Is Barack Obama a socialist?

We’ve been hearing the word “socialism” in connection to Barack Obama in the news lately. We can thank “Joe the Plumber” for that. But many of us on the conservative end of the political spectrum have been talking about Obama’s socialist tendencies for some time without the big media taking notice. Obama and his supporters vehemently deny that he is a socialist as if that’s a dirty word. Perhaps it is a dirty word for many Americans because of what it conjures up in their minds and Obama’s campaign doesn’t want to be associated with those conjured thoughts. But words mean something and we should try to determine whether or not this label fits.
The American Heritage Dictionary defines socialism as:

1. Any of various theories or systems of social organization in which the means of producing and distributing goods is owned collectively or by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy.

2. The stage in Marxist-Leninist theory intermediate between capitalism and communism, in which collective ownership of the economy under the dictatorship of the proletariat has not yet been successfully achieved.

In the first definition we see that socialism mainly deals with ownership of “means of producing and distributing goods”. Essentially that’s property. Socialists believe that the most important property in society should be owned by “the collective”. But the reality is that there is no collective. The closest thing to it is the government. So socialists believe that the government, as an agent of the people, should control goods-producing property.

Now it’s important to understand that this stands in stark contrast to the DNA of our country which was founded in the belief that life, liberty and property were fundamental rights bestowed upon us by our creator that couldn’t be taken away. The founders and framers of the constitution believed that property rights were the key to maintaining liberty. That’s why since the founding of the country many of the political battles have rightly been to extend those property rights to people who didn’t previously have them. Blacks, women, etc.

The government already controls or owns a significant part of “goods-producing property”. The government has authority to tax and regulate which means it has the power to compel individuals to do things they would not ordinarily do. There can be no argument that the role and size of government has increased dramatically over the last 80 years.

So is Barack Obama a socialist? Would he continue this trend of more government ownership or control of “goods-producing property”?

One of the things that mentioned in passing in a piece I linked to yesterday was Obama’s voting record in the U.S. Senate. Obama was rated by the non-partisan National Journal as being the most liberal Senator in that chamber. Why is this important? Well because the Senate contains a self-proclaimed socialist named Bernie Sanders. Bernie Sanders ran as an independent in Vermont 2006 and won. In 2007, the only full year in which Sanders and Obama were in the Senate together Obama out-liberaled Sanders the self-proclaimed socialist by a composite score of 95.5 to 93.7.

Now Obama can claim he’s a centrist and that he’ll govern from the center but the track record belies that claim. Why would anyone believe Obama is anything more than what he’s been up until now?

John McCain gets his balls busted by conservatives like me because he truly is a moderate and I think conservatism is a winning ideology that works. What I don’t understand is why so many self-described moderates would vote for a candidate that is so easily described as liberal and is in fact more liberal than his socialist colleague.

4 thoughts on “Is Barack Obama a socialist?”

  1. Even apart from the socialist issue, it’s indisputable the guy is smug, conceited, duplicitous prick with a laughably, ROFLMAO-flimsy resume for the office he’s seeking. It’s a disgrace anybody so transparently unqualified was ever able to get the nomination. And then when you bring in Ayers, Wright, Raines and so on and so forth, well, it’s downright INSANE that anybody would even consider voting for him. Am I crazy, or have a lot of people lost their minds?

  2. Ladies and Gentleman,
    Socialism has exited since Social Sercurity, Medi-Care, and here in California Medi-Cal were set-up. At the same time that we go to war against the world’s evil (there has been war in every decade I have lived in – since the 60’s) we should be taken care of our own at home.

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