A very wise older woman once said, “There is no greater fool than an educated fool.”

That certainly applies to those in Maine who use the term “socialist” to denigrate others. Those who say they hate socialism are often unwittingly benefiting from the concept. Socialism commonly is a form of “public, cooperative, or collective ownership; (it also refers to) citizen ownership of equity; or to any combination of these.”

Non-profit co-ops are owned by the members. Non-profit credit unions are owned by the members, and public education is nonprofit, just to name a few. These all can be defined as “socialism” yet exist widely in our society.

Nationally, Republicans in Congress wage war on programs they consider “socialist” and have ceaselessly attempted to dump our national pension system called “Social” Security and replace it with a Wall Street-traded, for-profit system.

They call Social Security an entitlement but fail to explain that it is actually our money loaned to the central government, stored in investments called “Treasury securities,” then distributed to beneficiaries in retirement.

These same anti-socialist Republicans have been trying for years now to replace our national healthcare system, Medicare, with a for-profit, private insurance system. Medicare is a single-payer system not saddled with insurance company profits.

On the other hand, the Affordable Care Act, or ACA, initially intended as Medicare for all, became a for-profit system. Insurance companies love the ACA. Following the implementation of the ACA, insurance premiums are rising and the dramatically doubling or tripling of prices are making healthcare unaffordable for millions.

Despite the efforts of all those socialism hating self-described capitalists, it appears that socialism is firmly embedded in our society, and like it or not, we are clearly a Democratic Socialist Republic. And that is not a bad thing.

Jimmy Chiddix

Waterville