I’ve talked to a friend who thought the Republican President, George W Bush, had stolen the election, and another who thought the man was evil. If you do a search on the internet for “Is Bush Evil”, you will find websites that claim he is and try and prove it. I personally thought he was a good man in a hard job, even though I thought that he did make some bad decisions.
Now we have a president, Barack Obama, who promised to transform America. And some people (probably not the same people) think he is evil. Again, you can do a search for “Is Obama Evil” on the internet to see what I mean.
Now I believe his policies are disastrous, but does that make him evil?
When you hear him talk, he comes over as concerned about America, and a pleasant person.
But then, you examine what he says, and what he does, and it is disturbing.
The conservative talk show host Mark Levin said that behind Obama’s smile is an angry man.
Is that true?
Dr. John C Drew, who knew Barack Obama in his younger days at Occidental College, says that Barack was a pure Marxist. John himself was a Marxist at the time, and his girlfriend told him that Barry (Barack’s original name) was ‘one of us’. He says that Barack believed that the government was rigged so that it created poverty, and the only solution was redistribution of wealth. Barack also approved of the Soviet Union. But, Dr. Drew says, Barack showed no racial animosity to whites at all. Dr. Drew believes that Obama is still a socialist, based on various actions (you can hear the interview of John Drew at: http://www.breitbart.tv/college-acquaintance-young-obama-was-pure-marxist-socialist/).
Dr. Drew feels that if Obama has undergone an intellectual evolution since then, he should tell us about the steps of that evolution.
On the other hand, you have people who disapprove of Barack’s actions, but do not see him as a socialist. For instance, the conservative talk show host Michael Medved says that if Obama were really so radical, he’d grasp the moment when he has a supermajority in Congress and the Senate to pass a super-radical agenda. But he hasn’t done that.
Another article, in Reason Magazine online, says that Obama props up companies, (like the car companies) he doesn’t destroy them.
My point here is not that Socialism is evil. I believe it leads to less choice, less freedom, and less prosperity, but my point that is if Obama is a Socialist, he should have told the American electorate that before he was elected.
Marxists believe that America is a force for bad in the world. If a president who had not shed such beliefs got into the White House, what would he do? He might make America’s military weaker. Certainly the army and Navy have had their funds cut. And there are Obama’s nuclear disarmament initiatives. Of one of them, Jeff Nyquist says: “As the American side has supposedly agreed to pull down all its anti-missile defenses as part of the nuclear disarmament process, it was almost humorous when a Russian S-300 dual purpose SAM/ABM got stuck in the mud while rehearsing for a victory parade in Ekaterinburg. The S-300, also known as an SA-10, is a Russian long-range surface-to-air missile which was developed to intercept aircraft, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles launched from the United States. In the arms control talks between the U.S. and Russia there has been no reported discussion regarding more than 10,000 SAM/ABMs used to defend Russia from ballistic missile attack. In other words, the United States is expected to strip its missile defenses bare while Russia is fully protected. (With this deal on the table, I might play nice with President Obama too.)”.
But when I hear all this, I am still uncertain. Is Obama basically a nice guy who wants a world without awful nuclear weapons, wants to help the poor, and simply doesn’t understand the free-market system? Or is there a drive to power, and a dishonesty about disclosing his motives?
Consider the following:
On July 2, 2008, Barack Obama announced: “We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.”
Why on earth would we need a new security force like this? We have the army, the national guard, the police, the FBI, the CIA, etc. Why would a man who believes in peaceful outreach to the Moslem world, and who is called “comrade” by President Putin, want to spend a huge amount of money on an armed force?
If Hugo Chavez came to power in the U.S. he might want something like that.
This is disturbing.
I have also been disturbed by Obama’s appointments. Not only do they adhere to all the conventional left-wing opinions, from the environment, to disarmament to affirmative action etc. but they sometimes stray into pure Communism, like Anita Dunn, who says her hero is Mao Tse Tung, or Van Jones, who was an unabashed Communist. An example of why conservatives get upset:
Michelle Malkin says: “I’ve long reported on the danger of illegal alien sanctuary city policies embraced by woefully misguided (at best) and criminally reckless public officials seeking to appease the open borders lobby. One of the countless casualties of this deadly pandering was Houston PD officer Rodney Johnson, who was shot and killed during a traffic stop in 2006 by an previously deported illegal alien protected by Houston’s sanctuary law. His widow, Josyln, continues to speak out against continued non-enforcement policies — and she is livid that the Houston police chief will now be joining the Obama administration”
Or when President Obama submitted the name of Robert Chatigny Feb. 24, 2010 for a seat on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, calling him a “first-rate” legal expert and “faithful” public servant.
U.S. District Court Judge Robert Chatigny gained notoriety in 2005 for his role in trying to fight the execution of convicted serial killer and rapist Michael Ross, also known as The Roadside Strangler, whom Chatigny had described as a victim of his own “sexual sadism.”
His conduct in that case, as well as his ruling in 2001 against sex offender registries created under Megan’s Law, has caused a commotion among Republicans on the judiciary panel.
“I’ve never seen conduct like this,” said a Republican source. “I’m shocked that the White House vetted this guy … and still put him up for a judgeship.”
I was also disturbed at the statements from Obama that his “health plan” would save money – almost every study says the it will cost vast amounts and also raise taxes. I was disturbed that he spent 3/4 trillion dollars on a “stimulus” plan. $3/4 trillion that we do not have. I am very disturbed at the budget projections and the deficit projections. I believe his policies are greatly responsible for our inability to recover from the housing/bank meltdown we had.
Obama is a good friend of the PM of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Erdogan is a very religious Islamist. In fact, as mayor of Istanbul, he proclaimed himself a “servant of sharia,” and said to Islamists, “democracy is just the train we board to reach our destination. When we get there, we get off the train.”
Shouldn’t Obama publicly chide his friend for this, and for the record number of Turkish journalists arrested?
The “Tea Party” are extremists (he has called them that), and Erdogan isn’t?
Obama once said that hand to hand combat would be needed against the Republicans, if they won a majority, just to preserve Democratic priorities. Is this the guy who was going to unite us?
If not evil, – can we use the word “revolutionary”?
I pasted verbatim the best evidence that we can below, from an interview with Stanley Kurtz, who actually looked at Obama’s past, which the American voter did not bother to do:
“Stanley Kurtz is a Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and a contributing editor for National Review Online. He has also written for National Review, The Weekly Standard, The Wall Street Journal, Policy Review, and Commentary. He is the author of the new book, Radical-in-Chief: Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism.
FP: Stanley Kurtz, welcome to Frontpage Interview.
I would like to talk to you today about your case for Obama’s socialism and why Obama’s radical past matters today.
I think it is best to start with these two questions:
Do the American people really understand Obama’s vision for our country? And if not, why not?
Kurtz: Thanks Jamie.
A widely-reported poll found that 55 percent of likely voters think Obama is a socialist. These folks are regularly mocked by liberal opinion-makers, of course. Yet my research shows that the people who believe Obama is a socialist have been right all along. Obama wants to move America as far as he can toward European-style socialism, and many Americans do get this.
On the other hand, the full truth about Obama’s socialism is not well understood by voters on either side of the political spectrum. That’s because the recent history of socialism has been intentionally shrouded in mystery. Peeling back the curtain explains a lot about Obama’s plans, and puts our debates about the president’s political convictions in a whole new light.
The reason few understand the truth about Obama’s socialism is that the community organizers who trained Obama and sponsored his political career intentionally keep their socialism secret. They do this because they understand perfectly well that the American people would reject their socialist views were they frankly stated. So Obama’s organizing models and mentors–some of the most influential socialists in the country–intentionally adopted a strategy of stealth. Obama’s stealth-socialist mentors developed methods of political disguise, including a vocabulary and strategy for advancing socialism without openly saying so. Obama has mastered their techniques. I wouldn’t have believed all this myself if I hadn’t read about it in the papers of these socialist community organizers. But there it is in black and white.
FP: Tell us about your research and sources.
Kurtz: I traveled across the country, searching for archives preserving the papers of the community organizations and socialist groups to which Obama was connected. These archival documents were incredibly revealing. They form the basis of Radical-in-Chief. I also did a great deal of research in long-forgotten issues of obscure journals, many of which contain articles which frankly state the socialist plans of Obama’s organizing colleagues. Various socialist groups maintained semi-public/semi-private publications called “discussion bulletins,” in which they would air their disagreements and reveal their strategies in ways they dared not do in their official newsletters.
Also, the archives of Chicago Mayor Harold Washington contain historic documents detailing the contacts between Obama’s original community organization and the Washington administration. The Harold Washington archives even hold remarkable documents revealing the political history of Jeremiah Wright. This is only a small sample of the sorts of archives I visited. Putting the story together was like solving a giant jigsaw puzzle. I traveled from archive to library to archive, following a set of clues and piecing together the hidden story of Obama’s past.
FP: What shaped Obama’s vision? His years at Columbia, it seems, were quite instrumental.
Kurtz: Obama was a socialist even before he reached Columbia. But it was in April of 1983, in his senior year, that Obama walked into an off-campus Socialist Scholars Conference. That conference changed the future president’s life and gave him a program he’s been following for his entire political career, right up to this day.
It was in the early eighties that American socialists turned in force to community organizing as a long-term strategy for transforming American society. With Reagan as president, conventional socialist nationalization of America’s businesses was impossible. So instead the focus turned to grassroots strategies for creating socialism “from below.” Community organizations like ACORN would take hold of the capitalist system from the ground up, forcing banks to make risky subprime loans, for example. The idea was to create de facto public control of businesses through community organizations, rather than through formal government ownership.
The symbol of all this was Chicago’s Mayor Harold Washington, who worked closely with Chicago’s small but influential collection of socialists, many of whom brought the community organizations they controlled onto the Washington bandwagon. The buzz at that 1983 Socialist Scholars Conference was that minority-led political coalitions would work in tandem with community organizations to swing the Democratic Party left. This would incrementally move America toward socialism. Harold Washington became Obama’s political idol, and Obama was swept up in plans to create a partnership between quietly-socialist community organizers and left-leaning minority politicians to reshape the American system.
Amazingly, the Socialist Scholars Conferences Obama attended in New York in the mid-eighties even put him on the path that led to Reverend Wright. The Democratic Socialists of America, which sponsored those conferences, had just formed an alliance with the black liberation theologians who were Reverend Wright’s mentors. Obama would have learned all about the ties between black liberation theology and socialism at those conferences.
FP: Crystallize for us why Obama’s radical past matters today.
Kurtz: I think President Obama is best described as a “Midwest Academy socialist.” The socialist community organizers who ran the Midwest Academy sought to build broad-based populist coalitions of the left, focused on economic issues. To do that, they downplayed cultural questions and foreign policy, since those issues tended to split off working-class traditionalists from the descendants of the sixties left. The left responds to the Obama-as-socialist charge by pointing to his refusal to leave Afghanistan and his slow movement on social issues, but this is classic Midwest Academy strategy. Like his mentors, Obama wants to build populist anti-business coalitions guided by quietly socialist strategists (in this case the president of the United States). Moves that might endanger a broad-based, economically-focused coalition of the left are avoided.
The socialists who trained and inspired Obama believed in working in and through the Democratic Party. They were very different than the “sectarian” socialists who refused to engage with the two-party system. Michael Harrington was the leader of these “democratic socialists.” Harrington knew that full-blown socialism would never happen in his lifetime. Instead he wanted to participate in ordinary Democratic Party politics, intentionally focusing on those parts of the conventional liberal program most likely to put America on an irreversible path toward socialism over time. Health care was considered a top priority in that respect. Although it has not been widely discussed, Obama’s decision to focus on health care in his first year was made in the face of opposition from all of his top advisors. Harrington-style socialists expend political capital for the most socialist-friendly parts of the conventional Democratic program. That is exactly what Obama has done.
Obama’s socialist organizing mentors were especially interested in creating de facto public ownership, not through direct nationalization of businesses, but through control of businesses “from below.” Midwest Academy founder Heather Booth now runs Americans for Financial Reform, which was the leading voice for incorporating a controversial provision called “proxy access” into the financial reform bill. Proxy access will make it easier for unions and environmental groups to gain seats on corporate boards, the central economic strategy of Obama’s socialist mentors. Few have even noticed this change, but it’s an important example of how the Midwest Academy’s incremental socialist program is advancing under cover of the Obama administration’s legislative agenda.
FP: Expand a bit more for us on the gulf between Obama’s inner conviction and the image he presents to the public. What kind of strategy has he adopted?
Kurtz: Obama’s systematic effort to disguise his radical past is a major theme of Radical-in-Chief. When you compare the documents I’ve dug up from the ACORN archive at the Wisconsin Historical Society with Obama’s own statements about his relationship with ACORN, it’s hard not to conclude that he has intentionally lied about his ties to that group. The same thing is true on issues like Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers.
More broadly, Obama has adopted the strategy of his socialist organizing mentors. They present themselves as post-partisan pragmatists with a populist-communitarian edge, when in fact they are dyed-in-the-wool socialists. This self-presentation helped Obama get elected, but his insistence on retaining the veneer of a “pragmatist” has alienated him from some in his own base. Large sections of the left want a leader who will openly advocate their ideology before the American public. Obama’s stealth strategy forces him to sacrifice all that.
I argue that Obama’s long-term plan is a variation on Michael Harrington’s “socialist realignment strategy.” The idea is to attack business interests and, over the long term, drive them out of the Democratic Party. That might sound crazy, but the loss of business interests is supposed to be overbalanced by the infusion of a populist, anti-business movement of the left. Combine that economic populism with politically activated minority communities, the theory goes, and you have divided the parties along class lines. At that point, Harrington believed that the “have nots” dominating the Democratic Party would gradually drift toward socialism.
FP: If Obama has his way, what could America look like eventually in his hands? What is one of the worst-case scenarios?
Kurtz: Like Harrington, I don’t think Obama expects to see full-blown socialism within his lifetime. Also like Harrington, I think Obama uses a socialist ideal to guide him in the present. Obama wants to invest his political capital in the steps most likely to place us on a gradual, but irreversible, path toward a socialist future. The model of Obama’s sponsors was the platform of the Swedish labor parties–the people who wanted to move even Sweden a bit closer to full-blown socialism.
Yet the European welfare state is collapsing. Sweden has moved rightward, not leftward. Britain is enacting massive spending cuts. Greece and France have been torn by riots spawned by financial retrenchment. European-style socialism is destined to fail, because the demographics of the West can no longer support the extended welfare state. If we anticipate this change now, financial disaster might be averted. If, on the other hand, we follow Obama’s path, there is a serious risk of generalized financial collapse and extended depression when a retiring baby-boom generation puts unmanageable strains on the world’s financial system.
FP: Stanley Kurtz, thank you for joining Frontpage Interview.
Article printed from FrontPage Magazine: http://frontpagemag.com
URL to article: http://frontpagemag.com/2010/11/08/radical-in-chief/