This meme is presently floating around on the internet. It quotes President Truman accurately. But do his decades-old words apply as well in 2019?
Truman referred specifically to Social Security; farm price supports; bank deposit insurance; and labor union organizing. But today, vocal and visible socialist-Democrat leaders push other interests, exotic and impractical ones Truman did not cite:
War on Christianity; razing America?s capitalist economic system; single-payer health care; abolition of law enforcement; taxpayer-funded transsexual surgeries; instituting innumerable clampdown regulations that strangle small businesses; free college tuition for all.
Destroying the ideal of the nuclear family by normalizing the notion that entire zoofuls of odd associations are equally valid family units; infanticide; ideological indoctrination in the place of legitimate education.
Taking from parents rightful authority over their children, with control given to government agencies; and ?climate change? hysteria that urges radical coast-to-coast transformations of American life ? everything from transportation to architecture to what foods we can put on the family table at supper time.
All of that is a far piece from anything Truman meant in 1952. In fact, there is no record of his ever having endorsed any of those things.
Away from specifics, Truman made a general point about language usage. He cautioned that some in politics misused the word ?socialism? as a device with which to keep voters from considering other possible solutions to problems.
?Socialism is their name for almost anything that helps people,? Truman said.
There are historic examples of American socialists advancing legitimate interests like civil liberties and racial justice. Socialists helped found the ACLU and NAACP. (Today, unfortunately, those once-noble organizations have shriveled into partisan shills for Democrats.)
And there are cases of figures exploiting popular apprehensions about foreign ideologies.
At one point in my life, I found socialism?s siren song attractive. I liked the idea of human needs being met. Of freedom from want. Material equality.
It seemed the path to common welfare.
But I realized that others? life decisions were not mine to make (so long as third persons weren?t at risk), no matter how strongly I felt or superior I believed my conclusions to be.
And I learned that while equal opportunities can and should be available to all men, there can never be identical outcomes. Governmental policies intended to ensure sameness of consequence produce misery and want, confiscating resources from earners for redistribution to non-earners. Unfairness and inadequacy are the long-term results.
And, of course, the world offered the indisputable object lessons of country after socialist country crumbling into desolation.
Truman?s excerpted 1952 words were felicitous to 2019 meme mongers pushing ideology. And that hewed portrayal might seem compelling, but only so long as one doesn?t look closely. Without the benefit of context, and recognition of vastly different contemporary particulars, it is deceptive.
?DC Larson?s recent political books include ?That a Man Can Again Stand Up: American Spirit vs sedition during the incipient Trump Revolution? and ?Ideas Afoot: political commentary, cultural observations, and media analyses.? Essays by him have run in Daily Caller, American Thinker, Huffington Post, USA Today, and elsewhere. Newspapers across his home state of Iowa carried his essays championing the Trump candidacy and presidency.?