Regarding the Aug. 25 article “Republicans paint dark picture of U.S. future if Trump loses,” Trump is hoodwinking voters by trying to make “democratic socialism” and “communism” synonyms, ascending to mind-numbing heights of outdatedness, dimwittedness, hypocrisy, narcissism and ignorance.
In political science — a discipline Trump abhors — the differences are axiomatic: Under communism, a totalitarian government controls all media and means of production, outlawing private business and property ownership (ex. North Korea); contrastingly, democratic socialism embraces multiparty/representative governance, a free press, private enterprise and personal property ownership (example: Germany). Trump eschews such “elitist” facts.
First, outdatedness: Trump's fearmongering insidiously invokes when the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was a dystopian dictatorship. Note to Trumposaurus: The USSR went extinct in 1991.
Second, dimwittedness: In 2018, Trump bellowed that Democrats “want to raid Medicare to pay for socialism,” a stunningly stupid statement — even for him.
Third, hypocrisy: Since 2018, Trump has handed the U.S. agriculture industry $32 billion in bailouts to offset his protectionist tariffs — quintessential socialism.
Fourth, narcissism: Trump’s pea-brained proclamations — which assume that everyone is as clueless about rudimentary civics as he is — belie his acute narcissistic personality disorder.
Last, ignorance: Indisputably, 1950s-era America, to which Trump's “MAGA” slogan largely refers, brimmed with socialism: a 91 percent top-tier income tax; taxpayer-funded college on the GI Bill; and government-backed mortgages.
In fact, the U.S. has been a democratic socialist/capitalist hybrid for almost 120 years: Theodore Roosevelt’s “Square Deal” (1904), Franklin Roosevelt’s “New Deal” (1933) and Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” (1964) tamed unbridled capitalism with sweeping socialist initiatives. Today, Americans embrace socialism, holding Social Security, Medicare and public K-12 education sacrosanct.
Wisely, the U.S. has used a sizable dollop of socialism to generate unprecedented prosperity. Trump’s pestilential mishmash of anachronistic diatribes, stultifying nescience, rank duplicity and boundless self-worship can't make “socialism” a four-letter word.
Edogawa Ward, Tokyo
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