Selwyn Duke
Obama: "I am not an animal!"
By Selwyn Duke
March 11, 2009

Actually, Obama said, in so many words, "I am not a socialist!" in a delayed-reaction response to a question from a New York Times reporter. That is to say, his initial answer was a very pithy "no," but then he felt compelled to call the interviewer back and give the scribe a piece of his mind (how much, we don't know. But rumor has it that it was sufficient to lower Obama from socialist to communist status). And here is what he said:

    It was hard for me to believe that you were entirely serious about that socialist question . . . . I did think it might be useful to point out that it wasn't under me that we started buying a bunch of shares of banks. It wasn't on my watch. And it wasn't on my watch that we passed a massive new entitlement — the prescription drug plan — without a source of funding. And so I think it's important just to note when you start hearing folks throw these words around that we've actually been operating in a way that has been entirely consistent with free-market principles and that some of the same folks who are throwing the word "socialist" around can't say the same.

Ah, methinks he doth protest too much. Could this be, calling a reporter back to set the record crooked?

What do you notice about this answer? Well, as someone Obama might admire, Eleanor Roosevelt, once said, "Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people."

Except for an unsubstantiated claim that his actions are "entirely consistent with free-market principles," Obama said nothing about ideas. He never actually explained why what he embraces is not socialism and defended his policies; he only said that whatever is being done, George Bush did it first.

But this doesn't tell us that Obama isn't a socialist, only that Bush may be a bit of one himself. And this is typical of how liberals reason and debate. It's a puerile schoolyard response, like saying "He started it!" or "Johnny stole part of the fat kid's lunch before I did!"

Of course, when someone doesn't actually defend what he has done it sometimes means it's not defensible. And it's always easier to attack a flawed person than defend a flawed policy.

Another example of the liberal knack for completely missing the point is Boston Globe columnist Scott Lehigh. He wrote a very dismissive and sarcastic piece in which he opined, "OF ALL THE inane accusations about President Obama, the silliest has to be this: The president is a socialist." He then proceeded to wax Obamaesque and obfuscate, as he started talking about how what Obama is doing is "well within the tradition of FDR and LBJ."

Again, is this a defense of Obama or an indictment of FDR and LBJ? And, really, telling me that the man often referred to as president is much like those two individuals doesn't exactly give me a warm and fuzzy feeling.

Lehigh also quotes Boston College political science professor Marc Landy as saying, "Epithets are substituting for thinking."

Yes, Scott, and so is sophistry.

Basically, the journalist portrays those of us who question Obama's ideological status as nuts. So, Scott, allow me to help you. I know this may be hard to believe, but it's rumored that politicians are occasionally dishonest about their beliefs and intentions. And I think there are a few minor details you're missing.

As I and others have documented, there is every reason to believe that Obama was a member of the socialist New Party in the 1990s. I wrote about this here, linking up to New Party documents and those of other socialist entities that illustrate this association. Moreover, Newsbusters has cited numerous communist sources that seem to be claiming Obama as one of their own.

As Frank Chapman of the U.S. Peace Council wrote in People's Weekly World (newspaper of the Communist Party USA), "Obama's victory was more than a progressive move; it was a dialectical leap ushering in a qualitatively new era of struggle. Marx once compared revolutionary struggle with the work of the mole, who sometimes burrows so far beneath the ground that he leaves no trace of his movement on the surface."

You see, Scott, this is why you mainstream media retreads have no credibility among thinking people. If you journalists had actually been practicing journalism, these issues would have been thoroughly examined during the campaign and there might have been some resolution. Instead, you stuck your head in the pablum and became Obama's public relations team, steadfastly refusing to examine the facts. And, now, after burying the truth about his ties, you want to bury those of us who speak the truth? Well, Scott, I usually refrain from visceral reactions in print, but if you would be so kind, shut the heck up.

Then, Lehigh writes, ". . . if Obama were a socialist, crypto or otherwise, he would surely be proposing government-run healthcare, rather than an expansion that builds upon our current hybrid model."

No, Scott, that is only the case if he's as stupid as you seem to be and not as smart as you say he is.

Unless Obama is completely without finesse, he will only bend the wire as far as he can at the moment without breaking his political fortunes; it will be evolutionary change when necessary, revolutionary only when possible. This is what all successful politicians, from the good to the bad to the ugly, do.

As to this, something seems to have eluded you, Scott. Obama has said that, because of the economic malaise, there are certain things we can't do right now. And bear in mind that even Adolf Hitler, who had absolute power, implemented his agenda in steps and not one fell swoop.

But the main reason I consider our liberal politicians to be socialists is because I grasp liberalism. I understand that while we can't know precisely what lies in the hearts and minds of the Obamas of the world, they often don't know, either. I'll explain what I mean.

G.K. Chesterton once said, "Progress should mean that we are always changing the world to fit the vision, instead we are always changing the vision." This mutable view of progress typifies our progressives. What is the liberal vision? Can anyone really define it as anything but constant change?

The point is that there is no end game with modern liberals. At one time their ambition for marriage policy was the elimination of anti-miscegenation laws, which was fine, but now it's faux marriage. And in Sweden there is a movement to legalize polygamy. What will it be in 15 years? Can any leftist tell me with sincerity that his set has a concrete vision for marriage?

Liberals cannot have a vision because they don't recognize Moral Truth, and without such recognition there can be no ultimate goal. This is why the liberal agenda changes markedly from generation to generation — and, in fact, it is always in a state of flux — based on what feels right at the moment. Utopia always lies around the next corner but just out of reach, but liberals will always have something resembling hope as long as they can look forward to the next tax, regulation, mandate, law or social program. It's much as with a drug addict. No amount of a mind-altering substance will ever yield true happiness, but as long as he can look forward to the next fix, he has hope and meaning — or at least a vague approximation thereof. And only overdose and death can end the vicious cycle.

But before that ultimate demise, where will that cycle bring us? If liberals cannot point to an end game — if they cannot say that when we have a given number of laws, mandates, regulations and programs and a given amount of government control, their vision will have been realized — how can they expect us to believe that their ever-recycling pattern's second-to-last stop is anything but totalitarianism? I just state the obvious: If I take more freedom from you every year, eventually you end up with no freedom at all.

I truly believe that, in their hearts, most of our leftists have no problem with socialism at all. But that is secondary. The point is that liberalism today is not an ideology as much as it is simply a process, one that takes man well beyond the vision of socialism. Its only end game is the complete crushing of the human spirit and the death of civilization.

© Selwyn Duke


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)


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