Knowing political insults before spewing them

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Jaime Carrillo

I won’t lecture you on how decide your political differences with your fellow man, you should do your best to get along. Despite my respect for the man, I am not Mister Rogers. However, you should at least get your insults right.

As far as political insults go, President Barack Obama is the king of all misnomers.

You’ve seen the Tea Party posters (the ones with copious grammar and spelling mistakes) calling Obama a socialist, communist and even a Nazi. He is none of these political affiliations.

I don’t know if it’s the state of the American public school system or just plain ignorance, but folks simply don’t seem to know the definitions for the following terms. You can teach entire classes on their definitions, but here’s a quick primer with the help of my good friend, Merriam-Webster.

Communist – If you are a communist, you believe in the elimination of private property and live in a society where the means of production is done collectively among citizens. There is no class system, and nobody is inherently better than anyone else.

This is all in theory, most of the time communist systems go totalitarian pretty fast and create a small and oppressive ruling class. But do you know the scariest part of communism? Collective farming and the inevitable drum circle.

Famous communists include Che Guevara (that scrappy guy on your $80 shirt), Leon Trotsky and Mao Tse Tung.

Socialist – If you are a socialist you believe the government should take ownership and run the means of production.

Believe it or not, many systems have little slices of socialism imbedded. If a firefighter extinguishes a fire at  your house, you’ve mailed a letter out at the post office or attended a public school (chances are, you’re inside one right now) you can thank socialism.

I know that seems pretty grizzly, considering just how much of a bad rap the word socialism has gotten in recent years, but if you look at the world’s most efficient systems (I’m looking at you, Germany) they’re usually packed chock-full of “Vitamin S.”

Famous Socialists: Eugene Debs, George Orwell and Ralph Nader.

Fascist – If you are a fascist, you probably love crowds, marching and hate.

Fascists are usually xenophobic and crave strong central governments, militaries and an angry face that can be affixed to posters and billboards to inspire pride and fear.

Like communism, there’s a small authoritarian ruling party – i.e. Nazis and  Browncoats – that won’t hesitate to stamp a leather boot on any problem it see. Fascists are so scary they insist that their ideology always be capitalized.

Famous Fascists: Adolf Hitler, Generalissimo Francisco Franco, and Galactic Emperor Palpatine.

I hope this was an informative endeavor. I don’t want you to be nicer. I don’t want you to get along with the other side, no matter what your political affiliation is.

After all, remember in 1863, there were still calm and “reasoned” discussions on whether black people should be considered property.

Niceties are very overrated, especially when there are issues we’re arguing that should be pretty cut and dry like gay marriage and equal pay for equal work. But please, next time you’re shouting insults at someone you disagree with, please get your insults right, and I Oughta Know.