No no not Socialism.
With the worlds economies suffering from a range of ills stemming from primarily (though not exclusively – Donald Trump blames rising oil for main cause of concern) banking failures across North America and latterly industrial nations, John McCain is in the midst of a political battle that ultimately looks like the next President of America will be the first Black President.
So when the chips are down, one of the easiest ways to whip up fear in America (and yes even with recent events fresh in the minds of the Americans), is to invoke the fear of a leftist President. McCain, who is behind in every major poll out of the US, in a speech on Radio McCain stated “”Barack Obama’s tax plan would convert the (Internal Revenue Service) into a giant welfare agency, redistributing massive amounts of wealth at the direction of politicians in Washington” He continued the line of argument and included the now infamous Joe the Plumber once more in his interview, “Sen. Obama believes in redistributing the wealth, not in policies that grow our economy and create jobs and opportunities for all Americans.”(1). The very man McCain tried (and now has failed) to hold up as the struggling middle class hard working average Joe, whom like so much of the American dream, has been found to be spun out of control and manipulated with mirrors. (2)
So McCain is accusing Senator Obama of planning Socialist styled reforms for the US economy, which in many parts of the US is enough to cause concern verging on irrational fear. Don’t forget this is the same US which (despite whatever semantic spin it wants to put on it) has undertaken measures known to the outside world as somewhat socialist, to prop up it’s failing financial sectors. At the very least it’s Keynesian economics, and at most, it’s what the UK calls Nationalisation (or the rest of the world calls democratic socialism)(3). The long and the short of it, in a time of unprecedented greed and wealth on Wall Street, financial institution after financial institution fell over, from the small and insignificant (they were allowed to fold and die) through to the very very big, which apparently were so important to the economy, that they necessitated a government bail out/nationalisation or whatever you want to call it.
So when McCain accuses him of stealth socialism, and George Bush is defending the policies of Nationalisation of major banking institutions in one breath but defending the goals and methods of unfettered Capitalism in the other breath, Wall St executives get multi billion dollar bonuses. That’s right, with upwards of 3.5million homeless people in the US last year (4) and Wall St executives getting $30B USD bonuses for the year 2007 (5), but the US government having to bail out the US financial institutions to the tune of over $500b USD, John McCain accuses Senator Obama of being a Socialist in sheep’s clothing.
To you and me that’s called Hypocracy, but considering in the US a government rescue package is a Bail Out, and to the rest of the world it’s Nationalisation or Socialism, nothing surprises me from McCain. Thank god you can still use words like Socialism and Social Democracy without fear of reprisal here in New Zealand.