Letters to the Editor

The word ‘socialism’ | Federal Way letters

Leo J. Thoennes’ reading of the recent Senate election in Massachusetts seems to be way off the mark. Why voters voted as they did in that election had little to do with the current health reform legislation under consideration. It had far more to do with voter anxiety about the economy and joblessness, the damaged economy and the outsourcing of American jobs the legacy of the Bush/Cheney administration.

I’m very afraid that the words “freedom” and “socialism” were not mentioned in voter discussion in Massachusetts. The word “freedom” may have been implied, as in “freedom from want,” as Franklin D. Roosevelt mentioned in his Four Freedoms speech of Jan. 5, 1941, because when one is jobless, one is not very far from dangerous want.

Given the economic anxiety in Massachusetts, I also doubt that there was much voter discussion of “cap and trade legislation,” let alone Thoennes’ imaginative reading that Massachusetts voters considered such legislation a threat to freedom.

If the word “socialism” were mentioned at all in regard to that state, I would beg Mr. Thoennes to offer a bit of documentation of such a mention.

Thoennes is attempting to fear monger the American public by waving the specter of loss of freedom and that most frightening bogey, “socialism.”

He should actually pay more attention to the real threat of corporate socialism, which would be the socialization of corporate risk, but the privatization of corporate profit. In other words, if corporations are poorly managed and incur losses, we taxpayers have to make up to them their losses — but we never get to share in their profits.

Karen Hedwig Backman, Federal Way

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