I recently phoned WSYR's on-air radio personality, Bob Lonsberry, to make a comment about his use of the term "Democrat" Party and "Democrat" candidate as opposed to the proper title and word usage "Democratic" Party and "Democratic" candidate. I stated that he could take the high road among extreme right-wing radio pundits by not using phrases solely designed to aggravate those with whom he disagrees. Had I been allowed to respond to Mr. Lonsberry I would have disagreed with his comment that what we call things does not matter. It matters to me as now the Democratic Party is more democratic than it has ever been. It's the Democratic Party that wants to eliminate the Electoral College, gerrymandering and voter suppression. It may seem petty but the pettiness is not on my part but on those who wish to diminish others' views through such disrespectful tactics. I have to commend Mr. Lonsberry as, two days later, I heard him use the proper title "Democratic Party."

Words matter and this is true of a variety of terms such as socialism, fascism, and liberalism. As far as socialism goes most Americans are socialists ... they just don't know it. They overwhelmingly support universal health care and our current socialist programs of Social Security and Medicare. In fact, when the latter two programs were devised the right attacked them as being socialism. Medicare for all is currently being characterized as socialized medicine when it is actually socialized financing of medicine. Let's not forget that we have a mixed system not have a purely capitalistic system because pure capitalism, as depicted by Adam Smith, has never worked.

In regards to Fascism ... it is not extreme left-wing socialism ... communism is. The Nazi regime is the fascism you get with extreme right positions. Don't be fooled by those who point to the word "socialist" in the Nazi Party's name as that was only a ploy by Hitler to appeal to unions in Germany.

So what is liberalism? Most people who are liberals now refer to themselves as progressives. I do not. The reason the term was changed is because of Rush Limbaugh tarring that word at every opportunity over many, many years. Liberalism had been responsible for most of our nation's social and economic progress and, as a proud liberal, I refuse to be cowed by such a blowhard. As I stated, words DO matter.

Thomas Hanley


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