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Socialism … fascism.  Which is it?

Socialism … fascism.  Which is it?

President Biden has taken a deep dive into name-calling rhetoric when he attracted what he called “MAGA Republicans.”  That is a fictional brand being promoted by Democrats to smear Republicans.  It is a variation on Hillary Clinton’s description of Republicans as a “basket of deplorables.”  And Clinton’s verbiage was an escalation of President Obama’s pejorative reference to folks who “cling to their guns and bibles.”  

Biden has been using propaganda techniques to malign millions of decent Americans.  And he does not stop with the MAGA references.  In a recent speech, Biden labeled Republicans as “quasi-Fascists”. (This from a guy who campaigned on uniting the nation and claiming he would work cooperatively across the aisle.)

At the same time, Biden was pointing an accusatory finger at Republicans for being a threat to democracy, his political ally, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, was at an election night celebration screaming (yes, screaming) “SOCIALISM WINS!!  She went on to say that they (Democrats) will “not stop until America is a socialist state.”  

Socialism and fascism are the Siamese twins of political authoritarianism.  Both are strongly rejected by conservatives.  The authoritarianism of all varieties is anathematic to conservative ideology – which favors limited government and free-market capitalism.  Since socialism and fascism have never succeeded in the long run — and have only brought oppression, misery, suffering, and death to the people – it should be an easy choice.  Socialists and fascists peddle romantic visions and myths while the people live with the horrible reality.

While Ocasio-Cortez embraces the failed ideology of authoritarian socialism, Biden uses references to authoritarian fascism as a political attack.

This manner of stereotyping is not the historic standard in political discourse.  Both sides often attack the leadership and the policies of each other but refrain from using mendacious fearmongering narratives against an entire class of people.  That is hateful prejudice.  That is the way of authoritarians.

If you want to see how wrong the Biden attack on generic Republicans is, just change the term from “MAGA Republicans” to “Jews” … or “Blacks” … or “Muslims.”  Unless you are an intellectually dishonest or stridently partisan, you will get the point.

While politicians play a game of nuances, the truth is much simpler.  Socialism and fascism (and throw in communism) are bad.  Free market capitalism is good.  

Biden knows this – so he uses fascism dishonestly to attack and malign Republicans.  Ocasio-Cortez actually promotes socialism – and her political ideology has gained dangerous influence among Democratic Party leaders – including Biden.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.

51 Comments

  1. Frank stetson

    The term Biden used was semi-fascist.

    I think a quasi-fascist is pretty much the same, except they have a hump on their back and walk with a bit of a limp.

    The world has changed and Socialism, pure Socialism, is pretty much viewed as Larry says, however there are a few countries that are not a total disaster.

    Republicans tend to err on the side of simplicity and live in a very black-and-white, binary world. It’s either right or wrong, yes or no, good or bad. There is little nuance or room for complexity. .Larry is not that, but he does pander to it.

    Therefore, Larry rejects the concept of Scandinavia, much of which started as monarchies, moved into full Socialism, adapted many capitalistic aspects, and now is considered as Democratic Socialist states. In other words, many things are provided to the citizens, many more than to American citizens, by the government. Many of these countries have some of the highest quality of life ratings and citizen approval ratings, much higher than the US.

    Overtime, I expect the US to continue to move more towards a democratic socialist environment. We will never give up our capitalism, but I see more socialist programs overtime and our manner of government moving closer to a democratic socialist government.

    I don’t agree with AOC and the progressives, that door swings way too far to the left and to pure Socialism. And while it may not have communist aspects as many here like to think, pure Socialism is not something that I would ever support.

    • Tom

      I agree with you Frank, I see the USA becoming more of a Democratic Socialist state. Hell we are better than half way there now already! Many countries like Norway, Finland, Sweden, Scandinavia, the people do well, including the capitalists – but they are educated to give back to the betterment of society as a whole. We here in the USA got rid of high school Civics classes years ago which I think was a big mistake. Now the only education kids can get is internet chats and both sides calling each other names and screaming at each other. Larry sort of reminds me of that Star Trek episode ““Let That Be Your Last Battlefield” is the fifteenth episode of the third season. Sometimes Larry’s face is white on the left and sometimes it is white on the right. MAGA thinks their face is white on the right, Dems Socialists think their face is white on the left. Neither side seems to realize the other side of their face is black. Take note of the ending of this episode – this is where we are heading today if these two sides do not find common ground!!! As Barry McGuire would say, “Ahh ya don’t believe we’re on the Eve of Destruction!”

      • Frank stetson

        Perhaps from a libertarian standpoint.

    • Joe Gilbertson

      The Scandinavian countries are not socialist.

      • Frank stetson

        Joe, where did that come from? You talking to yourself?

        • larry Horist

          Frank Stetson. The left often called Sweden a socialist nation. That has brought a rebuke from Sweden. The head of state says they are NOT socialists. I guess he should know.

        • Joe Gilbertson

          Check your facts Frank, stop spewing Bernie-isms.

  2. Tom

    Nothing wrong with clinging to guns and bibles, both are legal. And if Clinton calls me a deplorable (even though I am an Independent) then that is a good thing because Clinton is evil, and evil finds good to be deplorable – hence she is saying you are good. So why are GOP so upset by this? Now then, why are so many MAGA people so upset about socialism? These MAGA people, many claim to be good Christians and will thump you with many bible verses. Yet in Luke’s Book of Acts, Christians were practicing socialism as their way of life, and Jesus even encouraged it when he said, “Sell all that you have and give it to the poor, and follow me.” I guess MAGA people are really “Christian Lite” kind of like Bud Lite – not really a beer. Christianity is all about socialism. Maybe it is not socialism that is bad. Maybe its the leadership and how they practice it that is bad. Seems like these leaders want to be rich and powerful just like their capitalist counterparts. Look at Trump, bigtime capitalist president that gives a HUUUUUUUGE tax break to corporations – isn’t this a form of “corporate socialism”? Wanna talk about hateful prejudice, lets talk about the MAGA folks and the names they call even us moderate independents when we do not align with their views! Does the term “snowflake” come to mind? Or maybe Dumbocrat or Demoncrat, etc.”. Maybe MAGA people should stop their holier than thou attitude which definitely turns off we Independents – we know they are as bad as the other side, just a different directional vector. Capitalists and Socialists both produce winners and losers, but Capitalists blame the losers on the person that loses, it is their fault; while socialists blame the losers on the system. Capitalists are big on “personal responsibility” but very small on making sure the playing field is level for all and that all have the same fair chance. Socialists are big on the system being their parent and providing all – until they run out of everyone’s money. So hell, just pick your poison and hope for the best and stop all of this infighting! Personally, this Independent is in favor of a mix of both systems that allows for the entrepreneurial drive of capitalism but is hawkish about it’s government design and policies/practices being fair for all and not “rigged” (a Trump term used for the DJIA) for large corporations and money people. Remember that the metric for how good a society is, is how well it treats its most vulnerable populations, not how much ROI it produces!

    • Jay Werkmen

      Where to start? Everything in your comment is wrong. Democracy and socialism are polar opposites in that democracy is based on the importance of the individual and socialism the State aka the collective is of primary importance. How has the latter’s philosophy worked out for countries that employ it? How’s it working in Scandinavia as the State is shutting down their food and energy supplies?
      https://mises.org/wire/why-social-democracy-failing-europe

  3. OldSeacaptain

    All Fascist are Socialists; end of story. The present Green (Socialist) – Democrats fit the bill – on both accounts and definitions.

    • larry Horist

      OldSeacaptain … Good point. And that goes for Communism. Hitler founded the National SOCIALIST German Workers’ Party … the NAZIS. And the Russian empire was called the Union of Soviet SOCIALIST Republics. There are subtle differences, but the major commonality is that they are all authoritarian political movements. They are the first cousins of the BIG GOVERNMENT left.

  4. Mike

    When Larry says “this is the way it is”, the reader can be assured that they are about to be taken for a ride. Larry claims to be a student of history, but from any school I have attended he would get a failing grade. Saying that socialism and fascism are Siamese twins proves that point. Socialism deals with services that are provided by the government to the people and is associated with the political left. It does not specifically deal with how the government operates, all of the Nordic countries are very socialist, and to a lesser extent, the rest of Europe is Socialist, and those countries are considered to be “free”-freer than the US I might add. Fascism on the other hand is an authoritarian style of government, where a small group (or sometimes just an individual) controls the government, with strict controls over what the people can do or say (think Hungary for prime example-a country that has been becoming less free for the past decade). This form of government is embraced by conservatives-people on the political right side of the spectrum. If anybody cares to do the analysis, it is obvious that what Biden has said is accurate (if not particularly flattering) because many Republicans are attempting to restrict what the population can say or do. If I was you Larry, I would be totally embarrassed for saying things that are so easily disproved, and showing my ignorance of historical concepts.. So there tis….

    • Frank stetson

      Not sure I’m in the same row boat with you on this one Mike. Right or wrong, it appears that the term Socialism is now widely applied to countries we have called communist in the past. The term communism appears to have disappeared except for Larry and Joe’s faithful right wing Trumplicant zealots that see anything not Trumplicant as a communist even though they don’t seem to have a clue what they mean. Except that it’s them and not us. But I digress. Like I said, it appears the word socialist does apply to mostly authoritarian countries that really suck in terms of their citizens. Meanwhile, what we used to call socialist, seem to be termed as democratic socialist today. You could even say the US is already leaning democratic socialist, albeit a very small extent a.k.a. Medicare, Social Security, welfare, unemployment, obamacare, etc.

      But you are right, and as I pointed out also, Larry completely disavows and ignores democratic socialist countries. It would ruin his spin to include them and apparently he was not open to that.

      • Tom

        Frank and Mike, I have long pointed out that we are actually behaving as a “Social Democracy”. Not just Medicare, but Medicaid which was never voted on by Congress like Medicare. They sneaked it in under Medicare. ObamaCare or properly termed the ACA. Social Security, Unemployment which traces back to the SSA, Wefare now called Supplemental Nutrition Program or SNAP, Childrens Health Insurance Programs in schools, Public School systems, Public Park system, Public Library systems, Women’s Shelters, Food Banks, the recent CARES act gave us all money, Community hospital systems, public housing, public stadiums and other sports arenas, highway and transportation systems, our whole police system at city, county, state, and federal levels – all part of a great social fabric.

        I have asked many of my friends, including Larry, that if they think socialism is so wrong, then would they be willing to give up their social security check and their Medicare. All said, “No we put into that system for years!” I said, “And if you live to life expectancy you will take out at least three times more than what you put into the system. So will you stop taking from the system when you have made all of your donation back?” They said, “No, why should I.”

        What I have seen is many capitalists are capitalists until they retire. They want the big buck earnings and all of the trappings. Then when they retire they become socialists!!! My own brother is an example!!! He used to rail on the socialism going on. Now he loves all of the free stuff and feels very entitled.

        • Perry

          Nice try commies. Socialism destroys countries.

    • Jay Werkmen

      Bull. How is the collective, the public, served unless it’s served by the State, with their gun at your head? How’s Scandinavia’s Utopia working out as their benevolent “democrat socialism” (a contradiction of terms) shuts down their energy and food supplies?

    • larry Horist

      Mike . tell that to the leaders of the Nordic nations. They reject that they are socialist nations… but rather free-market republics. You version of history is outdated and inaccurate. But then I am not surprised in view of your anti-Semitism. Socialism, fascism and communism are all on the big powerful central government — run by by elites or autocrats — side of the continuum.

      • Mike

        Larry, Of course the nordic nations are free market republics, they are also Socialist (more Socialist than the the US with our Welfare, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security for sure). However, you state that Socialism and Facism are Siamese twins, when Socialism is a product of the “left” and Facism is a product of the “right”. Fascist countries have leaders that seek to control vast areas of their populace thought, activities, voting restrictions, socialists not necessarily so as socialism amounts to the larger group (population of the country) paying for the well-being of all. Bottom line-MAGAT’s are definitely moving in a Fascist direction with their desire to limit what is taught in schools, what can be discussed, turning neighbors into “spy” agencies that report on neighbors for compensation. No, the two concepts are not the same, and yes, what Biden said is accurate-the ultra-MAGA are moving in a Fascist direction. Your article is incorrect….

        • larry Horist

          Mike … You are trapped in a stupid contention. Oh . I have heard of those right-wing dictatorship. But answer this. If the Rigght wing favors limited government … lower taxes … more local decision-making as opposed to central government regulation, planning and wealth distribution …. how can you hang ANY autocratic system on the right? That is like saying Hitler loves Jews. (I thought i would use an analogy that your anti-Semitic heart might understand.) We conservatives on the right are distaining of ALL autocracy … communism … socialism … fascism … kings .. czars … tsars … generalissimos … etc. Folks who love LIMITED government are not the supporters of autocracy …. period. “Right-wing dictatorship” is an oxymoron . Truth does not depend on the flawed opinion or ignorance. Get it?

          • Frank stetson

            Except if to get to your small federal government nirvana you need an autocrat to “get er done.” And when you have nirvana, you have 50 smaller autocracies instead of one big one. Just like FL under DeSantimonious feels like a rightwing dicktatership to liberals there. At least that’s what my Floridian friend says. (I thought I would use an analogy that your anti-liberal heart could understand 🙂

          • larry Horist

            Frank Stetson … No that is just goofy.. There is no need for state-level or city -level autocrats — although we have them in those one-party Democrat cities. I grew up in one. That is not good for the people as we see in those cities. Autocracy is never good. BUT as bad as they are, a few spread around the country is far better than one big autocracy at the top — where government is beyond the reach of the citizenry … and the big brother bureaucracies are unaccountable.. I think this fills up my Frank Stetson dance card for a while. I usually squeeze you in when I need a little break from the more serious stuff.

          • Mike

            Larry, Since you don’t seem to understand definitions, allow me to provide you a couple (from Mr Google. Socialism: a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole. Fascism: is a far-right, authoritarian, ultranationalist political ideology and movement, characterized by a dictatorial leader, centralized autocracy, militarism forcible suppression of opposition, belief in a natural social hierarchy, subordination of individual interests for the perceived good of the nation and race. I know that these are a bit complex for you to understand, but when I went to high school, we studied history, and were taught that Nazi Germany was a fascist society (despite the fact that they put “socialist” in their name). Per the definition, that fits very well with Nazi Germany, and it also fits very well with the MAGAT’s that Biden referred to (note, he was not referring to all Republicans). Autocracy is the very definition of limited government, a few people control everything. Time for Larry to study history….

          • Frank states

            There have been many state, city, county, etc. strongmen and autocrats in our history. You must realize we have many count-sized states.

          • Frank stetson

            Stop the boat. Did you just diss me with the “more serious stuff” shit. I felt a twinge. I have been dissed and dismissed by Larry, oh the horror of it all. Guess your being classy couldn’t last long.

          • larry Horist

            Mike ….I have said that there are distinctions … just as there are distinctions in the nature of monarchies and communism. My point is that despite the differences they are all autocratic, big government control. In that regard there are no such things as right-wing dictatorships. I concede that there is a general public misconception on that point, but the logic is telling. People who want limited government cannot favor ANY autocrats. What you reference is what Lincoln referred to as wide beliefs that are will founded. Since you are an authoritarian at heart that express disdain for classes of people, I understand your difficulty in understanding the points I and others make.

          • frank stetson

            “There is no need for state-level or city -level autocrats — although we have them in those one-party Democrat cities. ” is on of your funnier misstatements. No need but Democrats still did it in almost every American city. I would expect you would want to clarify or pivot slightly on that one.

            Your statement to Mike on distinctions seems to boil down to liberals favor a larger centralized jack-booted footprint, although we call it social programs and conservatives favor the 50 state fiefdoms, a debate since before the Constitution. A good one.

            But how you get from their to autocrats and Hitler seems a stretch in that, IMO, that can happen anywhere, everywhere, in any party, and it already has in varying degrees. And, of course, there are distinctions in all.

            Yes, I agree with your socialism comments from the article, given the current definition. However, there isn’t a democratic republic anywhere that does not include aspects of socialism in the form of nationalized social programs. Most advanced democracies have more than we do. I expect we add, not subtract over time.

            But in regards to our current duolog, you made my point. You claim Chicago and other US cities as autocracies. I claim Florida is heading that way, but more important, many states over our history, counties too, have leaned towards autocracy. Thank God for our voting system and Republicans pushing civil rights.
            And given some of these new Republican voting laws, we may find ourselves slipping back in some places.

          • larry Horist

            Frank Stetson …. Across America, the most autocratic cities are the large ones run by Democrats — as you admit. That is because the Democrat DNA has a dangerous strain of autocracy. They are by history and example the party of power and one-party ambition. That is because they favor strong central governments with a bureaucratic ruling class. One party rule eventually leads to one-person rule. We almost had it under Roosevelt, but there was sufficient respect for the federalized Republic to prevent it from happening again.

            Also… have you every lived in Florida … or even visited. The Democratic Party flourishes. We have D statewide office holders. Major pockets of Democrat governance. I live in one … Palm Beach County. Look how close Florida presidential elections are. It is maddening to hear folks spew such nonsense. Your friends need to look at reality and not perpetrate political myths and narratives

            Because there is a central government that exists with limited function, it is not socialism. But especially since the early 1920 — starting with Wilson , the income tax and the Federal Reserve — America has been embracing socialism to a greater degree. We have been removing the rights of states even though the Founders gave us the 10th Amendment to avoid the take over by a central government. We have federalized welfare and education — taking away the rights of individuals in their several states at a much higher cost in terms of taxation. Those programs are failing miserably and only service by pouring more money into them to bandage over their failures. Margaret Thatcher was correct when she said that “the problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples’ money. Al Sharpton was on TV this morning peddling the left’s notion of federalizing the running of elections.

            Today we have left and right … progressives and conservatives .. Democrats and Republicans … but the natural polarization suggests that the Founders were correct in labeling the differences as Anti-federalists and Federalists. But then teaching the Founders’ federalism is no longer taught in anti-federalism schools.

          • frank stetson

            If, and not that it matters, Larry is Jewish, he’s in the minority splinter group of conversative jews who can’t detect sarcasm….. :>) aka FL comments… Pretty funny. Or he’s Orthodox. As a college-Kosher-caterer to the stars, I probably have been to more High Holy Days gatherings and Mitzvahs than most rabbis’ although I learned little except never trust a lady in a long dress. “Manners maketh man but clothes really help.” Tuxedo’s make the man, even one from the salvation army. Only times I ever got a matchbook with telephone numbers… Ah, my terrible youth.

            I will clarify my points that Larry responded as to as: “Across America, the most autocratic cities are the large ones run by Democrats — as you admit.” I do admit, I buggered up that passage. Try: Larry said: “There is no need for state-level or city -level autocrats — although we have them in those one-party Democrat cities. ” is one of your funnier misstatements. Larry says there is no need for state or city autocrats, but in Larry’s opinion, Democrats still did it in almost every American city. I would expect Larry would want to clarify or pivot slightly on that one. Or at least a better example than saying Chicago did it.
            It is your right to your opinion, but I don’t see much support, and none from you.

            In this tome, you add it’s in the democratic DNA for one party ambition (as if Republicans don’t strive for one party rule?). Yes, we believe in strong central government, who wants a weak government? You want smaller, sure, but do you really want a weak government? One that can’t enforce laws, programs, and other governmental things? And then Larry concludes: one party leads to one-person rule? This from the guy who supports the guy who called his faithful together and they stormed the Capitol to overturn the election? Amazing. But again, you have your opinion, I see little support from you on this or Roosevelt.
            Have I lived in Florida, no, never will, too flat. A Floridian told me once: “what do Floridians call a hill? Bridge. Have I visited? Since the 60’s when we spent weeks camping near the orange groves visiting a friend’s grandad, an ex-federal Judge along with his brother, an ex cia deputy director who told us all that Bond stuff was true (maybe Joe can tell me whether he was kidding). Went fishing with old black men telling us tales of Southern horrors as we chummed the waters and feared for reptiles. In my work career was airdropped once for a week in Miami so they could hear my stories of high technology while I stayed in a crime center with a chair on my door. Was scared to go to dinner, but there was a diner I could see a block away I could see so I made my way only to find it was Cuban, incredibly friendly, and a cop hang out — heaven. Comcast brought me to the Ritz Carlton in Naples, wow, talk about rich, the staff kept groveling. In Naples I learned that you can’t tell the best places to eat by the number of cars but you can tell where the all-you-can-eat senior buffets are :>) Went air-boating in the everglades after going out on the bay to play with the dolphins on that trip. That was uber cool. Gulf sunsets are almost as good as my beloved Erie sunsets. But spent most of my time in Orlando, Disney, where once I even stayed at the top point of the Dolphin. Yeah, the very top tip. Buggered my reservation, so gave me the hospitality suite. Frankly, it’s creepy to have a murphy bed in a 30 x 60 room, but great large screen TVs and nice bar….. I can tell you things about Disney back passageways that only security knows….. Floridians taught me to do Disney like a native. So, yeah, visited a lot and we those weird seniors that still love Disney. Last time I was there, we buddied up with some folks from the Midwest who told us stories about the head games their kid was going through as a drone-pilot in a secure bunker. That’s got to be tough to kill by video game technology, but it’s real.

            I was being sarcastic in the FL comments. Yes, I know it’s a diverse state. But since you made me look, I can say many folks, Floridians themselves, echo my comments making you seem more out of touch than I.

            https://www.nbcnews.com/think/amp/ncna1285644

            https://www.vox.com/platform/amp/policy-and-politics/2022/4/28/23037788/ron-desantis-florida-viktor-orban-hungary-right-authoritarian

            https://www.palmbeachpost.com/story/opinion/2022/01/18/desantis-positions-threaten-demoracy-lean-toward-autocracy/6529476001/

            https://www.sun-sentinel.com/opinion/commentary/fl-op-com-ben-ghiat-desantis-autocrat-florida-20220320-hes3vv2qgzgrhb2mzaienhcdkm-story.html

            https://www.tampabay.com/opinion/2022/08/09/desantis-abuse-of-power-and-floridas-drift-from-democracy-to-autocracy-column/

            It is not a corner-case obtuse opinion Larry as most Floridians should know.

            I would love to continue this, but I think you need some facts, sources, links, examples, whatever to these opinions. Roosevelt what? Which one? Otherwise, we are certainly at a “you have your opinion, and I have mine” and probably can let it rest there. However, Floridians agree with my comments on DeSanctimonious, I was attempting to be sarcastic.

            As to the rest: “Because there is a central government…..” that’s some good shit and I agree except as to the education part, that’s still has a lot of local. Otherwise, DeSantimonious and others couldn’t get away with their shit. That’s why he focuses there, he has local autocratic powers but it garners national attentions. He’s clever, cagey , and much smarter and more experienced than Trump. But yes, that’s the point I was making, IMO, we will continue that trend, not regress, but we will never get to the point where the Nordic nations are. It’s a good fight, I support State’s rights, I support your right to fight for more, but I see it as more of an issue of there are some things where it is good to have 50 experiments, and there are some things where one size can fit all, and there are some things where one size is best to fit all. I just feel that with technology and the shrinking of geographies because of it, it’s only natural to centralize some features of government. But I enjoy state’s rights, the pushback, if nothing else, keeps us honest.

            As an example, Rand Paul wants to return FEMA to the States. I say how the fuck do you expect NJ to become Sandy-ready? How do you handle 100-year disasters on a local level, it’s just not economically or experientially sound. You will have deficient skills and investments to cover it. Frankly, same can probably be said for Hurricanes in Texas.

            But the bottom line is your belief that only democratic cities and the federal government can be autocratic is just not logistically sound. You can even be an autocrat in your own home. Ask my kids :>)

          • Joe Gilbertson

            Larry is Jewish?

          • larry Horist

            Frank Stetson …. for a guy who hangs on my every word, you sure miss a lot.. I am not Jewish — a fact that has no meaning to me. My point was that Mike repeatedly changes my last name to Horowitz when is is making pejorative ad hominin comments about me. There is only one explanation. He thinks it adds to his disregard for me. And that makes it anti-Sematic. And you call it sarcasm. Would you call hateful graffiti on Jewish temples “rudeness?” And you inability to remember or comprehend sends you down that silly Jewish rabbit hole. Nothing to do with the commentary.

            I wonder why you cannot comprehend that …yes, there are one party rule in many Democrat run cities but that is not mandatory. It is not even good. The only thing worse is one-party states and especially a one party nation.

            Frank, you do write a lot without making very good points, I gave you that facts that show that Florida is NOT a one party state. You responses and your citations do not even address your original accusation. You change the subject and go off on tangents.

            Frank … I think you need a hobby besides me.

          • frank stetson

            As much as you want to get personal, and lie in the process, I am going back to the topics. As I said, you think Democratic cities are autocracies, I think not. You equate socialism=communism=fascism=nazis=democrats, I think not. And you couldn’t even get Biden tag line correct nor how he qualified his comment because it did not fit your election year spin. Again, at this point, not going to change either of our opinions.

            You could not see sarcasm in my FL comments, you rejected Floridians who agree, and said — it’s my fault for not living in that covid rat hole of a state. I even put a happy face on the comments, but to no avail, Larry still couldn’t get it.

            Larry likes to claim how he does not respond to me. Go figure.

          • larry Horist

            Frank Stetson …OMG, you are correct in this case. I have noted that I do not respond to you point-by-point — not because I concede you points — such as they are — but I do not believe you are worth debating. But, I see that I did slip down the rabbit hole in this tread. I should know better — and in the future I will go back to ignoring you. I make my points in the commentary …. and you can respond and carry on as long as you like. Thanks for drawing attention to my lapse.

          • Frank stetson

            Even in agreement, you are a sanctimonious sack of silliness always off point, always in attack mode. Thanks for ignoring.

  5. Michael Cain

    Corporations do not pay taxes. A tax is a cost of doing business that is passed on to the consumer. When Trum lowered the tax rate it was the taxes we were paying in higher prices.

    • Tom

      And Michael, did you notice that the price of products they made did not go down a penny!!! Gee, wonder who kept that extra money?

  6. joe R.

    socialism is communism in its larval state

    We [in the U.S.] have The Communist Control Act of 1954 as still “good law” “on the books”. And violations of it should come with the death penalty, because enforcement of communism most often does.

    IT IS ALSO IMPORTANT TO NOTE:
    There is no corresponding “Conservative Control Act” or “Capitalist Control Act”, and you know why????

    BECAUSE WE’RE NOT GODDAMMNED communists.

  7. Kawika56

    Russia was the “Union of Soviet SOCIALIST Republics” and the NAZI’s were “National SOCIALIST German Workers’ Party”.

    NAZIsm is an abbreviation of “National SOCIALIST German Workers’ Party” and for decades, Mussolini was a socialist until he learned that Italians would respond to collectivism better when associated with Italy rather than the “International Proletariat”. There is not a penny’s difference between Communism, Fascism, and Socialism except Fascism is nationality aimed, Communism and Socialism are internationally aimed. In the end, it does not matter. They ALL want to rule your life.
    As simple as it gets:
    RIGHT: Government exists to obey and support the goals of The People.
    LEFT: People exist to obey and support the goals of The Government.

    Note that Stalin, Lenin, Hitler, Il Duce, Castro, Mao, and Pol Pot, and others were all Leftists, Socialists, Communists, or Fascists and atheists. Not Conservatives or Christians, they never ran a Republic or Democratic form of government. Just because you might be “allowed” to “vote”, when there is only one person to vote for, the outcome is a foregone conclusion, that “vote” means nothing!
    What we don’t want are more concentration camps, death camps, gulags, genocide, Gestapos, KGBs, and the rest of the apparatus of state terror.

    • larry Horist

      Kawika56 …. I just responded to another person with that exact information.

  8. frank stetson

    Larry says: “This manner of stereotyping is not the historic standard in political discourse. Both sides often attack the leadership and the policies of each other but refrain from using mendacious fearmongering narratives against an entire class of people. That is hateful prejudice. That is the way of authoritarians.”

    I am sorry, but has Larry been living under a rock since 2015? Did he miss the rise, reign, and ruin of King Trump? Perhaps he should get out of the gutter and step up on the curb with us. I watched as Trump fear-mongered against anyone with an accent, political opponents, business, and even foreign countries and leaders. He pummeled a few companies stock prices too. Does not make Biden right, but sure shows Larry with a very short memory.

    That said, yes, I agree that Biden is over the line with, not quasi-fascists as Larry says, but semi-fascists as Trump says. Larry should just correct that one, it’s the internet, it’s OK. But this branding is an artifact of the times we live in. And Biden is not talking about all Republicans, he is talking about Republican MAGA extremists, the group that Larry says is a small niched of his party. It’s not like AOC crap comments should apply to all Democrats either, certainly not to most on this site, but to the liberals here, it does not feel that way often. Biden should be Presidential and refrain from rhetoric this harsh with this much branding even when politicking from behind for the midterms. Remember John McCain, crazy Putin hating McCain, this man had some real class in this regard.

    • larry Horist

      Frank Stetson … if you study the record, you would find that Trump attacked Democrat policies … Democrat leaders …Republican leaders … and much of the media. But he — nor other Republican leaders — did not brand the Democrat voters as a malignant class of people. THAT is the difference I was pointing out. As you well know, I dislike Trump methods, but that does not mean I am unaware of the Democrat leaders strategy of characterized all Republicans as evil…. dangerous .. threat to democracy. That is Hitler-style propaganda. As usual .. you are not good at reading comprehension.

      I find it interesting that a guy who claims to dislike that Trump kind of ad hominin attacks has made it your mission to attack me personally in every article. Attacking me seems to be more important to you than dealing with issue in a civil manner. And I love the way you “talk to the audience about me.” And so often….lol. I think you need to evict me from your head — at least the Larry Horist you invented to feed your obsession. I am sure you can understand why i do not respond very often to your beam comments, I leave you as your own best critic.

      • frank stetson

        Sorry if you saw an ad hominem attack in that, was trying to stay to your facts. Here’s about a tenth of Trump attacks on Democrats, not the leaders, but Democrats. From twitter:

        Readers digest version of Trump slamming Democrats from twitter, 2015 – 2021. This is only about 25% of the whole thing.

        “emboldened Radical Left Democrats,”
        “a crooked and vicious foe,”
        “cheated in the Election,”
        “trying to STEAL this Election,”
        “WENT FOR A COUP,”
        “CRAZY!”
        “They don’t care about the people, never did!”
        “‘heartless’,” “horrendous people,” “They will say anything,” “lies,” “Sick!” “VICIOUS,” “very sick,” “stupid,” “Con!”
        “Crooked,” “LIE,” “Dems don’t have a clue!” “Do Nothing Democrats,” “They are CRAZY!” “have gone Stone Cold Left – Venezuela on steroids!” “will destroy our Country as we know it,” “Radical Left Do Nothing Democrat,” “CRAZY!”
        “Do Nothing Democrats,” “Incredible stupidity!” “soft,” “The Radical Left Democrats have gone Crazy!”
        “Do Nothing Democrats,”
        “Do Nothing Democrats,”
        “Do Nothing Democrats,”
        “Radical Left Democrats,”
        “vicious,”
        “MUST pay a big price for what they have done to our Country,”
        “The Enemy of the People,”
        “RUDE and NASTY.,”
        “have gone absolutely crazy,” “fear mongering,” “Radical Socialist Democrats,” “crazed,” “honesty & truth don’t matter to them,” “incompetence,” “angry & deranged”,” “unhinged”,” “Hypocrites,”
        “These people are Crazy,” “the Party of Hate,” “the Party of lies and deception,” “a disgrace,” “horror show,”
        “If the Radical Left Democrats were sane, which they are not,” “hurting our Country, and they don’t care,”
        “Crooked Democrats,”
        “They have a Death Wish,”
        “They have a Death Wish,”
        “blatant corruption,” “Con Artists, only looking to hurt the Republican Party and President,”
        “must be stopped,”
        “These Radical Left Democrats are CRAZY,” “truly disgusting!” “they are totally lost they are Clowns!”
        “still doing the Russians dirty work,” “extreme,” “depraved,” “absolutely ‘Loco’ or Unhinged,” “crazed lunatics,” “nuts”,”
        “have gone totally insane!” “have become totally unhinged,” “crazed,”
        “too EXTREME and TOO DANGEROUS to govern,”
        “mean & despicable,”
        “VICIOUS AND DESPICABLE,”
        “mean, angry, and despicable,”
        “looking to inflict pain and embarrassment,”

        Here comes the spin: incoming!!!

        • larry Horist

          Frank Stetson … and you do not think I could give you a loooooong list of nasty comments against Republicans … conservatives???? I would start with Biden’s speech.

          • Frank stetson

            I didn’t ask for one, you did. And in challenge form saying Trump never did this.

            You are a difficult man to agree with 😉

          • Mike

            Larry, Your total ignorance on this topic has been shown from the beginning, it appears that your school-time studies were limited to Trump University. You are wrong about the definitions of Socialism and Fascism (see comment above), and you are really wrong about what Trump has said as far as denigrating Republicans-as Frank has stated “what rock were you living under”? Yes, Trump did make statements against fellow Republicans-but those statements have clearly been limited (exclusively) to those that did not toe the line and support his every word (can you say authoritarianism-because that is obviously what that is). Biden did not denigrate every Republican, only those stupid enough to worship Donald Trump and believe his MAGA lies. There are still honorable Republicans out there-but far fewer than there were 6 years ago. You seem to get an idea into your pea sized brain, and work overtime to use it to bad mouth democrats, never mind what the facts are-you ignore those and hope that the readers that you typically write for are ignorant of what the facts actually are….(I choose to ignore your statements about my anti-semetism-those statements have as much fact behind them as most of your other rantings-it is obvious to the casual observer that you are terrified of being identified as a Jew from Boca…)

          • larry Horist

            Mike … You are the one who changes my name to a very common Jewish name as part of your pejorative attacks on me. THAT is anti-Semitic. As is you completely ignorant and erroneous contention that my response is due to being “terrified of being identified as a Jew from Boca.” Since I am not anti-Semitic, whether a was identified as a Jew or not is not more consequential then if I was Identified as a movie-lover or not. It is just biography. And why would I be “terrified’ in Boca … one of the most Jewish communities in America. Geez …sorry to say … you strike me as a hateful and bitter old man with diminishing mental faculties. I generally ignore you out of pity. I shall continue to do so.

  9. frank stetson

    I think I screwed this one up mixing governments with economies. That’s right, I think I am wrong. Problem is that socialism, while an economic model, is really an ideology too. I know what I want to say, and I alluded to it, but it appears that the definitions are changing over time as well as the Nordic forms of governments and economies. So, let me try to plain-speak some clarifications.

    1. Under today’s definitions, I agree with Larry, socialism bad and bad countries use it
    2. Modern Republics, like the Nordic nations and us, whatever the form of government, tend to mix free market economies with large centralized social programs, often branded as socialism. Generally, the larger the programs, the larger the taxation.
    3. I believe the US is already in that boat, and has been since The New Deal. I believe this trend will continue to grow, not shrink, over time.
    4. I do not believe the US will ever forgo capitalism and it has been berry berry good to me.
    5. I do not believe the US will ever forgo its Democratic Republic form of rule, unless Trump is re-elected. The AOC’s and Bernie’s have the same chance of success as the Rand Paul’s libertarian desires.

    That said, Larry here is an article explaining the Nordic Social Democracies explaining where there are and how they got there in history. https://foreignpolicy.com/2021/10/27/nordic-countries-not-socialist-denmark-norway-sweden-centrist/ Larry might be right in what they claim, I can not source it and neither did he. But this article pretty much spells out what they are. Feel free to disagree.

    And here’s another article explaining Democratic Socialism and yes, Bernie, AOC and the gang are mentioned. Bear in mind, point 3 — I believe we will move more that way in the future than regress back the other way over time. For example, I am not sure we can fix our broken health system without further social programs. This system is NOT free market capitalism, is severely broken as an economic or market model, and I don’t see any free-market manner of fixing it. As to the rest, we will never be socialism or even Nordic-style Democratic Socialism within a Capitalist economy; we will never be what Bernie and AOC advocate. https://thinkncfirst.hifistaging.com/economy/democratic-socialism-explained

    Hope that helps.

  10. frank stetson

    Now that I have clarified, it’s good to see Goodwin’s law in play and how fast Larry accepts the premise :>) I guess we could blame Biden’s branding, but all I can say is: how does it feel to have the President call you out? Welcome to my 2015 -2021 and beyond….. It also appears that many here think: socialism = communism = fascism = Democrats = AOC/Bernie. Larry says he agrees with Kawika56 so he seems either confused or in this boat too. I am guessing he means the centralized/autocrat part which sure sounds more Trumpian than Biden. The bottom line here is:

    This just cannot be true.

    And to say the US is heading this way is not true either. Nor is the Republican party “semi-fascist,” or “deplorable,” although they do now include elements that are. Just like Democrats have the AOC faction of extreme progressives. But I say your messaging from the top supports and incites this fringe. Ours not so much so. Trump, your party’s leader, promotes disinformation propaganda aka The Big Lie, refuses to accept the peaceful transfer of power, steal our Nation’s secrets, currently courts QAnon, and says he will forgive and pardon the 1/6 convicted criminals if re-elected. I think Republicans have ceded being the law and order party at this point unless they boot this man and reclaim Regan’s Party.

    And Joe, I said the Scandinavian countries WERE socialist, but have evolved. It’s explained in the link. As to spewing Bernie-isms, I didn’t, you are wrong.

    • larry Horist

      Frank Stetson. I did not have to look hard to see the many ad hominin attacks. And it is Godwin’s Law …not Goodwin”s. And the Law does not mean that the analogy is inappropriate. In recent months, I have been hearing a lot more Hitler-style propaganda language — using an innocent class of people — in this case Republicans — to stir hatred and animosity against them as enemies of the state. Biden’s speech was filled with that type of language. Merely substitute the work “Jews” for “Republicans” and the speech sounds like 1930s Hitler. There is much to criticize Trump for … and the efforts to overturn the official election results. Some was just bad use of legal means and some may have been illegal. That is for future juries to decide. But labeling the entire opposition party as enemies of the Republic …. THAT is too much. That is the language of despots. If you do not like the Hitler analogy then pick your favorite autocrat —- Replace “Republicans” with “Tibetans” and you have the Communist version. Or “Republicans” with -“Christians” and you get the Islamic terrorist version. In a free society, the opposition is not the enemy — and when a President of the United States crosses that line by smearing and maligning the entire opposition it is — to use Biden’s language — a big fucking deal. I will be writing more on that in the near future. I thought the speech was shockingly unAmerican. The only Republic he defends is one that he and his Party would control.

      • Frank stetson

        Biden has been pretty clear it’s not all Republicans. As have I.

        But put this on a scale against Trumplicant badgering and said scale tips right. Still not proper and I said as much above.

        Again, apologize for anything said that you feel is personal.

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