Letter to the Editor: The big, scary ‘S’ word

Potshots are already being taken at Democratic presidential candidates’ calls for Medicare for All. Opponents just can’t seem to stop themselves from using the “S” word… the dreaded socialism… as a primary reason it’s a bad choice.

And already the media (print, visual and digital) appears to be silent as if it’s an accurate definition of what is being proposed and OK to use loosely. Media failed Americans in 2016 by failing to speak truth to power throughout much of the presidential campaign. We are asking and expecting more clear and transparent coverage this time around.

In the process of talking or writing, opponents of Medicare for All usually reveal they have no real clue of what socialism means. The original and purest definition of socialism is an economic and governance system in which the government controls all the means of production and distribution of all goods. Not one of the Democratic candidates for president is calling for that. What they want is an economy driven by market forces which has a stronger social safety net, i.e. health care for all of us. They want an economy in which all Americans get a fair shake in the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness.

When FDR signed Social Security into law in 1935, opponents railed with dire predictions that it would quickly lead America into the “evils of socialism.” Now 84 years later, America remains a democratic republic and untold millions have been lifted out of/or prevented from falling into poverty. In all that time Social Security has not contributed even one cent to the national deficit.

I don’t see folks walking away from the Social Security checks coming our way from the most successful social program in American history! Perhaps we should follow closely as candidates flesh out Medicare For All plans before allowing fear mongering to further pollute our national discourse or lack whereof.

Patricia Frey

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