CNN contributor Erick Erickson allowed himself a little unhinged McCarthyite rambling this evening, writing at RedState.com: “In a statement right out of a communist state, the Democrats started their convention with a bit of propaganda declaring we all belong to the government.” MARXISM! declared Erickson: “We are Americans. We are not all wards or property of the state, despite Barack Obama's best efforts.”
Fortunately for the rest of us, the Democrats didn't say that.
Erickson either misunderstood or, more likely, deliberately mischaracterized a snippet from a video aired during the Democratic National Convention. In that video, the narrator says: “We are committed to all people, we do believe you can use government in a good way. Government's the only thing that we all belong to. We have different churches, different clubs, but we're together as a part of our city or our county or our state. And our nation.”
It was a kind of clunky way of saying that government is the only thing in which we all have a stake at some level, not an assertion of state control over the individual. (I suspect if the Democrats were going to announce that the role of government is ownership of its citizens, they wouldn't do it over b-roll of kids riding bikes around fountains.)
But Erickson wants you to believe that “belongs to” is synonymous with “owns,” which is untrue and frankly absurd when you factor in the context and common sense.