My original title for this diary was going to be: "Calling all Communists!", but I knew that this might be fodder for Bill O'Reilly and Roger Ailes, who think that this website is a regular Commie cyber-nest. Which leads me to the subject of this diary: I'm TOTALLY sick of mainstream conservatives and mainstream Republicans calling Obama and any Democrats Communists!
Oh, we could try to sit them down and explain to them the true meanings of words like Communism and socialism. We could explain to conservatives that actually, Obama has done a lot of things to help Wall Street. We could then hope that Republicans would see the light, and treat the President much nicer. Unfortunately, "Reason" isn't a dog who should be fighting in this fight, because he will lose.
I personally believe that men like Roger Ailes really do know the true meanings of words like Communism and socialism. Roger Ailes knows that the President is slightly left-of-center leaning, but corporately controlled. The only reason that Ailes and conservatives like him call Obama and Democrats Communist and socialist is to make even the most middle of the road, least adventurous Democrats sound like raving revolutionaries who want to torch Wall Street tomorrow.
This tactic of driving the mainstream conventional wisdom rightward has worked. The health care reform known as Obamacare was endorsed by Bob Dole during the 1994 campaign. Now Republicans are so far to the right, they violently repudiate ideas that they themselves were essential in forming. As Bill Maher said, "The Democrats have moved to the right and the Republicans have moved to the mental hospital."
How do we progressive Democrats move the "center" of political discussion further leftward? Perhaps some of the few progressive radio and television hosts and the many progressive blogs actually could find and interview real honest-to-Godred-meat-eating Communists! Progressive media personalities would ask these Communists what they thought of Obama and if Obama really WAS a good Communist.
I guarantee you that I'd know what the answer would be. I imagine that true unapologetic 100% Communists would have as much disdain for our President as Roger Ailes does. Real Communists would say that Obama was a "Capitalist tool" and a "running dog of imperialism." (I've met and owned quite a few dogs in my life, but I don't think I've ever met a "running dog of imperialism" or would know what one looked like!).
I could imagine Michael Moore travelling to Cuba, North Korea and the Peoples Republic of China and asking party officials what they thought of the President and if they thought that Obama was a Communist. (Sadly, the Chinese now make pretty lousy Communists, not that they'd admit it!) I can only imagine what choice words North Korea's Dear Leader would have about President Obama's Communist credentials.
I'd be typing up a diary of an interview with a Communist if I knew where to find one. Time was, there were lots of Communists in the USA. My mom babysat for a local Communist party official, in exchange for piano lessons. I knew Communists in the 1960s, 70s and even 1980s (one of them even invited me over to her house to play bridge!).
The only Communists I could find were on the radio (and I don't mean a progressive talk show, Roger Ailes). I became re-acquainted with Radio Havana on the shortwave band. Back in the 1970s, nerdy kids like me would tune in and listen to the fire-breathing Communist radio stations on the shortwave band. We'd pretty much laugh at the blatant Communist propaganda, plus there was the thrill of listening to "the enemy." There was radio Moscow, radio Peking, radio Tirana (from Albania), and radio Hanoi. Radio Havana's Communist propaganda always was in the more laidback range. Their newspeople always would criticize the US government, but there were no loaded terms like "filthy imperialist dogs." Let me add that all of these Communist stations had newsreaders who spoke in impeccable American or British English.
On a whim, I decided to tune into Radio Havana last night, and found their programming rather blissfully free of Communism. Their programming contained a lot more music than I remembered, which is pretty smart, considering that the Cuban Americans I know play music as easily as they breathe. Radio Havana's announcers never had the stentorian tones in their voices as did other Communist announcers, but these days, they sound friendlier than ever. The announcers' English is rather accented-- I guess Cuba no longer has the funds to educate folks overseas anymore-- but it sounds less phony. Radio Havana's broadcast also have segments on stamp-collecting and DXing, pretty apolitical. Other than the broadcast of speeches from one of the Castro brothers, Radio Havana is pretty propaganda free.
Finally, it sounded as if the folks over at Radio Havana are pretty lonely. They promised that if listeners wrote to them, they would send them baseball caps of Cuba's national team, a very tempting offer. Another announcer claimed that the radio station kept every single letter from its listeners all over the world. I heard one announcer suggest that if any listeners happened to visit Havana, they were encouraged to visit the radio station. Any visitors were promised a grand tour of the studios and lunch!
I started fantasizing about doing an interview by mail with a friendly Radio Havana announcer and asking him about whether or not President Obama was a very good Communist. I can't imagine that he'd say anything positive.
P.S. Let's get rid of that stupid trade embargo with Cuba! I saw pictures of Havana on the radio station's website and it looks gorgeous. If we can trade with "Communist" China, why can't we trade with Cuba?