Peter Lemiska
Is Barack Obama really our first socialist president?
By Peter Lemiska
June 12, 2012

Most Americans define capitalism simply as free enterprise, or the opportunity to create wealth with minimal government interference. Historically, it has been the very foundation of America's prosperity.

But some define capitalism in different terms, and recently there has been a concerted effort to portray capitalists as greedy exploiters of the masses. Others simply define the word "capitalist" as "a very wealthy person." Based on that meaning, Barack Obama and so many other well-heeled politicians, Democrats and Republicans alike, are indeed all capitalists.

Yet many dispute that claim, arguing that Mr. Obama is actually a committed socialist, opposed to the very essence of traditional American ideals. While Obama simply scoffs at any such suggestions, the news media and his allies are working hard to dispel them.

In a transparent effort to help his struggling reelection campaign, CNBC published an Associated Press article earlier this month aimed at dismissing the notion that Obama is a socialist. In the article, Greg Pason, national secretary for the Socialist Party USA, refers to Obama's health care overhaul, describing it as "anything but socialist." The writer further argues that the administration hasn't actually sought one of the classic forms of socialism, "government control of the nation's means of production." He also points out that Obama has, in fact, been fairly successful raising campaign contributions from Wall Street capitalists.

While Obama is clearly a far left ideologue, does that make him a socialist? The answer may not be so obvious, considering the parallels between the Socialist and Democratic Parties. Both parties profess to be champions of the working class and supporters of strong unions, both in the private sector and, contrary to the warnings of FDR, in the public sector. They tout themselves as advocates for gays, women and all minorities. They believe the wealthy should be taxed at significantly higher rates than the poor, and they rely on the government to create new jobs by rebuilding our infrastructure.

Fueling the debate is Obama's background, which is shrouded in secrecy. The facts, however, that are known suggest that he's something more than a far left liberal.

First are the widely-reported influences surrounding him in his early years, most notably, avowed Communist Frank Marshall Davis and anti-American, Marxist preacher Jeremiah Wright. Obama, himself, wrote in his memoirs that, as a college student, he was drawn to Marxist professors. It is inconceivable that the socialist dogma surrounding him throughout his youth had no influence on his ideology. Is it any wonder that the now defunct Socialist New Party endorsed Obama for the Illinois State Senate seat in 1996? In fact, in 2008, evidence surfaced establishing his membership in that organization.

Then there are his bizarre White House appointments, former and current czars like admitted Communist Van Jones, Chairman Mao fan, Anita Dunn, and many others.

The platform of the Socialist Party USA offers more insight.

The Socialist Party supports a steeply graduated income tax on the wealthy and limits on personal income. While the Democrats have traditionally touted themselves as champions of the poor, launching the War on Poverty in 1964, under Obama it has become a war on wealth. He is the first American President to openly call for wealth redistribution, withholding those hard-earned fruits of labor from the successful, and spreading it out among the less fortunate, and less ambitious.

The Socialist Party also calls for vast increases and expansion of welfare assistance. In 1996, Democrat Bill Clinton, working with Republicans who understood the dangers of government dependency, reduced the welfare rolls by signing the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act. Under Obama, welfare spending has skyrocketed.

One area in which the Democrats and Socialists diverge is military spending. While the Socialist Party demands the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from the Middle East and severe cuts to the U.S. military budget, the Democratic platform supports our success in Afghanistan and an increase in military personnel.

Many defense experts argue that Obama's military withdrawal from Afghanistan is premature, risking everything we've accomplished there. But more than that, to their dismay, earlier this year, he proposed huge defense cuts for the first time since 1998. His political exploitation of the Bin Laden killing seem to suggest that he views the military, not as defenders of our freedom, but merely as pawns to prop up his political career.

Finally, though he may not yet have taken over the nation's means of production, his administration has taken over the health care industry, and injected the federal government into the auto, banking, and energy industries. In the eyes of Greg Pason and the Socialist Party, Obama may not be ideal; but he'll do.

Socialists and Communists know exactly where Obama is coming from, and back him all the way. He has been endorsed by France's new Socialist President, and the Communist Party USA. Many other supporters see him as the well-intentioned Democrat he pretends to be, and might even question the importance of the whole issue: "Isn't it his performance as President that really matters?" But the issue is important to mainstream voters, who want to know where he intends to take the country. Also, as a lesson to future generations, it's important that history attributes Obama's failures not to inexperience and incompetence, but to his socialist ideologies.

The evidence strongly suggests that Barack Obama's vision bears little resemblance to that of J.P. Morgan, or even Franklin Roosevelt. But it does mirror that of Karl Marx. The choice in November is not between conservatism and liberalism, but between capitalism and socialism.

© Peter Lemiska


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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Peter Lemiska

Peter Lemiska served in the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Secret Service. Following his retirement from the Secret Service, he spent several years as a volunteer for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Like most of his contemporaries, he's always loved his country, and is deeply dismayed by this new and insidious anti-American sentiment threatening to destroy it. He's a life-long conservative, and his opinion pieces have been published in various print media and on numerous internet sites.


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