Friday, January 22, 2010


Being socialismed is when you're having a highly intellectual discussion on a specific issue and, out of leftfield, some one accuses you of being a socialist.

This happened to me recently. Someone did not feel that Botswana is prosperous because of sound economic management as Obama has claimed. Instead, Botswana is successful because its government has stayed out of the market- also adding that Obama could learn from the example. I presented the inconvenient fact that the Botswana government actually owns 50% of Debswana, the main diamond mining company. Diamonds of course are the backbone of the nation's economy.

This person acknowledged my point, but argued that Botswana has low tax rates, which is attracting business and creating more jobs, asking me to compare that record to Zimbabwe's. I felt that numerous other factors have individually played a larger part than tax rates in the differing conditions of both nations. Those included the fact that colonialism played a more direct function in Zimbabwe, Rhodesia's unilateral declaration of independence, the long and devastating war of liberation, the 5th brigade's genocidal campaign into Matabeleland, Britain's inaction towards settling the land rights issue with whites, and the dictatorial disposition of Mugabe. Botswana was fortunate to avoid all of those hurdles. Those factors, and not the difference in tax rates, played a defining role in determining the future for both countries.

I was excited to take part in such a back-and-forth intellectual discussion about Botswana. Then, I was socialismed. Disappointment. Despair. Diarrhea (compliments of corn beef hash in a can).

Let it be said that I believe the more fortunate of us have the responsibility to assist the less fortunate of us. I favor a public option to compete with private insurance companies when it comes to health care. I don't believe the U.S. government should start nationalizing industries. Does that make me a socialist? Maybe. Maybe not. It doesn't really matter. The point is it had nothing to do with the above conversation. Conservatives, please, if you feel the urge to socialismed someone, just walk away.

(or put another way - HQT-IE)

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