When Czech native Milos Forman directed One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, the character of Nurse Ratched symbolized for him the brutal Communist Party he grew up under, "telling me what I could and could not do," he writes in the New York Times. Which is why he is tired of hearing President Obama's critics casually toss around the word "socialist" to describe him. "They falsely equate Western European-style socialism, and its government provision of social insurance and health care, with Marxist-Leninist totalitarianism," writes Forman.
"It offends me, and cheapens the experience of millions who lived, and continue to live, under brutal forms of socialism." It's fine to debate the scope of the federal government, but let's watch our tone. We should strive for "social harmony," which requires "the different players and instruments perform together, in support of an overall melody," he writes. Done correctly, toward the "common good, we can achieve a harmony that eluded the doctrinaire socialist projects." Otherwise, "the music will disintegrate into cacophony." Read Forman's full column. (Read more Milos Forman stories.)