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Letter to the Editor: Scare tactics impede progress

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Thursday, April 11, 2019

It seems that the McCarthy period has poisoned American minds forever and closed the doors to exploration of new ideas or different concepts.

While many people are aware of how terrible the current capitalist system is for the viability of humanity and this planet, looking for a sustainable alternative is not even an option for many. It is like watching lemmings rushing to their deaths.

As the general crisis deepens, red-baiting and the “socialist” scare is resurrected by the current administration and the press to shoot down any proposals that benefit the majority of the people. Martin Luther King had said “If being a socialist means feeding the hungry, clothing the naked and taking care of the poor, then I am a socialist.”

Proposals like universal health insurance for everyone here is something we should have had a long, long time ago. While the citizens of USA, the richest country in the world, are struggling to pay for health care, many non-socialist countries like Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain and many countries in Europe have already enacted this measure for their citizens.

The naysayers howled about rising health care costs and not being able to fund such a measure. The glaring contradiction is the countries which now have universal health care are a lot less wealthy, yet they can meet its costs. Can everyone see the disconnect here? Our money is obviously being siphoned away from the costs of really taking care of patients. Meanwhile, we are told to accept the increasing wealth gap — the most outrageous example is the gigantic disparity between the wages of management and workers within the same corporation.

Red-baiting is used to de-legitimize proposals that benefit the poor and marginalized. Previous welfare programs are now labeled as “socialist” and dismissed. Suddenly, we have socialists everywhere! Slap a socialist label on a proposal and it is automatically echoed by the press and rejected. Meanwhile the system is limping along, dragging us all to its demise — not to mention the planet, too.

This is precisely why putting labels on any idea or anyone is a sign of a closed mind. It is also a lazy mind that refuses to engage in further critical thinking. Crafting a viable and sustainable alternative to this destructive and moribund system is the challenge and burden of our historical time, and we all should be part of it.

Dr. Kim E Koo

Rocky Mount

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