Kirk's Opinion - The Toledo Blade Local Newspapers

Clarifying socialism and communism

Editor:

The May 15 West Valley View printed only two letters — both were attacks on some Democrats running for president. Do these letters express the views of all people in the West Valley or were they only two letters submitted that week? Some response is warranted.

The writers mistakenly equate socialism with communism. Both are political and economic systems that promote equality, but in socialist societies each person chooses his or her own path in life and spends whatever wealth they acquire however he or she wants.

Private citizens, not the government, own and operate the means of production. So the references to the Soviet Union are irrelevant — no Democrats are espousing communism.

In the United States, Medicare, Social Security and public education are forms of socialism. Which of these should we do away with? We have a capitalist system that rewards those who are hard working, lucky, smart, devious or born to the right parents. Thus, there is risk of a large gap between those at the top and those near the bottom of the economic ladder.

A writer mentioned the tax disparity, but in a misleading way. Yes, the wealthiest 5% of all U.S. income taxpayers pay 90% of federal income tax revenue, but, in fact, those numbers reflect the amount of wealth that group controls. The recent Trump tax cut benefits the richest individuals more than the average taxpayer by a large margin. In another example, the repeal of the estate tax last year helped those who inherit up to $22 million from paying an inheritance or “death tax” on assets that have often never been taxed. Trump’s golden rule is: “Those who have the gold make the rules.”

Studies have shown the U.S. health care system is the most costly, but does not rank in the top 10 for quality of care. Big Pharma and insurance companies don’t mind, but those of us struggling with health care costs should mind. Countries such as Canada, Spain, Australia and Denmark deliver better care for less cost. One writer suggested that the government of Finland “collapsed” due to the cost of socialized medicine, but what really happened is the center-right prime minister and his cronies resigned a month before scheduled elections when his attempts to limit health care failed.

Note: Years ago, Bernie Sanders praised the advances in health care and education in Cuba under Fidel Castro, but he did not praise communism or the authoritarian government.

Free college tuition? It has paid off nicely for Germany, Ireland and several other countries. Meanwhile, Mr. Trump’s policies have created a $2 trillion deficit in about two years, none of it benefiting our educational or wellness programs.

Sadly, our president attacks our courts, intelligence agencies, minorities, women, journalists and allies. He has been caught in lies and misleading statements in public over 10,000 times. He inherited an improving economic and employment situation and falsely claims credit for starting it. Yet many people support him, perhaps because their minds are damaged by the constant lies of Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and Fox “News.”

Thank you for giving space to “the other side” of these issues.

John Flynn

Goodyear

Civil discourse going down the tubes

Editor:

I have been a reader of the West Valley View for decades, and the Letters to the Editor section is one of my first stops. It used to be a great way to get the pulse of the West Valley. Now, a few people have seemingly taken over the LTE section, and not in a good way. Name-calling, spiteful invective and alternate facts rule the day. It is rather scary realizing the people who author these missives actually believe the tripe they write (although it does explain a lot).

So, a public question, which I hope you print. In recent LTEs, Mr. Logan and others have taken to calling members of the party they do not support “Democraps.” Those authors are certainly entitled to think that way, although it’s disturbing to realize that’s as eloquent as they can be. I suppose when the president acts that way on a daily basis his supporters will mirror his actions. It would seem that as fewer Americans complete a rigorous education, the quality of discussion dissipates and ends with name-calling and general denigrative behavior.

I believe the West Valley View demeans itself when it publishes letters of that sort. It goes to the heart of my question, which is: Would it be OK for members of the other party (the non-Republicans) to publicly refer to them as “Rethuglicans?” And if so, would you print it? Free speech comes with responsibility. If people who use such terms when writing letters for publication believe it within their purview to freely use pejoratives, don’t be surprised when others take umbrage and direct it back at you.

And for the record, as well as being a veteran, I have been an independent voter for more than 30 years.

Judy M. Clark

Buckeye

Message to our

capitalist reader,

Mr. Logan of Buckeye

Editor:

You seem to confuse social democracy or democratic socialism with communism. You likely subscribe to the Red Scare mentality and falsely associate socialism with communism, when they are in fact not the same at all.

While they both aim to reduce social inequalities, communism employs the theory that there are no social classes and that the workers control the means of production and receive compensation based on the need to create a single, equal amount of wealth for all citizens. Socialism is the idea that workers earn wages they can spend as they choose while the government owns and operates the means of production. Both theories differ still from democratic socialism.

You consider the left to be “progressive, liberal, leftwing nutcases,” which — the redundancy of that statement aside — is clearly a Fox News-driven attempt at an insult. Fox has conditioned its followers to associate “progressive,” “liberal” and “leftwing” to be trigger words, because if its followers were educated to understand the differences between the types of socialism, which you clearly are unable to do, then perhaps they, like many others, would oppose a capitalistic society that has little to no regard for the wellbeing of its citizens.

Democratic socialism, which is the new face of the Democratic Party, is a political theory that endorses a capitalist economic policy with a commitment to eradicating inequality, oppression and poverty.

You seem to not have an issue with the capitalist part of democratic socialism since it is the same economic system the United States currently employs. So, by process of elimination, it sounds like it is the eradicating of social injustices that offends you. The Republican Party, after all, has been quite good at convincing its sympathizers that the oppressed are the oppressors.

Eric Harper

Buckeye

Definition of ‘Democrap’

Editor:

I would like to respond to Dennis Wood’s May 8 letter entitled “Name-calling.”

The author should have proofread his letter because I surely detected quite a bit of name-calling created by himself. Tsk tsk! He also should have done his homework and looked up the word “Democrap.” The Urban Dictionary gives a few definitions, which I will gladly list, because it is a real word with a few definitions.

Democrap, as defined by the Urban Dictionary:

A slang term used to convey the unmistakable (or unmistinkable) similarity between the Democratic Party’s espoused philosophy and ideals, and a bowel movement.

A warning that one has left the restroom in a state of olfactory distress.

Example 1: “If I’m financially successful, I should be punished by paying proportionally more in taxes than an individual of lower socioeconomic status. That’s a bunch of Democrap.”

Example 2: “Honey, you might want to stay out of the bathroom for a while. I just took a Democrap.”

Definition of the word “Democrap:” When you have had liberal politics shoved down your throat so often you don’t know whether to poop or go blind.

Democraps: Wealthy elites, master media manipulators, master propagandists, affluent creeps, boldface liars.

These definitions are listed from 2003 to 2008 and still pertain to today’s politics more than ever. I hope this clarifies things. You are welcome!

James Logan

Buckeye

Name-calling

hypocrisy

Editor:

I just read the letter to the editor in the May 8 edition of the West Valley View called “Name-calling” by Dennis Wood.

I agree with the author that name-calling is a problem, but as I read it I was amazed that the author first condemns and then uses this same tactic.

He built his case against name-calling by labeling those who engage in it as overcompensating for feelings of inferiority, developing delusions of grandeur, misinformed, mentally sick, lacking IQ, etc. He then applies most of these reasons to explain President Trump.

If he had stopped there, I would not have written this letter, but the misuse of logic and the blatant hypocrisy was just too much for me to ignore. After arguing for a link between name-calling and all sorts of personal problems, he then begins to name-call. He calls President Trump a “blowhard bully,” as well as other derogatory terms for others, such as “low-IQers” and “mudslingers.”

He ends the letter by quoting an old saying: “If the shoe fits, wear it.” In choosing this quote, did he not realize it describes his actions?

Perhaps we should all consider another quote: “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” Jesus Christ, in Matthew 7:4-5.

Randy Spiars

Litchfield Park

Trump strikes again: Narcissistic

personality disorder

Editor:

To see the symptoms of a person with narcissistic personality disorder, go to 10faq.com/health/narcissistic-personality-disorder-symptoms/10. Decide for yourself who this sounds like. After reading this, I have changed my mind about our president. I thought he was just a sociopath with delusions of grandeur. But now I realize he is a narcissistic sociopath. The website included above outlines the symptoms of a narcissistic. The symptoms fit Donald Trump to a tee.

Proof is in the pudding … sanctions, tariffs, warning other countries not to do anything to the United States “or else.” This guy is going to get us into another warring conflict and cause the American people to suffer, and he doesn’t even care how many American lives he is ruining, and is going to ruin. Prices are going to continue to rise at a phenomenal rate (i.e., gas and all commodities). Even after all this, there are still the diehards who will vote for him again. This will just go to prove once again how the ignorant rule our country, and are doing anything but making America great again. (“I may not always be right, but I am never wrong” will be their motto.)

Trump is out of control, and Americans are going to pay the bill; not only Americans, but people all over the planet. If Trump runs for another term as president and wins, I will be appalled at the people who reelected him. How can some people have eyes, yet cannot see; how can they have ears, and yet do not hear? They don’t want to hear the truth because it will overturn their personal world and opinions. This is called cognitive dissonance … you put your hands over your ears, shut your eyes and pretend the world will continue like you want it to … just shut out the truth so you won’t worry about it; at least you won’t worry until it kills you.

The truth will be results we are going to see, and they are not looking good for Americans, or many others on this earth.

Dennis Wood

Goodyear