Socialism (is) for dummies

Burt Prelutsky Contributor
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Proof that you don’t have to live in New York or Hollywood to be a left-wing knothead was the decision by a Chicago high school to boycott a basketball tournament in Arizona because someone — the principal perhaps — opposed Arizona’s immigration policy. A policy, as we all know, that is the mirror image of federal law. Then, having shown the world what they think of those racists in Arizona, they went off to play an exhibition game in a country that serves as a role model for freedom-loving people everywhere . . . China!

Leftists like to think of themselves as clear-thinking realists who are sensitive to nuance and irony. In reality, they are like little children who regard fairy tales as non-fiction. For instance, they champion socialism even though the past hundred years have proven time and again that it doesn’t work in practice the way it does in theory. On the contrary, in every country where it has existed, it has inevitably led to loss of liberty, widespread poverty and mass murder on a scale that has no parallel in human history. Point out this obvious fact to a liberal, and once he gets done calling you a greedy, heartless, bloodthirsty reactionary, he’ll insist that we haven’t yet seen true socialism. Actually, we have. We’ve seen it in the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, in China, Cambodia, North Korea and Cuba.

The reason that capitalism works and socialism doesn’t is because, unlike the former, the latter doesn’t factor in human nature. Most people want to compete — whether it’s for status, glory or riches — and they want for themselves and their children the opportunity to excel to the best of their ability.

What conservatives object to isn’t a level playing field, but a game in which they’re expected to take a dive, lest the lazy, the inept and the selfish wind up feeling like losers.

Conservatives don’t even object to the redistribution of wealth. But they want to be in control of how much they distribute and to whom, and not leave those decisions in the hands of Washington weasels. It’s what conservatives, the most generous people in America, refer to as charity. As they see it, their hard-earned money should go to the elderly and the infirm, not to the young and able-bodied who regard themselves as entitled simply because of their race or country of origin. Just because some people wallow in self-pity, portraying themselves as victims of an oppressive society, doesn’t make it so. As I see it, they and their outlandish demands should be ignored or, better yet, ridiculed.

Which reminds me, it recently occurred to me why among my least favorite musical genres is the one known as the blues. It’s because the songs all reek of self-pity, which is one of the most nauseating of all human emotions.

Finally, the mass media spent an inordinate amount of time trying to force George W. Bush to fess up to his mistakes. But I notice that nobody ever asks that of Barack Obama. At long last, the reason dawned on me. If he ever got started, we’d have nobody to blame but ourselves, and who has the time?

Burt Prelutsky is a humor columnist, a movie critic and a writer for TV. He’s written episodes of MASH, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show, Family Ties, Dr. Quinn and Diagnosis Murder. He is the author of “Conservatives Are From Mars, Liberals Are From San Francisco” and “Liberals: America’s Termites or It’s a Shame That Liberals, Unlike Hamsters, Never Eat Their Young,” along with two collections of interviews, “The Secret of Their Success” and “Portraits of Success.” He blogs at BurtPrelutsky.com.