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Obama administration's strategy not 'socialism'

"Socialism" is the new fear word being used by those opposed to the Obama administration to attack its policies. I saw this word on dozens of signs at the anti-tax/anti-government spending rally in front of Paul and Babe.

Three cheers for the protesters. Our democracy is built on open debate. But should the debate really be about socialism? Socialism advocates the government ownership of industry and financial institutions.

It's true that the Obama administration is trying to get the U.S. car industry back on its feet and is shoring up the banking industry so that we don't have a total collapse of our financial system.

But Obama and the Democrats do not advocate socialism, or the government ownership of industry and the financial system. So, what's up with this new trend by some Republicans and the anti-Obama faction of yelling "Socialism!" like McCarthyites hurled the accusation "Communist!" in the 1950s?

It's a strategy to generate fear and negative feelings without really discussing what's best for our country.

"It is sad but true our country is headed toward total socialism like a fully loaded freight train headed down a steep decline at full throttle," a protester is quoted as saying in the Pioneer's front page article April 16. "If you love America, it's time to stop the train."

I think it's time to stop making this an "I love America and you don't" debate, which is really what the tag "socialism" tries to do. Yes, the Obama administration is trying to spend us out of the recession. Do those opposing this strategy have a better plan?

Stephen Booth