On HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher on Friday night, the host talked about socialism in a way that most of the media refuses to. Maher connected his explainer of sorts with the United Nations’ latest annual World Happiness rankings and asked, “If socialism is such a one-way ticket to becoming the nightmare of Venezuela, then why do all the happiest countries in the world embrace it?”
Maher pointed out that the top countries in the rankings “are all socialist-friendly places like Finland and Norway, Denmark, and Iceland, Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands and Canada.” Adding that, “The right has a hard time understanding the concept that we don’t want ‘long lines for bread socialism.’ We want the ‘you don’t have to win the lotto to afford brain surgery socialism socialism.’”
Almost no one in America truly argues for pure socialism, as Maher points out. Most, whether they realize it or not, want a mix of capitalism and socialism. “Socialism replacing capitalism is bad, but socialism as a supplement to capitalism is good. Kind of like how gin and tonic are terrible by themselves, but mixed together, delightful,” Maher joked.
Most of the time, this message gets muddled because the party that one would think should espouse socialist ideologies, the Democrats, is too often caught up in the same capitalistic corruption as conservatives. Clarity on this topic is important. Without it, we are left with people who are so mixed up, they literally yell at politicians to keep government out of their Medicare.