By Kyle Kreiger
Published: Sep 10, 2009

I was almost moved to tears.

There on TV was a 30-something mom who was so terrified that she was sobbing uncontrollably.

Her kids were being forced to listen to President Barack Obama's message indoctrinating them on the ideas of working hard and staying in school.

Luckily, parents in Pinellas County were able to have their kids opt out of listening to the president's propaganda.

The woman's reaction was akin to the raw emotion bubbling over as people at town hall meetings describe their fear of one detail of the Obama health care plan - that a public health insurance option is socialism.

To those principled souls I offer a solution.

Opt out.

If a public option is offered, don't use it.

Even if it means going without insurance.

But don't stop there.

If "socialism" scares the bejesus out of you, flee from every government program that hints of socialism.

When it comes time to fill out your tax return, skip that mortgage deduction and notify the county that you'll be relinquishing your homestead exemption. Otherwise nonhomeowners will be subsidizing your house.

Write off donations to churches and charities? Don't even think about it. Surely you don't expect the rest of us to help fund, in any way, your religious beliefs.

Pull your kids out of public school. And when they're ready for college, if they choose a state school, pay out-of-state tuition. Skip the applications for any financial aid funded by the government - and say goodbye to Junior's Bright Futures scholarship.

Own a business? Give up any local, state or federal tax breaks, and don't even think about a below-market-rate loan backed by the government.

If you're a working stiff, tell your employer to just say no to those tax breaks and government-back loans because you can't, in good conscience, work for a company that practices socialism.

After you get fired, don't bother applying for unemployment insurance. Or food stamps.

You will cheerfully pay more for food, because you won't want to benefit from farm subsidies. Museums, concerts and sporting events will cost more, too.

Ride the bus? Get a bike.

If you are a veteran, stop going to the VA for medical care. Seniors, just say no to Social Security? When the check arrives, mark the envelope "return to sender" and ship it back.

Stick to your principles.

I guess "socialism" is palatable when it works to our advantage.

If you don't want health insurance reform, debate the merits - talk about the cost, question whether everyone in United States deserves health insurance, focus on government intrusion.

But using "socialism" as just another scare tactic?

Cry me a river.

Kyle Kreiger rants about the serious and silly with one question in mind: Why? Contact him at kreiger@sptimes.com.

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