I sort of miss the Cold War

I never thought I’d say this but I sort of miss the Cold War. It seems having the Soviet Union around as a sworn enemy kept our own politicians in check in a way a loose affiliation of terrorists has not. Lately, our own government is behaving in ways that would have made “Uncle Joe” Stalin proud.

If the Cold War was still going on, the fear of being called a Communist, or even a Communist sympathizer, would have been enough to prevent any politician even considering using $750 Billion taxpayer dollars to bail out private companies that made poor decisions. And giving enormous, unprecedented, unconstitutional and unchecked power to the unelected Treasury Secretary? Never would have happened.

American politicians of the Cold War would never have nationalized Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Nationalization was for Communists, not Americans. In America, you succeeded or failed on your own. And the same would have gone for the auto industry.

American politicians of the Cold War would never have dared speak of confiscating workers’ 401K and IRA savings accounts to nationalize them into some Communistic forced savings systems. Communists might steal their people’s savings but Americans would not.

American politicians of the Cold War would not have discarded such Constitutional pillars as habeas corpus, privacy and freedom of speech as they did when they passed legislation like the Patriot Act and FISA. They would not have allowed the president his secret prisons, torture and kangaroo courts. Not so openly, at least. In the Cold War era, that’s what covert operations were for.

And an American voter in the Cold War era would have shunned a presidential candidate who promised such things as “spreading the wealth”, nationalized youth service and raising taxes on those who are successful.

During the Cold War there was no mistaking what was Communism and what was American. The line between them was clear and not to be crossed. Ah, those were the days.

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