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Labels have no place in public discourse

Revolutionary War Soldiers
Revolutionary War Soldiers Photo by skeeze from Pixabay

This is the time of year where you get the year in review, or worse yet, decade in review treacle. A bunch of talking heads spend time telling you what has been significant, as how could you possibly know? I say who cares? We need to pull ourselves out of the malaise and start looking ahead. Use this time wisely to apply some critical thought toward what is really important, such as who will be elected for example. One thing that you will be bombarded with by politicians and mainstream media are labels. It is basically identifying another person with a noun, rather than describing their actions with verbs. Examples include socialist, liberal, conservative, blah blah. Most people that use these words do not even know what they mean.

Change…good or bad?

George Washington Photo by WikiMediaImages from Pixabay

I guess that depends on where you stand. Louis XVI and Nicholas II would probably argue change is bad. George Washington and John Adams would say it's good. Revolutionaries want change. So I guess Washington and Adams were revolutionaries, like Che Guevara. But wait, Washington and Adams were Democratic revolutionaries and Guevara was a Marxist. If you were a peasant eating your gruel in 1789, while your children died under whatever monarchy ruled at the time (the primary form of government worldwide since the time of Christ), change was probably good. Or if you lived under a corrupt fascist dictator in 1956, would you care what changed? My point is that we never refer to Washington or Adams as revolutionaries, as that is a label we associate with anarchists. But wait, George III would have called Washington and Adams anarchists, and by definition he would be right. The difference is that Washington and Adams were successful (with help from the French) and Che failed. I am not saying that the American version of democracy has not achieved great things. However, there are no guarantees that it will continue. We need to challenge those that would try to tell us what to think by using labels, that they do not understand, to achieve their own agendas.

Mistah Kurtz…he dead

Soldier footprints in concrete
Battle of Cowpens Photo by skeeze from Pixabay

True enough, but Bernie Sanders is not. Sanders…and Elizabeth Warren are referred to by some as socialists. I guess that is because they support universal health care and additional taxes on the wealthy. Some also refer to many European countries as socialist countries, because they happen to provide universal health care, free higher education, liberal family leave policies and higher taxes to support these items. The U.S has Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and Unemployment Benefits. In fact over 60% of the budget goes towards these items. Of course these labelers would never say the U.S. is a socialist country. So what is the definition of a socialist country then? There is none. The closest you could come is a country that officially declares itself a socialist country. This list changes all the time and is fairly small. It includes Laos, Vietnam, Ethiopia, Albania among others. I don't see any Scandinavian countries on the list. Or the U.S. Or Canada. Now if someone were to say that Sanders or Warren supported a more socialized system of health care or taxation, that would be a fair assessment. However, if you take issue with their approach, then have some details to make your point, or keep it to yourself.


Arc de Triumph
Arc de Triumph Photo by FreePhotos from Pixabay

As I've written before, it does not matter really what you think as you evaluate your choices for elective office in 2020. I would just suggest you do not let labels used by others be your talking points. Or let others tell you something is not possible. I am sure many in power told those revolutionaries and anarchists, Washington and Adams, that challenging the British Empire would never work. No one had ever been successful before etc. It was ludicrous…why rock the boat…monarchies were the only way to run a nation etc. I suppose if they had listened we would all be watching Mr. Bean reruns on our Britbox and eating crumpets now. I am not saying another revolution is going to happen. I am saying that evolution within the current system may be required. Or at least given some thought. Or you can always be a Children of the Corn extra.

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