You might be a socialist if…

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“That’s just name-calling,” she objected.  We were discussing the President’s competencies (and lack thereof) and I’d commented that we should hardly expect leadership from a Socialist law professor with little or no leadership experience.

“There are plenty of folks who consider a law professor to be an honorable undertaking,” I replied.

“You know what I mean,” she responded.  “Obama’s no Socialist and calling him one is pejorative – like calling him a Communist.”

“So far, at least, he’s not a Communist.  But he is a Socialist because of the State control-oriented policies he advocates and works hard to implement.”

Universal health care, punitive tax rates, hyper-regulation, salary caps in the private sector, government as the solution, not the problem – my list did not convince her.

“You just disagree with his positions, so you call him a ‘Socialist’,” she concluded.  “Anyway, Capitalism hasn’t worked so well, so perhaps it time we let the government try its hand.”  And what do we call the ‘ism’ where the government uses its hand to smack around its citizens?

I suppose the good news here is that this woman of the Left still considers “Socialist” to be an epithet.  Of course, the bad news is that Socialist policies don’t seem to bother her.  I suspect this is because she – and many Americans who think like her – have less an idea what Socialism is or how it debilitates then know how to program their old VCR recorder.  So, with apologies to Jeff Foxworthy, I suggest a reading of the following survey to help recognize the inner Socialist:

If you believe Greece is “poorly-managed” Socialism and Sweden is “well-run” Socialism and you don’t realize that the Swedes are sliding down the same Greece-y slope, you might be a Socialist.

If you believe anyone clever enough to be elected to political office is thus qualified to run a profitable business better than an executive hired by that business, you might be a Socialist.

Indeed, if you believe any government official, by virtue of being a government official, can do anything better than the non-government folks whose livelihoods depend upon the doing, you might be a Socialist.

If you believe “good enough for government work” is a compliment reserved for quality service performed to the most rigorous standards and with the utmost professionalism, you might be a Socialist.

If you believe “America the Beautiful” would be true if only the U.S. was more like France, you might be a Socialist.

If you think the UN’s founding was what made 1945 a memorable year, you might be a Socialist.

If you think the UN’s existence has ushered in 65 years of peace and harmony, you wouldn’t know peace or harmony if it bit you on the nose or kicked you in the groin.

If you can find a universal health care system that isn’t going broke, you should get your own detective series on TV.  If you wouldn’t deign to look because you believe that financial viability isn’t a valid concern when it comes to health care (or public education or transportation or the environment or housing), you might be a Socialist.

If you think health care is a right because Bernie Sanders says so, you might be a Socialist.

Actually, you might be a Socialist if you think anything is a right because Bernie Sanders says so.

If Wimpy describes your ideal financial model – “I’ll gladly pay you tomorrow (or in 2014) for a hamburger today” – you might be a Socialist.

If Wimpy’s Congressman brother, Simpy, describes your ideal financial model – “I’ll gladly vote to require your neighbor to pay you tomorrow for a hamburger for me today” – you might be a Socialist.

If you wished the government would outlaw the SUV you’re driving, you might be a Socialist.  [An SUV-driving Hillary supporter expressed this wish to me.]

If you’ve ever used the phrase “We needn’t worry about higher prices because [FILL IN THE NAME OF THE ENTERPRISE] will absorb [CHOOSE: ‘the higher taxes’, ‘the cost of compliance’, ‘the new regulatory fees’] as a cost of doing business,” you might be a Socialist.

If you think it’s no big deal that the government is spending like a drunken sailor on port leave because, hey, what are printing presses for anyway? – you might be a Socialist.

If you believe the U.S. owes it to the world to handicap itself in the global marketplace via restrictions such as “cap and trade” that penalize only American workers and consumers, you might be a Socialist.

If you believe that profits can be obscene, but vile comments about capitalists can never be, you might be a Socialist.

If you wake up on April 15 all giddy with anticipation, you might be a Socialist.

If you believe there’s no affliction a good tax or regulation can’t cure, you might be a Socialist.

If you believe a president creates jobs that don’t require an SF 171, you might be a Socialist.

If you think deregulation of anything is the fast track to Hell (located, you’re sure, somewhere near Crawford, Texas), you might be a Socialist.

If “wicked capitalists” is your description of the business executives and bankers who checked their backbones at the Congressional hearing door before being instructed by Democrat legislators that every American is entitled to home ownership, but “compassionate public servants” is how you characterize the preachy politicians, you might be a Socialist.

If the mention of “one nation under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance makes you fume like an espresso machine froths milk, you might be a Socialist.

If you believe school children should sing “We Are The World” in lieu of reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, ymbaS.

If your political markers are defined by Putin and Chavez on the Left, Obama and Hillary in the Middle, and Bill Clinton and Elena Kagan on the Right, there’s no You Might Be about it – embrace your inner Socialist!


Samuel R. Lewis is an assistant general counsel for a global telecommunications company.  He writes commentary on current, past, and future events based on his diverse experiences as a former U.S. Army officer, parent and participant in some of the most tumultuous events of the past 20 years in the business world.

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