FISTS OVER FLOWERS.

WHY SOCIALISM WILL NEVER SUCCEED IN AMERICA.

I’m a socialist, of sorts.

I’m also an American, of sorts.

I would love to see these two identifying characteristics coincide. Sadly, despite best efforts, policies, and intentions, socialism will never succeed in the United States.

Why? Because Americans are simply too damn selfish.

I just got back from a trip to two of the world’s model socialist countries, Norway and Sweden. Their societies consistently rank among the safest, happiest, and most fulfilling on the planet.

Yes, people in both countries pay taxes. A significant amount of them. But, they also receive a litany of important benefits. For free. Healthcare, education, social security that isn’t going bankrupt, you name it. I worked my butt off this past year, and qualified for a higher tax bracket. I paid over $14,000 in taxes. Yet, I still paid almost $300 a month for my healthcare premium, not to mention the thousands I’ve spent fighting Lyme Disease that haven’t been covered by my insurance at all. I also pay into Social Security that I will most likely never receive.

Here in America, the argument is frequently made that socialism is misguided, because why should those who don’t want an education have to pay for those who do? Why do those who don’t need healthcare have to pay for those who do?

Well, I didn’t want a war. Or two. Yet my taxpayer dollars helped fund Iraq and Afghanistan, and they continue to be used towards our multi-trillion-dollar defense budget, against my will.

Capitalism does NOT always give you a choice.

You’re telling me that if healthcare were free, people would milk the system? Possibly so. But as the country with the first world’s highest obesity rate, people are milking the system anyway. And, it’s whole milk, not skim or soy. Rather than eating right and exercising, they’re spending their food stamps (socialism!) on Doritos and hamburgers, then costing taxpayers trillions of dollars in raised healthcare costs to treat diseases and conditions that could have easily been prevented by simple healthy choices.

The truth is, you’d be hard-pressed to name another society that is simply as me-first and selfish as American society today.

In theory, socialism is a phenomenal system of governance. In reality, when put into practice in individualistic societies such as that of the United States, it fails miserably.

Ironically, it’s conservatives, who often identify themselves as Bible-believing Christians, who want to do away with the very social programs that Jesus Himself taught: taking care of the poor, the sick, the needy, the widow, the orphan.

You think Jesus would’ve voted Republican? Think again. The love of money is the root of all evil, Mr. Trump. (Not that Trump has ever actually opened a Bible, but if he did, he might find that verse in there.) Look at the early church in the book of Acts, the one that guy named Jesus founded. Everyone shared everything for the good of the community. Everyone was heavily involved in serving the less fortunate. Everyone wanted to live the selfless life that that guy Jesus had lived. Ever heard of turning the other cheek? Don’t worry, neither has Donald Drumpf.

Every socialist society recognizes that when the good of the group is sought after, when the needs of everyone in society are met, one’s own needs are met in the process.

Just because you don’t put yourself first doesn’t mean that you can’t take care of yourself. In fact, quite the opposite. It’s in recognizing that the greater good is greater than just yourself that we find that others are doing the same. We find community. Authentic relationships. Love. Things that this disconnected, entitled, mass-shooting-prone, sociopathic society are sorely lacking.

I hate to break it to you, right-wing Trump-touting Christians: Jesus was a liberal. A socialist, even. He advocated SO many ideals that you vote against. What happened? The religious right murdered him. Open your beloved Bible, and look past the three verses on gays and look towards the three thousand on grace.

This country will never boast the utopian, peaceful, communal society that I wish it would. Guns will always outsell Super Soakers. War will always outsell peace. Crimes will always outnumber acts of kindness.

Fists over flowers. Hate over heart. If our country is idiotic enough to put a racist, misogynist, completely underqualified, fraudulent, petty bully in the Oval Office and anywhere near the button that controls our thousands of nuclear warheads, I’m leaving. For good. It’s not about Democrat versus Republican. It’s about one qualified candidate that I certainly don’t love, versus a certifiably insane “candidate” who is endorsed by the KKK and Putin, and would be endorsed by Hitler, too, if he were alive. Just ask Anne Frank’s stepsister. Making America great again doesn’t mean an isolationist, imperialistic foreign policy. It doesn’t mean hearkening back to the dark days of constant racial discrimination and hatred. The things that make America great don’t involve Confederate flags, internment camps, and segregation.

So, you call yourself an American? Please, I beg you: think. Vote for anyone but Trump. Do your part to remember that we’re not called to question the motives or the choices of those less privileged than us. We’re called to help them. By God Himself. Don’t believe in God? That’s fine too. Shouldn’t the fact that less fortunate people are human too be reason enough?

Choose flowers over fists. Choose heart over hate. Together, we can make America great again.

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