Having slammed the infrastructure bill as “socialist,” Republicans are serving up the same smear against the Build Back Better Act. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, chair of the GOP crackpot caucus, opted for full-bore red-baiting against the infrastructure legislation. She called it “Communist.” Biden’s whole economic agenda “is neither socialism nor Marxism. If only,” lamented socialist Kate Aronoff in The New Republic. “The s-word has become an all-purpose epithet that Republicans use to describe everything from an influx of undocumented immigrants to the supposed teaching of critical race theory to vaccine mandates,” Max Boot recently wrote in the Washington Post.
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He described the GOP disingenuousness as “a rhetorical sleight of hand,” explaining, “The s-word has been applied to Scandinavian-style social welfare states that are both democratic and capitalist as well as to Marxist dictatorships (e.g., the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) that were neither democratic nor capitalist. Republicans count on their followers missing the distinction between Sweden and North Korea by trying to convince them that social welfare bills such as the Build Back Better Act will draw us closer to the latter rather than the former.”
The Democrats are a capitalist party. They are moderate-to-liberal by American political standards, centrist when compared to other parties in other democracies. (In those democracies, the Trumpian GOP would be a far-right party that tilts toward white nationalism and authoritarianism.)
Anyway, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy know the Democrats aren’t a socialist party. But they also know that pinning the socialist tail on the Democratic donkey is red meat for the red MAGA-hatted white folks.
Berry Craig is a professor emeritus of history at West Kentucky Community College in Paducah and an author of seven books and co-author of two more, all on Kentucky history.
This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Democrats aren’t socialists, it’s just what GOPers want to hear | Opinion