Thank you, Rep. Chris Stewart, for making a compelling case for limited American socialism.

In his Feb. 26 opinion piece, Stewart attempted to denounce socialism, not by citing failed instances, but by justifiably excoriating failed totalitarian regimes, namely those that have ruled the USSR, Cuba and Venezuela, which nationalized and then destroyed key industries. Amazingly, he immediately went on to praise Canada and what he called “the Nordic countries” for their social safety nets.

That he confused socialism with totalitarianism, or did not realize the safety nets he lauded constitute limited forms of socialism, is unlikely. Seemingly, Stewart’s true aims were threefold:

  1. To dupe readers into believing limited socialism, exemplified by Social Security and Medicare, invariably leads to communistic totalitarianism;
  2. To promote the libertarian view of freedom, which includes the right to pursue economic enterprise without being encumbered by labor laws, environmental and safety regulations, disclosure requirements or other forms of “pesky” government interference; and
  3. To discredit progressive candidates for public office.

Regarding the last, Stewart surely knows that all credible progressive contenders for the presidency abhor totalitarianism, which is among the reasons they have spoken out vigorously against the incumbent.

Erhard K. Valentin, Layton