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Letter: Capitalism still needs balance to its unchecked power

Why is Mike McConnell trying to tell Democrats what to think and how to vote? In his recent letter, he suggested congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the quote “new face” of the Democratic Party. He added, “She is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America. She also seems to promote its agenda.” This is called defining your opposition. It’s a common tactic used when you’ve got nothing else to base a campaign on. 

Democrats don’t need McConnell’s advice on what to stand for, or which candidates we should run for office. The party represents more than the philosophy of any one person, including Ocasio-Cortez. 

McConnell condemned socialism in Venezuela in two previous letters. Now he cites Cuba and Venezuela as examples of what could happen to Americans if they support more socialism as a balance against insufficiently regulated capitalism. He forgot to mention powerful and corrupt forces of capitalism have targeted the governments of Cuba and Venezuela for subversion, invasion, regime change and multiple assassination attempts. McConnell’s inference seems to be if you vote against the interests of the corporate establishment, it will do to you what it’s doing to Venezuela. 

As economic models, capitalism and socialism serve us best when one checks the other. If either one gains too much power, people suffer. Right now capitalism has gained too much power, and has used that power to push an agenda for destruction of any state that does not serve its needs. That explains Venezuela and Cuba. 

We should remember government and democracy were intended to serve the needs of people, not corporations. For example, conservatives insist universal health care cannot work in the U.S. because it will be too expensive. They ignore the fact every other member of the G7 successfully implemented universal health care decades ago. This includes Japan (since 1938), Germany (1941), the United Kingdom, Britain and Australia (1948), Canada (1966), France (1974) and Italy (1978). The United States is the only exception. I believe if they can do it, we can, too.

Sometimes I wonder where the “can-do” attitude of conservatives went on this issue. For decades our health insurance system was rigged to serve only the healthy and wealthy, leaving out the sick and poor. Citizens voted for change, and corporations reacted with anger. Acting on behalf of those corporations, conservatives did all they could to target, attack, repeal, defund and break Obamacare to make sure it failed. Sound familiar? 

It used to be that serving the public got politicians elected, but now serving corporate interests (and getting tons of corporate money in return) puts their own spokesmen in office. Our system is broken because infinite money has replaced the interests of citizens. 

If McConnell wants to avoid advancing socialism in America, he would do well to start fixing what is broken in our electoral system. I’d suggest he focus on how conservative philosophy can better serve the needs of the public, and stop using fear to manipulate Democrats. 

Bruce Vandiver


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