By Trish Nelson, Iowa City
In a fundraiser letter, Second-District Republican Marianette Miller-Meeks repeatedly referred to Democrats as “Socialists.” Miller-Meeks is either very confused or is giving her constituents a bum steer.
Historically, Republicans have used the scary word “Socialism,” referring to programs that benefit people, dating back to Jim Crow days. They said laws that helped black people vote would cost the taxpayers money because black people would then vote for their own economic interests and they called this a “transfer of wealth” and “Socialism.” They also said it about Medicare, Social Security, unemployment compensation programs and the Affordable Care Act, calling the ACA “socialized medicine” and “government takeover of health care.”
In the modern era, Republicans use focus groups and professional propagandists to arrive at just the right degrading phrase to make people think programs that will benefit them are scary and will ruin the country.
Other examples of publicly funded programs and institutions that benefit people include the U.S. Post Office, public schools, the G.I. Bill, our military, roads and bridges, and yes, our elected government officials including Ms. Miller-Meeks, whose salary is paid by our taxes. Ms. Miller-Meeks, do you believe you are the recipient of a “Socialist” system?
All of us no doubt are benefiting from one or more people-oriented programs put in place over the course of our history. We need those programs to improve our lives.
Miller-Meeks is using scare tactics to raise money and spread disinformation. That is unacceptable for a representative of the second district of Iowa.