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Tea party 'socialism' calls are seriously misguided

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The recent gatherings of Republicans and tea party people who have rallied under the banner, "freedom over socialism" are seriously misguided. Although this slogan is emotionally charged and obviously manipulative, it is fundamentally ridiculous.

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How is it that socialism is the nemesis of freedom? If socialism is an obstructer of freedom, why are socialist countries amongst those that have the highest standards of living (of which "freedom" is a measurable component) in the world? Why do socialist countries such as Denmark, Holland and Iceland constantly outrank the United States in quality of life?

On the other hand, if capitalism is so noble and liberating, why are most of the dictatorships south of our border, capitalist regimes? Is life in a brutal, capitalistic police state superior to life in a social democracy?

Additionally, if socialism is so demonic, why are the churches that most Republicans attend, socialist organizations? Why are churches not capitalist-based, with private or corporate owners, run for a profit, with admission charged at the door?

Is this letter stating that, therefore, "socialism is good and capitalism is bad?"

Certainly not! This letter is pointing out that capitalism and socialism are economic systems, either of which can be used for good, or misused for ill, but that each in themselves, although different, are inanimate.

Elements of socialism and socialist programs have long been a part of our culture and our economy and this phony bravado of pretending otherwise is silly.

However, if Republicans feel a need to cling to this nonsense -- that "socialism is evil," or that "socialist programs are the problem" -- then why don't they find the integrity to run candidates who thoroughly include this as a part of their political platform? Why not run candidates who campaign to purge our country from all socialist programs?

Campaign to eliminate, say, Social Security. End it. Terminate all social welfare services. Abolish Medicare, food stamps, heating assistance and unemployment insurance. Put an end to the redistribution of property taxes for public schooling. Abolish all of it. Cleanse us. Purify us.

And, if victorious? Then the Republicans and the tea bag people can all let out a big cheer!

After which, they can lock their doors, load their guns, and good luck.

Mark Thorson

Bemidji

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