Opinion | Muftic: So what if Trump tells lies
October 23, 2018
I have seen chains of Facebook comments posted on timelines of friends that had me shaking my head. One was, "So what if Trump lies, I like what he is doing."
Another said, "If you disagree with Trump, it is because you are a socialist, so go live in Venezuela."
The latter's writer has no idea of the shades of kinds of socialism, but right off the bat, I hope they turn in their Social Security card and give up Medicare, because those are socialism by any definition.
For the record, I want capitalism to succeed. I do not support government ownership "of the means of production," but capitalism has its rough edges that leave many in the economic dust unless the bad parts are recognized and dealt with, whether by government or by the private sector or by charitable giving.
If that does not represent your values, at least consider it is key to a stable society in which all have hope they can be treated fairly.
I am not freaked out by the word "socialism" itself. My questions are how much, what kind,what for, and are we willing to pay for it. I have lived in Europe and have close family members who live there now, but the extent of government involvement in their economy is their own choice because they also live in a democracy. They get the economic system the majority wants decided in a democratic process. They have lived under fascism and communist dictatorship and gone down those hell holes. What does frighten me is a large number of Americans who do not support or understand democracy and do not recognize a demagogue wannabe despot or condemn one when they see one. In my view, I fear they are passengers on the Titanic dancing to the music they love.
Remember that Hitler, Hugo Chavez, the Marxists, and Putin and all of the other despots, strong men, absolute kings and dictators seized and kept power using and abusing existing democracies or took advantage of chaos, economy's hard times, anarchy, and inheritance. They made promises that could not work and told lies to exaggerate victimization, intensify hatred and fear, and scapegoating others so they could appear as a savior. This happened whether the existing systems were fascism or socialism or market or oil based, communist, capitalist, socialist, industrialized or agricultural, and with well educated or illiterate populaces.
Here is the comment I posted in response to the one who wanted my friend to move to Venezuela calling her a socialist because she criticized Trump for lying. It is also my answer to the one who does not care if he lies: What the heck does lying to cover your tail have to do with socialism? Seems like any form of government or despot of any economic or political ideology that lies is trying to fool its citizens or the world to maintain power. If citizens swallow lies because they like what the lies or promises sound like and suppress and muzzle those who tell uncomfortable truths, eventually their experiences in real life reveal the lies. Demagogues tell you what you want to hear, true or not, as they oppress, intimidate, destroy the opposition, and that is how they become dictators. The fooled eventually get disillusioned, and try to revolt peacefully in the ballot box in a democracy with fair elections and a free press. That peaceful transition of power is the gift of democracy, given us through our Constitution by our country's founders. If it is too late, that people have already handed over all of their power to a dictator, the revolt takes place in the blood of the streets or on a battlefield. That is the story of political history. That is no lie.
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