It’s good that Gary Stout is educating himself about world economics and social injustice in the United States, as per his Dec. 15 letter to the editor. Fear and ignorance of socialism is the fundamental problem. Stout’s futile hope that “the Republican Party will not seize on this policy initiative (reducing inequality) to call the president a socialist or worse” – as if for Republicans there was anything worse, or for Democrats a charge more to be feared – reveals both parties to be intellectually dishonest and morally bankrupt. Of the two, however, there is a clear leader.
Democratic fears of being labeled socialists result in little more than their lip-service on issues like social justice or a peaceful foreign policy, not to mention protecting the environment. Until Democrats admit that the Republicans are correct in seeing no inherent contradiction between democracy and socialism, that they are in fact interdependent, ignorance and fear will continue to motivate both parties and the public interest will continue to suffer.