After Texas, Republicans Admit They Could Use a Little Socialism (Video)

Two years ago, Donald Trump proclaimed during his State of the Union Address, “The United States will never be a Socialist country.”

During Trump’s four years, the Republican party promulgated decades-old red scare fallacies about the “dangers of Socialism,” from equations with Soviet-style Communism to accusing the Democratic party of intending to turn the country into Venezuela.

These are, of course, merely “red-meat” talking points aimed at frightening the most ill-informed facet of the Republican base.

The reality is, Republicans don’t really have a problem with Socialism.

Just look at how much money they bestow upon their corporate demigods as payback for the obscene amounts shoveled into their campaign coffers.

In 2008, as the financial sector was melting down, the federal government spent between between $20 and $36 trillion on corporate bailouts.

After that year’s financial crash, Congress granted “too-big-to-fail” Wall Street banks $700 billion, and the Federal Reserve committed between $16 and $29 trillion.

There was the $50 billion bailout to the airline, cruise ship, hotel, and casino industries Trump pushed so hard for as the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic was ramping up last year.

This is on top of the $1.5 trillion dollars in permanent tax cuts to corporations and the wealthy Trump and congressional Republicans passed four years ago.

Pharmaceutical giants Johnson & Johnson, McKesson, AmerisourceBergen, and Cardinal Health are presently planning on deducting roughly $4.6 billion from federal taxes to recoup $26 billion in lawsuit settlements from opioid-related deaths that take approximately 70,000 lives per year.

Lawmakers recently handed $4 trillion in pandemic relief to large corporations.

American taxpayers are incentivizing some of the nation’s largest and most profitable corporations, including Walmart, McDonald’sDollar General, and Amazon, to keep workers poor so CEOs can take billions per year in handouts.

Now the Republican party is being forced to embrace the dreaded “S” word to bail out the state of Texas (known for its “rugged individualism”) after last week’s uncharacteristic deep freeze that overloaded power grids, causing widespread blackouts, water shortages, and exorbitant utility prices.

Former House homeland security committee chair, Texas Republican Michael McCaul, explained:

“The current plans with the federal assistance bill are to help the homeowners both repair, because we have a lot of water leaks, a lot of water damage, pipes bursting, but also [pay] their electricity bills as well.”

CNN’s “State of the Union” host Dana Bash replied:

 “I’m hearing you say that the federal government is going to help to bail out, and to pay bills in a state which is in part in this mess because it wants to be separate from the federal government. That’s kind of rich, don’t you think?”

Houston mayor Sylvester Turner told CBS’s “Face the Nation”:

“The bill should go to the state of Texas. When [people are] getting these exorbitant electricity bills and they’re having to pay for their homes, repair their homes, they should not have to bear the responsibility.” 

A Socialist is someone who believes in nationalizing private industry, like banks, power plants, businesses, auto factories, clothing manufacturers, and farms.

It’s basically the antithesis of a Libertarian, who advocates total privatization of everything from roads, schools, police and fire departments, leaving them under “free-market” control, which is exactly how Texas got into this situation with its “unregulated” reliance on its own power grid.

Socialism does not mean elimination of private ownership.

That’s Communism.

There is still private ownership under Socialist systems.

A Democratic Socialist” on the other hand, only wants one thing–a fair, equitable society and economy in which all its members’ basic needs are met.

As the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) explains:

“Democratic socialists believe that both the economy and society should be run democratically—to meet public needs, not to make profits for a few. To achieve a more just society, many structures of our government and economy must be radically transformed through greater economic and social democracy so that ordinary Americans can participate in the many decisions that affect our lives.”

Could it be the Republican party is coming around this philosophy?

We probably shouldn’t hold our breath.

Enjoy listening to Republican lawmakers and officials twist themselves into rhetorical pretzels trying to avoid using the “S word”.

Image credit: Fabius Maximus

Ted Millar is writer and teacher. His work has been featured in myriad literary journals, including Better Than Starbucks, The Broke Bohemian, Straight Forward Poetry, Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices Project. He is also a contributor to The Left Place blog on Substack, Liberal Nation Rising, and Medium.