In support of the S word

The election has much of our attention these days.  The disbelief over the undecided (really, people, grow a pair), the shock over those who think Palin is just the best thing since sliced bread (wow, just… wow).  And now, after all the ‘Obama pals around with terrorists’ and ‘Obama hates white people’ and blahblahblah ridiculousness, the McCain campaign keeps throwing around socialism as if it’s some sort of anti-American voodoo.  Watch out for those socialists, folks.  They spit on apple pie, stomp on the American flag, and really, really hate baseball.

As a socialist, or at least a libertarian socialist, I admit that my feelings are a little bit hurt.  What in the world is so un-American about socialism?

Maybe my left-leanings come from the fact that I grew up in a socialist system: that of the US military.  You’d be hard pressed to find a better example of functional socialism: housing, universal health care, even shopping controlled outside of the ‘civilian’ system (no tax on military bases).   Still, the US military is a bit too authoritative for me; I am more of a fan of respecting individual liberties… which, doggone it, seems pretty much like pro-American values to me.

Of course this house is a pro-Obama house.  (I’m working very hard to hold any further snide comments on that issue.)  But it doesn’t mean that he’s my dream politician.  I am fascinated and excited that he has been able to bring people together, excite youth, and make a jaded grump like me feel that maybe there is a way out of this authoritative tunnel of doom we’ve been on for 8 years (I’d argue we’ve been on it since 1980, but that’s another story.)  The hope I have for the Obama mission of change is that he can slowly turn us around, so that our politics can find middle ground in a place that is truly center.  Then maybe us voodoo-welding anti-American socialists can come out and play.