd be amused that you're sending me his way.
For the record, I think it's important to address the hyperbole and silly partisan rhetoric, in that it's damaging and needs to be rebuffed (also, it often makes for good comedic fodder).