Last week, I explored the question of whether Barack Obama is a socialist, noting that neither he nor John McCain has grounds to point fingers because they both advocate similar policies, differing only in degree.
Still, if we were to ask which candidate seems like he would more likely fit that moniker—as in, being an actual Party member—one would have to say, “Barack Obama.” We know he is associated with William Ayers, a "small 'c' communist," and ACORN seems an awful lot like a group of brown-shirted thugs.
Other than that, however, both candidates advocate similar progressive and redistributive policies. Both are statists, seeking to expand the influence of government on our lives in ever more intrusive ways. This is why the Right's branding of Obama as a socialist seems so empty.
I put this question to my readers: Would anything change if we found that Obama was an actual Socialist?
This article, on a decidedly conservative website (i.e. it has all the failings of today’s Republican platform) nevertheless goes into great detail, with original sources, to tie Obama to the New Party, a front for the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). By the way, I highly recommend reading it, if only because it provides a window into the insidious political machinations the Left uses to "get their guys in" by using the relative respectability of the Democrat party.
Again I ask: does that change anything?
It does send a chill up my spine to contemplate that not only does our likely next president have ties to avowed socialists and communists, but also that he may have been a member of a political party that was a front for the DSA. And because the original sources that are linked (and so far, haven't been removed) are websites like the official site for the Chicago DSA, I’m inclined to believe them.
But… I don’t think this changes much, except to show how far astray the prevailing ideas in American thought have gone.
The fact of the matter is that both parties share the same core ideology. There are very few policies that Obama would pursue that differ from McCain's in any fundamental sense. McCain can quibble about tax percentages or other surface issues, but in principle, he and Obama are altruistic blood brothers. Socialism—or more properly in this case, statism—is a political system based on the moral code of altruism; a code which holds that the need of one man constitutes an obligation on other men, and the State is here to enforce that obligation.
Ayn Rand said of statism: “The political expression of altruism is collectivism or statism, which holds that man’s life and work belong to the state—to society, to the group, the gang, the race, the nation—and that the state may dispose of him in any way it pleases for the sake of whatever it deems to be its own tribal, collective good.”
While one might think that both Obama and McCain would refuse to utter such stark statements even if they agreed with them, just take out a few of the harsher words like “tribe” or “gang,” and you could have a bit from the stump speech of either man.
Which option is more damaging to the country? An outright socialist who has contempt for private property and private enterprise, who would prefer that all Americans work for non-profits or “Service Corps?” Or a man who relies on the free-market vestiges of the Republican party as a spoonful of sugar to get us to swallow his medicine of forced sacrifice?