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President Obama recently tried to dismiss the notion that he’s a socialist, doing it in that smug way he typically uses to imply that his opponents and detractors are mere simpletons with no understanding of what they speak. “People call me a socialist sometimes,” he said at the Wall Street Journal CEO Summit, addressing a group of top business leaders. “But, no, you gotta meet real socialists. You’ll have a sense of what a socialist is.” Let’s humor the president for a moment. For the sake of argument let’s ignore his disingenuous remark and take him up on his suggestion and consider some real socialists.
Socialists aren’t hard to find. It’s not as if they’re part of some secret underground society. Here in the U.S., there have been a number of socialist political parties over the years that have successfully run socialist candidates for public office. There are currently a handful of political parties that identify themselves as socialist including the Peace and Freedom Party, the Democratic Socialists of America, and perhaps the most prominent, Socialist Party USA. Plus, there are dozens of socialist advocacy organizations actively promoting their left wing agendas. And if that isn’t enough for you, let’s add the more hardcore Communist groups into this radical mix. It’s safe to say that socialism is alive, well, and active in this country.
But can we really compare President Obama with the far left? He would have us believe that he has nothing in common with these left wing groups. Perhaps he thinks our memories are too short to remember his revealing answer to Joe the Plumber during the 2008 campaign: “…I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.” This wasn’t some vague, out-of context remark. He was explaining how he would improve the economy.
Admittedly, most socialists haven’t publicly endorsed Obama or his policies. But it’s also true that most socialist voters vote along a strict Democrat party line. And any routine examination of any socialist platform bears more than a passing resemblance to Obama’s liberal rhetoric.
OK, so President Obama isn’t an official card carrying member of any socialist organization. He certainly must know a few. Take Dolores Huerta for example, a lifelong radical leftist currently holding an honorary chair of the Democratic Socialists of America. Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012. And we can only speculate on how many elected socialists the Obama administration has supported through the dozens of Democratic organizations with which the administration is allied.
Someone ought to try and ask the president what he thinks a “real” socialist is. The answer would be revealing—too revealing, in fact—a question he’d never dare answer honestly. At the very least, we can ask the President to stop insulting our intelligence. I think we pretty much get the whole socialist thing. The shoe fits. Obama is just afraid to wear it.