Sunday, December 2, 2012
Americans ( at least Democrats) more positive toward socialism
Is Paul Ryan Making Americans More Favorably Inclined Toward Socialism?
Needless to say, this provoked the predictable fine whine of right-wing media. The conservative Washington Times newspaper declared: “Yes, Democrats, liberals favor socialism.” TheBusiness Insider website announced: “Everything Republicans Fear About Democrats Is True.” William F. Buckley’s old magazine, National Review, allowed as how there is “much that is peculiar, and much that is worrying” about the new polling data.
That reactionary Republicans get a little hysterical at the mention of the word “socialism” is not news. But the reaction to their reaction is. No two groups of Americans talk so much about socialism in so many public settings these days as Republican candidates and conservative commentators. And this appears to be influencing the discourse.
Indeed, it is fair to say that nothing has done more to promote the cause of socialism than the ranting and raving of Sarah Palin, Paul Ryan, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh. It’s not just that the right has spread the word about socialism, raising the ideology’s profile to levels rarely experienced in recent decades—if ever—and associating the ideology with Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, President Obama and a lot of other programs and people that Americans actually like. The fact that so many agitated, angry and—at least in some cases—politically toxic characters go apoplectic at the mere mention of the ideology has undoubtedly caused millions of Americans who don’t know much about socialism to say to themselves, “Anything thatPaul Ryan does not like must have some merit.”