It's time to retell the American story the way it was intended to be told. Sure, I'm a history buff, but this is more about perspective than it is history. There has been a ton of talk lately about Obama being either a communist, fascist, or socialist (as if these are interchangeable) and how that goes against what the framers wanted. They are even having tea parties like those rebels in Boston before the revolutionary war began.
The notion of the framers being for capitalism or against socialism is ludicrous. Anyone that understands history knows those things didn't exist when they wrote the constitution. Sure, Adam Smith wrote his The Wealth of Nations in 1776, but that could only loosely be called capitalism after the fact and certainly not back then. Besides, it's not as if the forefathers could get on Amazon.com and order themselves a copy. The concepts of capitalism, socialism, and communism were a response to the Industrial Revolution. That did not come to the United States until the 19th century. Karl Marx himself wrote his Communist Manifesto after the ink was dry on our constitution. So, let's forget about all the nonsense of America's roots being those of capitalism.
The American story is a story of progress. When you look at every amendment and major law in this country that still stands (this removes Prohibition), you see an amendment or law that extended human rights beyond the point where it was before. This is the American story. As human beings we are all flawed and all have our own prejudices and piccadilloes. The triumph of the American story is that we have been able to overcome these as a people at each step in our nation's history.
When our country began, we said that all men were created equal. Our forefathers didn't fully understand the implication of their own statement. So, following the civil war we amended the constitution to reflect that error. Our forefathers didn't fully understand that women were also a part of that equation. We fixed that error following World War I. We added more civil rights following Brown vs. Board of Education. On and on the American story is a story of expanding the rights of its people.
This is our history. We must embrace it. If we don't then we give into that other history that some people have been putting forth. They will tell you a story that sounds good at the outset, but takes only some facts and makes you believe government prevents us from reaching that destiny. They will tell you about people picking themselves up by their bootstraps. They will tell you without the big arm of government that we all will live fruitful and productive lives. They will even tell you that government has kept some people down and prevented them from succeeding.
Remember one thing: the constitution makes no mention of what kind of economic system America must have. It couldn't have because the systems people had in mind didn't exist. If someone tells you Obama is a socialist then ask them to define socialism. I bet they can't. If they say he is a fascist then remind them that socialism and fascism are completely different things. More than anything, remember the American story and remember that progressives are on the right side of history. We must progress. It's our destiny.
I leave you with this quote as something to ponder.
"Wherever God erects a House of Prayer, the Devil always builds a chapel there, and twill be found on examination, the latter has the largest congregation." Daniel Defoe