When Did Socialism Become a Dirty Word?

Most, if not all, of us had American History at some point in our education. We were taught that America was made great on the backs of those who worked hard, served their country and communities. Of course there are other things along the way, such as hard times, social changes, and wars, but the details of our history is not what concerns me so much as the big picture.

Going back to the birth of our country, there were a few things that England, our then ruler, was imposing on the colonists that really stuck in their craw. Religious suppression and unfair taxes seem to come to mind to me. When the time came for the leaders of the American Revolution to start making their own rules, a little document called the Bill of Rights was created. Part of the number one Right is the freedom to of religious exercise. Part of almost every religion that I can think of is to help your neighbor.

Jesus stated that one must help the poor and a rich person has about as much of a chance of entering heaven as a camel has of passing through the eye of the needle. Buddha stated that attachment (to things) causes suffering, One of the five pillars of Islam is Zakat or to give a portion of one’s riches to care for those who are in need (read the poor). Judaism has Tzedakah or charity as one of their founding principals (in spite of the jokes). I could go on.

Here is where my confusion comes in. Most Republicans want to get rid of public programs like Social Security, Medicare, Disability, current health care legislation, and other resources that have been established by past government officials to help the needy, the poor, and those less fortunate. Most Republicans also claim to be fundamentalist Christians who follow the Word of God and Jesus among a small following from other religious sects.

So here is where my confusion sets in. If Republicans are so Christian why are the programs developed to help those in need under attack while tax breaks for the rich and greedy corporations passed into law so easily? Even the Tea Party, that ultra right wing Republican group is doing the same claiming that the Constitution and God are the basis of their movement support breaking the common man to forward their own agenda to get richer and fatter. I just don’t see the work of God, Allah, Jehovah, or any other god in that agenda.

To be fair, this trend is not just followed by the Republicans or the Tea Party, but is across the board. I just see the vocal Republicans who use their religious memberships to further their career as much worse than those who do not wave the flag of “belief” to gain popularity with the general public.

Honestly, if any political leader truly believed what their religious beliefs stated, they would be for the social programs. They would want to help America out of our current crisis and not bail out the fat cats, but instead develop programs that will actually put us back to work and care for those who simply can’t work. There would have been no bail outs for the fat cats when they got themselves in trouble.

So, really when did socialism become a dirty word? It is not a dirty word, it is a good thing that shows that the government and the nation’s communities have a heart and want for society to be healthy.

And before you comment, yes, I know that there are those that abuse the system and take when they shouldn’t. But the vast majority using the system are doing so because they have been left no other choice.

Let’s be proud of being socialist and mark it up to being religious or to being a good person. Your reasons for helping others does not matter; what truly matters is that we as people and as a government show mercy and caring to those who are in need.

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