If I’m a Communist, What Are You?

— I got called a communist on Facebook — my response:

First of all, I’d like to say right-on and provide my deepest respect to the inventors, investors and marketers of things like the hula hoop, pet rock and Rubik’s Cube, etc. I believe great ideas should be rewarded, both financially and otherwise. I’m also a firm believer in cottage industry which America has largely zoned out of existence!

With my freedom of choice, I prefer cherry over apple pie!

I also happen to think the small banks should be able to stay in business as small banks and be able to keep their original names. I very much appreciate family-owned hardware stores, pharmacies, gas stations and convenient stores throughout our communities.

When I grew up in America, education was free, a ticket to a big league ball game was affordable and there were municipal public-financed hospitals for communities with a population of 25,000.

But these days?

I condemn US oligarchs every bit as much as a current US propagandist would condemn a Russian oligarch (who, due to Boris Yeltsin, was actually American-made). I especially condemn a corporate media that guides us to believe the Dow Jones is more important than the Median Age Index. I further condemn those who create conditions of homelessness, deny health care for all and offer a scant minimum wage of only $7.25 an hour — this while CEO pay has increased 927% and worker pay only 11% (coupled to an increase in productivity) since the Reagan-Bush Administration.

I condemn the US spreading its military might into smaller nations so that conglomerate corporations can then rape resources like oil, diamonds, gold, silver, copper, tin, timber, rubber, lithium (the list goes on) at slave wages. I don’t think it’s right the US sells military weapons to 73% of the world’s dictators and has used terrorism and proxy wars while attempting to maintain geopolitical positioning.

I also deplore that US corporate farms have stolen market share from family-owned farms and that US farm ownership, more and more, has become owned by wealthy foreign investors in league with US investors. I hate that profiteering has caused America’s top soil and our agricultural production to become chemicalized.

I find it reprehensible the American Drug War not only eroded our civil liberties but that it has helped to imprison one out of every 105 Americans, placed one in 55 on probation and that 12% of all Americans now live with felony convictions. Is it any wonder America’s prisons have become privatized for profits?

America, a land traditionally priding itself on liberty, has five percent of the world’s population but imprisons nearly 25% of the world’s prisoners. I hate that America’s death penalty executes one innocent person out of every 25 people executed!

I don’t think it’s fair in the richest nation on Earth that half of our population must live within a dangerous underground economy where a drug deal or a scratch ticket becomes a best or only hope, where people must live doubled or tripled up in order to pay exorbitant rents and living costs, where nearly two-thirds of our population can’t even afford a $500 family emergency.

I find it exceedingly uncomfortable America’s middle class has collapsed becoming relegated into debt and loss of standing. Only the thinnest of hopes remain for anyone to break out of poverty levels. Our society has become overrun by a culture that promotes fear of dissimilar people, one replete with wild conspiracy theories. Worse, it’s all coupled to abounding gun ownership and an increasing loss of any sense of community. Such a sad evolution!

The last link for freedom in America ended when we lost our free press. When Reagan-Bush came into power there were 50 major media companies. Today, five corporations control 90% of all media and they specialize in lies, distortions, omissions and perversions of truth. The ombudsman critics have all been fired and today’s investigative journalists might as well be assigned from the State Department, Pentagon or CIA.

Frankly, I’d prefer quality political choices instead of red or blue only. The US two-party system effectively serves as two Oligarch Protection Units (OPUs). They feed political camp conditioning on god, gun and gay issues without any regard for domestic economic equality or a balanced foreign policy. The two political parties reek of patronage and subjugation and do not reward thought creativity. Progressive ideas are summarily shunned!

If because I’m uncomfortable with what I’ve described above makes me a communist, then what on earth are you? How could you allow any of the above to happen? Perhaps, given what we did to America’s Native Americans, it’s all very understandable. When capitalism thrives and is protected by the OPUs, it takes and kills!

The fact is I’m a Democratic Socialist. Not only the world, but especially America, needs more of us — you should become one also!

Founder of Boston’s Climate Change Band; former NH State Representative; Created Internet’s 1st Anti-War Debate; Supporter of Bernie Sanders & Standing Rock!