Socialism IS an American tradition

Ah, the good old days, when children would work long hours in unsafe conditions of the local factories. When women didn’t have the right to vote. When the poor and elderly were left to fend for themselves if they were dealt a bad hand in life. Thanks to progressive movements and socialist causes, these aren’t realities today.

Socialism leaves a bad taste in most American’s mouths, even liberal Americans. This is ridiculous, and frankly you’re being dishonest if you don’t think America has any socialist policies that have been tremendously effective. Take Social Security for example.

Social Security was brought about during the Great Depression by Franklin Delano Roosevelt. At the time, the elderly, disabled and the poor had absolutely no guaranteed safety net to fall back on. Thanks to socialistic efforts, we were able, as a society (through a government that actually worked for the many, not the few) to provide for those in need. The Social Security program is by far the most successful federal program ever enacted. It has saved millions from going homeless or hungry. The fact that most Republicans are in favor of making cuts to Social Security is despicable.

Another example of socialism in America can be seen through public parks. Sure, it may seem trivial compared to other examples like Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid, but it is just as important. The public ownership of a business or commodity is one of the definitions of socialism. Parks create safe havens for families and their children, regardless of income, race or creed. The importance of parks are often overlooked. Parks can play an essential role in the building of a community, amongst having many other beneficial qualities as well.

That said, it is important to understand the history of socialism in America. Saying that socialism is just a stain on American history is disingenuous and wrong. If we could use government as a tool for all people, especially the marginalized, we would be better off as a society. These two examples are only a short part of a long list of beneficial things socialism has done for America.

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Charlie is a junior at Loras College. He is a media studies major with a minor in politics. This is his first semester with LCTV News. He is excited to be covering news and politics for the Dubuque area.

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