As joblessness and deep hunger creeps across America, politicians have pulled out the fear card: socialism, to insure that voters stay in their place.
Astonishingly, for almost a century, this ploy has worked, and almost worked when President Herbert C. Hoover ran against Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “New Deal”, which Hoover decried as socialism, and a threat to the American way.
Roosevelt won in a landslide, for the country was still in the grips of the Great Depression, and numb with hunger.
Across the country today we see food lines stretching for miles; American hung.
The 1932 election brought with it Social Security, and market forces have opposed it ever since.
Even though it didn’t cover farm workers (predominantly Blacks and Mexicans) it kept the wolf from millions of American homes.
Although much time has passed, fear is raised again. The fear? Socialism.
It still tends to have a foreign ring to it.
But it’s about as American as hunger itself.