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Thanks, John Brenan, for your textbook definition of “socialism,” noticeably missing in my letter. However, I did coin the term "smocialism" (contraction of “smoosh” and “socialism”) defined here.

It means squeezing (“smooshing”) all sorts of pro-government, worker-soft, educated, leftish, democraty, joint, equality-ish, blue-green, womenly, minoritist, youth-fomented, minimum wagist, everybody in, and other hearty or unseemly viewpoints that are effectively smooshed into one great big red dot which you can focus on and learn to dislike so much that when any political or other issue comes up, as a conservative, you already have strong emotions about it, know what to think, and have no need for larger concerns, connections, facts, boring specifics, comprehensive understanding, and stuff like that — therefore simplifying the whole maddening thing down to conform to Charley Koch’s worldview where he owns everything including conservatives’ minds.

More broadly, our views can be shaped by familiar ‘isms’ or age-old associations like my Forest Service firefighting crew that was so gung-ho that, as a lowly district crew, we were sought for forest fires like hotshot crews. I sometimes ran 1-2 miles during lunch in workboots, inspiring my boss, Tom Mountz, to get the whole crew jogging for firefighting fitness. We busted tail, and built trail. Thus, I tend to view the government in better, more inspirational terms than others.

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Mr. Brenan, I gather, harbors strong adverse sentiments toward labor unions based on his earlier experiences, coloring his views, too.

Chris C. Foulke

Corvallis (Sept. 5)

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