It’s a rarity for me to watch a sketch by John Stewart and consider it to be: humorous, informative, and generally enlightening. Partisan politics aside (for anyone who has seen his show, knows he does not hide his “left leaning” political beliefs), he presented a great sketch on Tuesday night EST about how the US has once again changed the meaning of a political school of thought to fit its own context.
Being a US-citizen living abroad the first case I stumbled upon was how every English speaker not from the United States considers the word “liberal” to mean someone who opposes big government, believes in the free market, and is essentially economically very conservative / right leaning (economically speaking). In the US the word is frequently tied to the Democratic Party, Government Spending, and those “liberals” who only watch MSNBC.
Socialism, and to “be a socialist,” is another example. For my European, Latin American and Asian friends being a “socialist,” has never meant signing up with Marxism, collectivization of the economic engines of an economy, being non-democratic, or “re-distributing wealth.” However, since the election of President Obama many seem to have re-defined the meaning of socialism to mean all of the above.
Check out this sketch and see for yourself. Glad John Stewart is attempting to get this message out. Unfortunately, I fear the real people who would do well to be exposed to such a sketch are not people who will be. Many of the people who watch his show believe he’s political philosophies are similar to their own, listen to him without question, or watch his show just for a laugh.