John Diers’ last article correctly states at the very end, “Words have meaning. Let’s be careful how we use them.” This statement is very accurate. However, his argument and the words he used are neither accurate nor logical. Let me explain.
We both agree on his definition of socialism. According to John, Webster’s defines socialism as “any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of means of product and distribution of goods.”
John goes on to cite a list of economic rights by Franklin Roosevelt that he feels are essential to our country’s success. Some of his examples: the right to a job; the right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation; the right of every family to a decent house; the right to protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment.
His so-called economic rights are not in the Declaration of Independence — where we have unalienable rights like life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. His so-called economic rights are not in our American Bill of Rights, which details rights like freedom of religion, free speech, the right to bear arms etc.
The rights spelled out in our Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights are limitations of government’s powers. John Diers’ list of economic rights necessitates the government taking from one person to give to another.
Nowhere in the United States Constitution does one citizen have the right to take the work product of another. Personal taking of someone else’s work product is a crime. Government taking of someone else’s work product is the very definition of socialism. Socialism is the government administration of means of production and distribution of goods. John, your economic rights are socialism.
John also cites the Wikipedia definition of a red herring, which is something that misleads or distracts from a relevant or important issue. It may be either a logical fallacy or a literary device that leads readers or audiences towards a false conclusion.
The only red herring here is John’s article, because logic is missing and his economic rights are the very essence of socialism (and very un-American). Instead, let’s keep to the guiding principals of our nation (“conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal” –Abraham Lincoln) and the Constitution (among them: limited government, rule of law and individual rights) to continue to build the most prosperous nation on Earth.