JDoors, on Sep 12 2009, 10:32 AM, said:
This type of semantic nit-picking works on both sides of the political aisle.
It's also comparible to a tech argument that goes around occasionally concering what, exactly, defines a "hacker." Oh, there are all the dictionary definitions, there are several definitions held by various people or groups, and then there's the common useage of the word. I fall into the camp that accepts the common useage of a word, as opposed to some high-falutin', extremely narrow and highly restrictive definition.
Almost any expert in almost any speciality will argue why their definition is the only one. It's a doomed argument, you can't stop words from eventually being co-opted by common useage. You. Can't. Stop. It.
The problem then is, if conservatives believe that Obama fits under the much more moderate definition of Socialism... then how is comparing him to Marx or Hitler applicable, let alone logical? You can't have your cake and eat it too.
If you believe Socialism == Social Democracy == Obama
then Obama != Marx != Hitler
After posting the above, I realize that my statement generalizing the beliefs and attitudes of conservatives is unfair. Let me apologize for that and attempt to reiterate what I'm trying to say.
The problem that I have--and perhaps its a problem with the media--is that many conservatives on TV, the internet, and in newspapers, are constantly portraying Obama with words like "Marxist", "Hitler", Nazism", "Communist", etc. You cannot deny that this is the frequent topic and delivery from high-profile names like Beck, Hannity, O'Reilly, and Limbaugh. They clearly are equating Obama to such extreme concepts as cold-war communism, or Nazi-German fascism. Then, I see stories of people at town hall meetings with signs defacing Obama to look like Hitler. Shortly after, I see the Student Conservatives at my University doing the same things!
So, I then believe that conservatives really do equate Obama to the far-narrow definition of Socialism. After all, if one is comparing him to Hitler or Marx, then they obviously(?) are using the Merriam-Webster definition.
So, JDoors--and anyone else who'd like to be in this conversation, my questions for you are:
What is your definition of Socialism?
Is Obama one, and why do you believe that?
Do you equate Obama to Marx, Hitler, etc, and why?
Hopefully this will steer the conversation in a better direction than what my original comments may have done.