Jane Fritz puts her finger on why the US really is different, and why a lot of their citizens just cannot abide the idea of socialism or social democracy or free healthcare. Of course, it’s not all Americans – this is the ‘base’ that Donald Trump is always speaking to. And this shows us why we in the UK our unwise to follow the right of our Conservative Party that would like to make us more like the US.
I can’t have been alone in wondering over many, many years why so many Americans have such an aversion to ‘socialism’ even in its mildest forms, like universal healthcare. Every other ‘developed’ country embraced what’s commonly called social democracy decades ago, in the aftermath of WWII, as have other countries. But not the U.S. As far as they’re concerned, it’s socialism.
I used to think that I understood the reason and that surely it would pass. My theory was that it was tied to the Cold War fear of communism and the thought that socialism would lead to communism. I reckoned that once enough time had passed they’d realize that wasn’t the case. However, I have now learned that this aversion to social rights has been at the core of American principles since at least the mid-1700s. That’s what individualism is all about. It explains a lot of things.
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