One of the things that quickly tires me is overblown political rhetoric; although it’s easy to give in to the temptation (I sure have a time or ninety), it simply serves no good purpose in advancing a civil and constructive political discourse. I’m all for making arguments for and against candidates (see the post below), but demonization is practically the standard, not the exception these days.
Consider, for instance, the claim that Obama’s policies are socialist; I’ve heard & read all sorts of people make this charge… heck, McCain’s campaign practically says it these days. The question is, does it really stand up? Are Obama’s policies actually socialist in nature? Peter Sutterman succinctly demonstrates that the answer is, well, “no”. As he notes, in socialism, it is the means of production that are collectively owned & administered. And none of Obama’s policies come close to such a position.
While many of Obama’s positions might have the tenor of socialism (as do some of McCain’s, for that matter), they simply don’t fit the definition of socialism, and hence I think it’s a disservice to the truth to throw around terms that simply don’t apply.