The boy who cried socialism
In Aesop's Fable The Boy Who Cried Wolf, we learn the moral "that when liars speak truth they are not believed".
I've found that this is not always true, especially where politics is concerned.
In politics, truth is a relative concept that lies can beat into submission by repetition.
The Boy Who Cried Socialism has been accusing any action that the government takes that might help working class people of being "socialism" for years, decades, even generations.
[note: action that the government takes that hurts working class people are rarely socialism, and thus are usually good]
According to The Boy Who Cried Socialism, anything "socialism" is bad.
"Socialism" became a catch-all term. Communism, Fascism, Feminism, Atheism, the Boogeyman, it all got lumped together as socialism. The actual meaning of the word was irrelevant.
But unlike The Boy Who Cried Wolf, people refused to stop believing The Boy Who Cried Socialism. The more he lied, the more firmly conservatives believed him.
Eventually people who weren't conservatives began doubting the meaning of the word socialism, and that's when two things happened - one awesome and one very disturbing.
"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone. "It means just what I choose it to mean - neither more or less."
"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."
"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master - that's all."
- Lewis Carroll
That video is a good example of what I mean.
Since The Boy Who Cried Socialism has accused virtually everyone of being a socialist, socialism had not only lost it's sting, it had lost its meaning.
So when people like Bernie Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez ran openly as "socialists", conservatives had to explain why people like Obama and Clinton should be scary (because everyone left of Reagan is equally guilty of socialism).
This has forced them to list actual issues that a majority of people like, and try to convince people that, for example, healthcare for your children is something to be afraid of.
It's an almost impossible task.
It's proof that the Dems, and the left, have made a huge, half-century mistake in running away from the word.
However, there's a disturbing flip side to this story.
In the video Meghan McCain says the socialists Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez want to turn us into a socialist country like Venezuela.
The response is that the socialists Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez want to turn us into a socialist country like Sweden or Norway.
Here's the thing:
Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez aren't socialists.
Venezuela, Sweden and Norway aren't socialist countries.
The entire debate is framed around a lie.
Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez are New Deal Democrats. Their platform looks like Truman's 1948 platform.
Venezuela, Sweden and Norway are Social democracies. They are built upon the capitalist model. There is no revolutionary elements in them. Thus they are no real threat to the ruling elite.
The fact that Social Democracies are considered "socialism" shows that The Boy Who Cried Socialism has won.
The word "socialism" has been redefined in everyone's mind, eventhough anyone can open a dictionary and read it's real meaning.
Even after a radical shift to the left, political discourse would never even dream of debating actual socialism. The words don't exist to have that discussion.
George Orwell would understand.
"The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of Ingsoc, but to make all other modes of thought impossible.
- George Orwell, 1984