Is Barack Obama a socialist? Many observers, from points all along the ideological spectrum, have been exceedingly reticent to describe him as such, as though there were insufficient evidence to make the case for a charge so impolite.
- In February 2012, a Business Week headline stated bluntly that “it’s dumb to call Obama a socialist.”
- In June 2012, the Associated Press published an article depicting the president merely as “a pragmatist within the Democratic Party mainstream,” and suggesting that “the persistent claim that Obama is a socialist lacks credence.”
- In July 2012, a New York Times op-ed piece by film director Milos Forman said that Obama is “not even close” to being a socialist.
- Ezra Klein of the Washington Post casts Obama as no more radical than “a moderate Republican of the early 1990s.”
- Leftist commentator Alan Colmes impugns those who “mischaracterize what Obama is doing as socialism, when there’s no government takeover” of the private sector.
- And Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly—noting that he has seen “no evidence that the president wants to seize private property, which is what communists do”—concludes that Obama “is not a socialist, he’s not a communist, he’s a social-justice anti-capitalist.”
But a careful look at Barack Obama’s life story, his actions, his closest alliances, his long-term objectives, and his words, shows that he has long been, quite demonstrably, a genuine socialist. In the final analysis, Americans are, and indeed should be, free to vote for a socialist president if that is what they want. But if they choose that road, they ought to at least be aware that that is in fact what they are doing—rather than be misled into thinking they are merely supporting a “liberal,” a “progressive,” or a big-hearted advocate of “social justice.” They are supporting a man who is, beyond any shadow of a doubt, a lifelong, committed socialist:
Frank Marshall Davis
- The early groundwork for Obama’s socialist worldview was laid during his teen years, when he was mentored by the writer/poet Frank Marshall Davis, a longtime member of the Communist Party and the subject of a 601-page FBI file.” The co-founder of a Communist-controlled newspaper that consistently echoed the Soviet party line, Davis had previously been involved with the American Peace Mobilization, described by Congress as not only “one of the most notorious and blatantly communist fronts ever organized in this country,” but also “one of the most seditious organizations which ever operated in the United States.” When Obama in 1979 headed off to Occidental College in California, Davis cautioned him not to “start believing what they tell you about equal opportunity and the American way and all that sh–.”
Obama’s Socialism During His College Years
- In his memoir, Dreams from My Father, Obama recounts that he chose his friends “carefully” at Occidental, so as “to avoid being mistaken for a sellout.” Among those friends were all manner of radicals, including “the more politically active black students,” “the Chicanos,” “the Marxist Professors and the structural feminists.” Further, Obama writes that he and his similarly “alienated” college friends regularly discussed such topics as “neocolonialism, Franz Fanon [the socialist revolutionary], Eurocentrism, and patriarchy.”
- David Remnick’s highly sympathetic biography of Obama—The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama—confirms that the future president and many of his closest friends at Occidental were unquestionably socialists.
- John C. Drew, an Occidental College graduate who knew Obama personally in the early 1980s, reports that the young Obama of that period was “already an ardent socialist Marxist revolutionary”; was highly “passionate” about “Marxist theory”; embraced an “uncompromising, Marxist socialist ideology”; harbored a “sincere commitment to Marxist revolutionary thought”; and was, in the final analysis, a “pure Marxist socialist” who “sincerely believed a Marxist socialist revolution was coming.”
Obama Embraces “Incremental” Socialism
- In the early 1980s, something profoundly important happened to Barack Obama. He was drawn into the powerful orbit of a strand of socialism that had resolved, as the revolutionary communist Van Jones would later put it, “to forgo the cheap satisfaction of the radical pose for the deep satisfaction of radical ends.” American socialists of that period, pained by the recent ascendancy of a conservative and popular presidential administration (Reagan), understood that no anti-capitalist revolution was going to take place in the United States anytime soon.
- Consequently, many socialists in the U.S. put on a new face and pursued a new approach. As Stanley Kurtz, author of Radical-in-Chief, explains, these socialists no longer advocated an immediate government takeover of the private economy. Their aim now was to gain influence through the work of community organizers dedicated to gradually infiltrating every conceivable American institution: schools and universities, churches, labor unions, the banking industry, the media, and a major political party.
- Toward that end, the renowned socialist Michael Harrington established the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) to serve as a force that would work within the existing American political system—specifically, within the Democratic Party. Figuring that a move too far or too quick to the left would alienate moderate Democrats, the DSA sought to push the party leftward in a slow and gradual manner, on the theory that, over time, ever-increasing numbers of Democrats would become comfortable with socialism and would espouse it as their preferred ideology.
- In Radical-in-Chief, Stanley Kurtz points out that this incrementalism became the modus operandi of the “democratic socialists” who embraced the ideals of Karl Marx but were convinced that a “peaceful” and gradual path represented “the only route to socialism that makes sense in America’s thoroughly democratic context.” They believed that “government ownership of the means of production”—the standard definition of socialism—could best be achieved by way of protracted evolution, not sudden revolution.
- Kurtz explains that socialists, far from agreeing unanimously on tactics and strategies, have always engaged in “never-ending factional disputes” about whether they ought to “eschew capitalist-tainted politics and foment revolution,” or instead “dive into America’s electoral system and try to turn its political currents” toward “a piecemeal transition to a socialist world.”
- At this point in his life, the twenty-something Obama made a calculated decision to embrace the DSA’s gradualist approach—under the deceptive banners of “liberalism,” “progressivism,” and “social justice.”
- By no means, however, did this approach represent a rejection of Marx and his socialist doctrines. Kurtz notes that Marx himself, who “expected to see capitalism overthrown by a violent socialist revolution,” was nonetheless “willing to compromise his long-term goals in pursuit of short-term gains, particularly when he thought this democratic maneuvering would position the communist movement for more radical breakthroughs in the future”; that Marx himself “recognized that not only his enemies, but even potential followers could be put off by his most radical plans”; and that, “depending on context, Marx [himself] withheld the full truth of who he was and what he hoped to achieve.”
Obama Attends the Socialist Scholars Conferences
- In the early 1980s, Obama transferred from Occidental College to Columbia University in New York. During his time in the Big Apple, he attended at least two Socialist Scholars Conferences, DSA-sponsored events that quickly grew into the largest annual gatherings of socialists in all of North America. It is particularly noteworthy that Obama attended the 1983 Socialist Scholars Conference, which was promoted as a celebration to “honor” the 100th anniversary of Karl Marx’s death.
Obama’s Introduction to Community Organizing
- Obama entered the work of community organizing in the spring of 1985, when he took a job with the New York branch of the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (USPIRG), the brainchild of the famous anti-capitalist, anti-corporate activist Ralph Nader. According to his PIRG supervisor, Eileen Hershenov, Obama had already developed a solid grasp of the radical strategies that underlay community organizing – specifically, how the Left used the “community” umbrella to advance its radical agendas. Thus he was comfortable discussing everything from the tactics of Saul Alinsky, the godfather of community organizing, to the organizing strategies of socialist groups like the (defunct) Students for a Democratic Society.
Obama’s Community Organizing Is Funded By an Organization with Marxist Ideals
- In June 1985, Obama moved to Chicago and took a community-organizing job with the Developing Communities Project, funded by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD). Viewing capitalism as a system steeped in injustice, CCHD states that “the causes of poverty are understood to be an aspect of ‘social sin’ rooted in our social and economic structures and institutions.” To address the problems allegedly spawned by capitalism, CCHD promotes transformative institutional change in the form of “alternative economic structures” that will “broaden the sharing of economic power.” The Catholic magazine Crisis observes that “the way the CCHD educates others about transformative change and empowerment” is very much “in line with the socialist and Marxist ideals so prevalent in community organizing.”
Community Organizing As a Socialist Enterprise
- What, exactly, is “community organizing”? Dr. Thomas Sowell, the eminent Hoover Institution Fellow, offers this concise explanation: “For ‘community organizers’ … racial resentments are a stock in trade…. What [they] organiz[e] are the resentments and paranoia within a community, directing those feelings against other communities, from whom either benefits or revenge are to be gotten, using whatever rhetoric or tactics will accomplish that purpose.” The 2012 Obama campaign’s incessant emphasis on identity politics—seeking to divide the American people along lines of race, ethnicity, class, and gender—bears all the corrosive hallmarks of precisely the mindset that Dr. Sowell describes.
- Stanley Kurtz provides additional vital insights into the striking parallels that exist between the world of community organizing and the DSA’s gradualist approach toward socialism: “Community organizing is a largely socialist profession. Particularly at the highest levels, America’s community organizers have adopted a deliberately stealthy posture—hiding their socialism behind a ‘populist’ front. These organizers strive to push America toward socialism in unobtrusive, incremental steps, calling themselves ‘pragmatic problem-solvers’ all the while.”
Obama’s Ties to Saul Alinsky, Godfather of Community Organizing
- It is highly significant that three of Obama’s mentors in Chicago were trained at the Industrial Areas Foundation, established by the famed godfather of community organizing, Saul Alinsky, who advocated mankind’s “advance from the jungle of laissez-faire capitalism to a world worthy of the name of human civilization … [to] a future where the means of production will be owned by all of the people instead of just a comparative handful”—in other words, socialism. In the Alinsky model, “organizing” is a euphemism for “revolution”—where the ultimate objective is the systematic acquisition of power by a purportedly oppressed segment of the population, and the radical transformation of America’s social and economic structure. The goal is to foment enough public discontent and moral confusion to spark social upheaval.
- But Alinsky’s brand of revolution was not characterized by dramatic, sweeping, overnight transformations of social institutions. As author Richard Poe explains, “Alinsky viewed revolution as a slow, patient process. The trick was to penetrate existing institutions such as churches, unions and political parties.” Promoting a strategy that was wholly consistent with the DSA approach discussed above, Alinsky advised radical organizers and their disciples to quietly, unobtrusively gain influence within the decision-making ranks of these institutions, and to then introduce changes from those platforms.
- Obama himself went on to teach workshops on the Alinsky method for several years.
- In 1990, eighteen years after Alinsky’s death, an essay penned by Obama was reprinted as a chapter in a book titled After Alinsky: Community Organizing in Illinois.
- In 1998 at the Terrapin Theater in Chicago, Obama attended a performance of the play The Love Song of Saul Alinsky, which glorified the late radical. Following that performance, Obama took the stage and participated in a panel discussion about the show, along with several other socialists and communists such as Quentin Young and Heather Booth.
- During the 2008 presidential campaign, Saul Alinsky’s son David wrote the following: “Obama learned his lesson well. I am proud to see that my father’s model for organizing is being applied successfully beyond local community organizing to affect the democratic campaign in 2008. It is a fine tribute to Saul Alinsky as we his approach 100th birthday.”
Obama and the Midwest Academy, a “Crypto-Socialist” Organization
- As a young community organizer, Obama had close connections to the Midwest Academy, a radical training ground for activists of his political ilk. Probably the most influential community-organizing-related entity in America at that time, the Midwest Academy worked closely with the DSA and synthesized Saul Alinsky’s organizing techniques with the practical considerations of electoral politics. Emphasizing “class consciousness” and “movement history,” the Academy’s training programs exposed students to the efforts and achievements of veteran activists from earlier decades. Recurring “socialism sessions” encompassed everything from Marx and Engels through Michael Harrington’s democratic socialism and the factional struggles of the Students for a Democratic Society, a radical organization that aspired to remake America’s government in a Marxist image.
- Knowing that many Americans would be unreceptive to straightforward, hard-left advocacy, the Midwest Academy in its formative years was careful not to explicitly articulate its socialist ideals in its organizing and training activities. The group’s inner circle was wholly committed to building a socialist mass movement, but stealthily rather than overtly. As Midwest Academy trainer Steve Max and the prominent socialist Harry Boyte agreed in a private correspondence: “Every social proposal that we make must be [deceptively] couched in terms of how it will strengthen capitalism.” This strategy of hiding its own socialist agendas below the proverbial radar, earned the Academy the designation “crypto-socialist organization” from Stanley Kurtz.
- “Nearly every thread of Obama’s career runs directly or indirectly through the Midwest Academy,” says Kurtz, and, as such, it represents “the hidden key to Barack Obama’s political career.” Kurtz elaborates: “Obama’s organizing mentors had ties to [the Midwest Academy]; Obama’s early funding was indirectly controlled by it; evidence strongly suggests that Obama himself received training there; both Barack and Michelle Obama ran a project called ‘Public Allies’ that was effectively an extension of the Midwest Academy; Obama’s first run for public office was sponsored by Academy veteran Alice Palmer; and Obama worked closely at two foundations for years with yet another veteran organizer from the Midwest Academy, Ken Rolling. Perhaps more important, Barack Obama’s approach to politics is clearly inspired by that of the Midwest Academy.”
Obama’s Socialist Pastor, Jeremiah Wright
- Obama’s next major encounter with socialism took place within the sanctuary of Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ, pastored by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Best known for his undiluted contempt for the United States and its traditions, Wright has long been a proud prophet of black liberation theology, a movement that seeks to foment Marxist revolutionary fervor founded on racial solidarity, as opposed to the traditional Marxist emphasis on class solidarity. According to black liberation theology, the New Testament gospels can be properly understood only as calls for racial activism and revolution aimed at overturning the existing, white-dominated, capitalist order, and installing, in its stead, a socialist utopia wherein blacks will unseat their white “oppressors” and become liberated from their deprivations—material and spiritual alike.
- Beginning in the late 1980s, Obama spent fully 20 years attending Wright’s church, which openly promoted a “10-point vision” calling for “economic parity” and warning that “God … is not pleased with America’s economic mal-distribution!” Impugning capitalism as a system whose inequities force “Third World people” to “live in grinding poverty,” Wright derides the United States as the “land of the greed and home of the slave.” Moreover, he has praised the socialist magazine Monthly Review for its “no-nonsense Marxism,” congratulating that publication for “dispel[ling] all the negative images we have been programmed to conjure up with just the mention of that word ‘socialism’ or ‘Marxism.’”
- This same Jeremiah Wright served as a mentor to Barack Obama for two decades. So great was Obama’s regard for Wright, that Obama selected him not only to perform his wedding to Michelle Robinson in 1992, but also to baptize his two daughters later on. Perhaps Obama’s most significant show of support for Wright’s ministry was his donation of some $27,500 to Trinity Church during 2005-06. Another report indicates that from 2005-07, Obama gave a total of $53,770 to Trinity. People simply do not give such large sums of money to causes in which they do not deeply believe. There is no reason in the world to suspect that Obama rejected any part of Wright’s message at any time between 1988 and early 2008. He disavowed Wright only when the latter’s radicalism threatened to become a political liability to Obama’s ambition for the White House.
Obama and ACORN, a Socialist Organization
- In the early to mid-1990s, Obama worked with the (now defunct) community organization ACORN and its voter-mobilization arm, Project Vote. Manhattan Institute scholar Sol Stern explains that ACORN, professing a dedication to “the poor and powerless,” in fact promoted “a 1960s-bred agenda of anti-capitalism, central planning, victimology, and government handouts to the poor.” ACORN, Stern elaborates, organized people “to push for ever more government control of the economy” and to pursue “the ultra-Left’s familiar anti-capitalist redistributionism.”
- In 2010, former ACORN insider Anita MonCrief confirmed the organization’s unmistakably socialist orientation: “As an ACORN insider my indoctrination as a socialist was a slow but steady progression from radical liberalism to embracing the stealth socialist methods that had made ACORN a powerful force in American electoral politics…. Inside ACORN offices across the country, young, idealistic liberals were being ingrained with the Saul Alinsky style of Organizing. Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals was never mentioned by name, but Alinsky’s tactics were used on employees and ACORN members. ACORN’s strategy of stealth socialism was aimed at gaining power through duplicity and somewhat assimilating into society…. I once asked Marcel Reid, former ACORN national board member and President of DC ACORN, how it was possible for ACORN to push its agenda and she replied, ‘We never use the word Socialism.’ ACORN’s appeal was to simply implement a Socialist agenda without ever saying the word.”
- Smitten with Obama’s political and ideological makeup, ACORN in the early 1990s invited him to help train its staff in the tactics of community organizing. In 1995, Obama was one of a team of attorneys who sued, on ACORN’s behalf, for the implementation of a “Motor Voter” law in Illinois. Because Motor Voter laws allow people to register by mail without requiring that they provide any form of identification, they are, quite understandably, breeding grounds for voter-registration fraud. Thus, Jim Edgar, Illinois’ Republican governor, opposed the law.
- In a 2007 interview with ACORN representatives, then-presidential candidate Obama said enthusiastically: “You know you’ve got a friend in me. And I definitely welcome ACORN’s input…. Since I have been in the United States Senate I’ve been always a partner with ACORN as well…. I’ve been fighting with ACORN, alongside ACORN, on issues you care about my entire career.”
- During Obama’s 2008 presidential run, his campaign gave more than $800,000 to the ACORN front group Citizens’ Services, Inc., to fund voter-registration efforts.
- Obama’s relationship with ACORN remained rock-solid right up until the organization’s dissolution amid immense scandal (involving voter-registration fraud, among other matters) in 2010.
Marxists Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, Former Weather Underground Terrorists, Launch Obama’s Political Career
- It was in the mid-1990s that Obama first decided to try his hand at electoral politics, setting his sights initially on a state senate seat in Illinois. Remarkably, Obama launched his political career in the home of two well-connected Chicagoans, longtime activists who would help the fledgling politician make important contacts and enlarge his public profile. These two allies were the infamous Bill Ayers and his wife, Bernardine Dohrn, lifelong Marxists who in the 1960s and ’70s had been revolutionary leaders of the Weather Underground Organization, a domestic terror group (described by Ayers as “an American Red Army”) that aspired to transform the U.S., by means of violence and even mass murder, into a Communist country. In 1974, while they were on the FBI’s “Most Wanted” list, Ayers and Dohrn co-authored a book that openly advocated “revolutionary war” as “the only path to the final defeat of imperialism and the building of socialism”; called for “a revolutionary communist party … to lead the struggle [to] seize power and build the new society”; and lauded socialism as the key to “the eradication of the social system based on profit.” Now, they were the key figures ushering Barack Obama into a political career.
- Obama’s ties to Ayers and Dohrn are extensive. In 1995, Ayers appointed Obama as the first chairman of his newly created “school reform organization,” the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, whose stated educational objective was to “teach against oppression” as embodied in “America’s history of evil and racism, thereby forcing social transformation.”
- From 1993-2001, Obama served on the board of the Woods Fund of Chicago, which funded a host of left-wing groups and causes. From 1998-2001, Ayers served alongside him on that board.
- In December 1997, Obama wrote a blurb praising Ayers’ recently published book, A Kind and Just Parent: The Children of Juvenile Court, calling it “a searing and timely account of the juvenile court system, and the courageous individuals who rescue hope from despair.”
- In August 2014, Barack and Michele Obama attended the wedding of MSNBC anchor Alex Wagner and White House chef Sam Kass in Pocantico Hills, New York. Also present at the wedding were Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn.
Ayers and Dohrn Have Never Abandoned Their Marxist, Anti-American Views
- Ayers has never changed his Marxist, anti-American worldview. In 2001 he said: “I don’t regret setting bombs. I feel we didn’t do enough.” Contemplating whether or not he might again use bombs against the U.S. sometime in the future, he wrote: “I can’t imagine entirely dismissing the possibility.” Also in 2001, Ayers expressed his enduring hatred for the United States: “What a country. It makes me want to puke.”
- At a 2007 reunion of former members of the Weather Underground and Students for a Democratic Society, Ayers reemphasized his contempt for the U.S., asserting that the nation’s chief hallmarks included “oppression,” “authoritarianism,” and “a kind of rising incipient American form of fascism.” Moreover, he claimed that the U.S. was guilty of pursuing “empire unapologetic[ally]”; waging “war without end” against “an undefined enemy that’s supposed to be a rallying point for a new kind of energized jingoistic patriotism”; engaging in “unprecedented and unapologetic military expansion”; oppressing brown- and black-skinned people with “white supremacy”; perpetrating “violent attacks” against “women and girls”; expanding “surveillance in every sphere of our lives”; and “targeting … gay and lesbian people as a kind of a scapegoating gesture …”
- In March 2008 Ayers became vice president for curriculum studies at the left-wing American Educational Research Association, thereby putting himself in a position to exert great influence over what is taught in America’s teacher-training colleges and its public schools. Specifically, Ayers seeks to inculcate teachers-in-training with a “social commitment” to the values of “Marx,” and with a desire to become agents of social change in K-12 classrooms. Whereas “capitalism promotes racism and militarism,” Ayers explains, “teaching invites transformations” and is “the motor-force of revolution.”
- Ayers also created, in collaboration with longtime communist Mike Klonsky, the so-called “Small Schools Movement” (SSM), where individual schools committed themselves to the promotion of specific political themes and pushed students to “confront issues of inequity, war, and violence.” A chief goal of SSM is to teach students that American capitalism is a racist, materialistic doctrine that has done incalculable harm to societies all over the world.
- Dohrn. Likewise, has never changed her Marxist, anti-American orientation. In November 2007, she spoke at a 40th anniversary celebration of the Students for a Democratic Society. In her remarks, she praised her fellow radicals for their long-term efforts aimed at “overthrowing everything hateful about this government and corporate structure that we live in, capitalism itself.” Further, Dohrn lamented “the whole structural implications of white supremacy and the ways in which race and class and gender are just so intertwined in the United States.”
Obama Tries to Downplay His Close Alliance with Ayers
- During the 2008 presidential campaign, when Obama was asked about his relationship with Bill Ayers, he said that Ayers was just “a guy who lives in my neighborhood” who happened to have done some bad things “forty years ago when I was six or seven years old.” He implied that to even raise a question about that relationship was a mean-spirited, guilt-by-association political tactic.
- Obama’s closest advisor, David Axelrod, said: “Bill Ayers lives in his [Obama’s] neighborhood. Their kids attend the same school. They’re certainly friendly, they know each other, as anyone whose kids go to school together.” But at the time of Axelrod’s statement, Ayers’ three children were in their late twenties and early thirties, whereas Obama’s two daughters, Sasha and Malia, were aged six and nine, respectively.
- But the enduring nature of Obama’s friendly relationship with Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn was evidenced by the fact that he attended a July Fourth barbecue at the couple’s home in 2005, even as the former terrorists continued to hold America—and capitalism—in utmost contempt.
Obama Gets Support from Alice Palmer, a Pro-Soviet Radical
- Another key supporter of Obama’s 1996 entry into politics was Democratic state senator Alice Palmer of Illinois, who, as she prepared to run for Congress, hand-picked Obama as the person she hoped would fill her newly vacated state-senate seat. Toward that end, Palmer introduced Obama to party elders and donors as her preferred successor, and helped him gather the signatures required for getting his name placed on the ballot.
- Palmer’s background is highly noteworthy: A veteran of the Midwest Academy, she consistently supported the Soviet Union and spoke out against the United States during the Cold War. In the 1980s she served as an official of the U.S. Peace Council, which the FBI identified as a Communist front group. In 1986 she attended the 27th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and expressed a high regard for the USSR’s system of “central planning.” And she applauded the Soviets for “carrying out a policy to resolve the inequalities between nationalities, inequalities that they say were inherited from capitalist and czarist rule.”
Obama Joins the Socialist “New Party”
- During his Illinois state senate campaign in 1996, Obama actively sought the endorsement of the so-called New Party, a socialist political coalition whose objective was to promote the election of left-wing public officials—most often Democrats. The New Party’s short-term goal was to gradually, incrementally move the Democratic Party leftward, thereby setting the stage for the eventual rise of a new socialist third party. As Stanley Kurtz puts it, the New Party “is best understood as an attempt to build a mass-based political front for a largely socialist party leadership.”
- New Party co-founder Joel Rogers once penned a piece in the Marxist journal New Left Review, wherein he made it clear that the organization was a socialist enterprise at its core. Not only was Obama successful in obtaining the New Party’s endorsement, but he also used a number of New Party volunteers as campaign workers, and by 1996 Obama himself had become a New Party member.
Support from Carl Davidson, Marxist
- Yet another important Obama ally in 1996 was Carl Davidson, a major player in the Chicago branch of the New Party. Davidson is a lifelong Marxist who in the 1960s served as a national secretary of the Students for a Democratic Society. In 1969 Davidson helped launch the Venceremos Brigades, which covertly transported hundreds of young Americans to Cuba to help harvest sugar cane and learn guerrilla warfare techniques from the communist government of Fidel Castro. In 1988 Davidson founded Networking for Democracy, a program that encouraged American high-school students to engage in “mass action” aimed at “tearing down the old structures of race and class privilege” in the United States “and around the world.” And in 1992 Davidson became a leader of the newly formed Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, an outgrowth of the Communist Party USA.
Obama and the Democratic Socialists of America
- On February 25, 1996, Obama (who was then a candidate for the 13th Illinois Senate District) was a guest panelist at a “townhall meeting on economic insecurity,” sponsored and presented by the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). His fellow panelists included William Julius Wilson (a longtime DSA activist from the Center for the Study of Urban Inequality) and DSA National Political Committee member Joseph Schwartz. In his remarks, Obama discussed how government could play a “constructive” role in improving society.
“I Actually Believe in Redistribution”
- Obama’s commitment to the redistribution of wealth—an unmistakable hallmark of socialism—is deep, longstanding, and well-documented. At an October 19, 1998 conference at Loyola University, he said: “There has been a systematic … propaganda campaign against the possibility of government action and its efficacy. And I think some of it has been deserved…. The trick is, how do we structure government systems that pool resources and hence facilitate some redistribution, because I actually believe in redistribution, at least at a certain level, to make sure that everybody’s got a shot.”
Viewing the Constitution As an Impediment to “Redistributive Change”
- Obama again clearly articulated his commitment to wealth redistribution during a guest appearance on Chicago’s WBEZ public radio in 2001, when he was an Illinois state senator. In that interview, Obama lauded the ability of community organizations “to put together the actual coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributive change.” He lamented, however, that the Supreme Court had “never entered into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society”; that the Court had not been able to “break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution,” a document that unfortunately “doesn’t say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf”; and that he himself was “not optimistic about bringing about major redistributive change through the courts,” even though he found it easy to “come up with a rationale for bringing about economic change through the courts.”
- In a penetrating analysis of Obama’s remarks, Bill Whittle of National Review Online writes: “The entire purpose of the Constitution was to limit government. That limitation of powers is what has unlocked in America the vast human potential available in any population. Barack Obama sees that limiting of government not as a lynchpin but rather as a fatal flaw.”
Depicting the Free Market As a Heartless Agent of “Social Darwinism”
- In a 2005 commencement address, Obama described the conservative philosophy of government as one that promises “to give everyone one big refund on their government, divvy it up by individual portions, in the form of tax breaks, hand it out, and encourage everyone to use their share to go buy their own health care, their own retirement plan, their own child care, their own education, and so on.” “In Washington,” said Obama, “they call this the Ownership Society. But in our past there has been another term for it, Social Darwinism, every man or woman for him or her self. It’s a tempting idea, because it doesn’t require much thought or ingenuity.”
Obama Names the Socialist Cornel West to His Black Advisory Council
- When Obama ran for president in 2008, he formed a Black Advisory Council that included Professor Cornel West—a longtime member of the Democratic Socialists of America, a former supporter of the now-defunct (socialist) New Party, and an avid admirer of (the socialist) Jeremiah Wright. Identifying himself as a “progressive socialist,” West contends that “Marxist thought is an indispensable tradition for freedom fighters.” Viewing capitalism as the root cause of America’s “unbridled grasp at power, wealth and status,” West warns: “Free-market fundamentalism trivializes the concern for public interest. It puts fear and insecurity in the hearts of anxiety-ridden workers. It also makes money-driven, poll-obsessed elected officials deferential to corporate goals of profit—often at the cost of the common good.”
- When Obama appeared with Professor West at a Harlem, New York campaign fundraiser, West introduced him as “my brother and my companion and comrade.” Obama, in response, called West “a genius, a public intellectual, a preacher, [and] an oracle.”
Advocating Massive Redistribution of Wealth on a Global Scale
- As the Democratic primaries were winding down in May 2008, Obama quietly steered his Global Poverty Act (GPA), known as S. 2433, through the U.S. Senate. He characterized the bill as one that required “the president to develop and implement a comprehensive policy to cut extreme global poverty in half by 2015 through aid, trade debt relief, and coordination with the international community, businesses and NGOs (non-governmental organizations).” According to Accuracy in Media editor Cliff Kincaid, the GPA would make America’s foreign-aid spending decisions “subservient to the dictates of the United Nations” and, over a 13-year period, would cost the U.S. roughly $845 billion “over and above what [it] already spends.”
Global Wealth Redistribution via Skyrocketing Foreign Aid
- From fiscal 2008 to fiscal 2012, with the U.S. economy mired in a deep recession, the Obama administration increased federal spending on foreign aid by at least 80%. In fiscal 2008, the government spent a total of $11.427 billion in international assistance programs. During Obama’s presidency, the corresponding totals have been $14.827 billion in 2009; $20.038 billion in 2010; $20.599 billion in 2011; and $20.058 billion through the first 11 months of fiscal 2012.
Obama Says that Only Government Can Rescue Ailing Economy
- On February 6, 2009, President Obama held his first prime-time press conference, where, in reference to the economic downturn that was afflicting the U.S., he said: “It is only government that can break the vicious cycle.”
Support from the Leader of the Communist Party USA
- In early February 2009, it was reported that Communist Party USA leader Sam Webb had recently delivered a major speech about President Obama, titled “Off and Running: Opportunity of a Lifetime.” Said Webb: “We now have not simply a friend, but a people’s advocate in the White House…. An era of progressive change is within reach, no longer an idle dream. Just look at the new lay of the land: a friend of labor and its allies sits in the White House.”
Venezuela’s Communist President Hugo Chavez Praises Obama’s Socialist Mindset
- In a nationally televised, June 2, 2009 speech on the “curse” of capitalism, Venezuela’s Communist President Hugo Chavez made an approving reference to Obama’s recent move to nationalize General Motors. In a related remark directed to Chavez’s longtime friend and ally Fidel Castro, the Venezuelan President suggested that Obama’s brand of socialism was perhaps more extreme than that of any other world leader. Said Chavez: “Hey, Obama has just nationalized nothing more and nothing less than General Motors. Comrade Obama! Fidel, careful or we are going to end up to his [Obama’s] right.”
Obama’s Radical Appointees (Revolutionary Communist Van Jones, etc.)
Obama’s socialist orientation is further manifest in a number of the political appointments he has made as President. For example:
- He named Van Jones—a longtime revolutionary communist who famously declared that “we [are] gonna change the whole [economic] system”—as his “green jobs czar” in 2009.
- He appointed Carol Browner, a former “commissioner” of the Socialist International, as his “environment czar.”
- He appointed John Holdren—who not only views capitalism as a system that is inherently destructive of the environment, but strongly favors the redistribution of wealth, both within the U.S. and across international borders—as his “science czar.”
- He named Hilda Solis, a former officer of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (the socialist wing of the House of Representatives), as his labor secretary.
- He chose Anita Dunn—a woman who has cited the late Mao Zedong, China’s longtime Communist dictator and the killer of some 60 million people, as one of her “favorite political philosophers”—to serve as White House communications director.
The Communist Ties of Obama’s Two Closest Political Advisors
- Valerie Jarrett, the daughter-in-law of a journalist with ties to the Communist Party, was largely responsible for persuading the communist Van Jones, whom she admired tremendously, to join the Obama administration in 2009.
- David Axelrod, the chief architect of Obama’s presidential campaigns, was mentored, as a young man, by the lifelong communist David Canter. Axelrod’s other mentor, Don Rose, was a member of the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam, an organization replete with communists and Sixties radicals. Rose also belonged to the Alliance to End Repression—a suspected Communist Party front—and he did some press work for the Students for a Democratic Society.
Obama Awards the Presidential Medal of Freedom to an Avowed Socialist
- In May 2012, Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor a civilian can receive, to the iconic union activist Dolores Huerta. A longtime member of the Democratic Socialists of America, Huerta had previously won a Eugene Debs Award, named after the man who founded the Socialist Party of America. On at least one occasion, she was a guest speaker at a gathering of the Socialist Scholars Conference. And she is an open admirer of Venezuela’s communist president, Hugo Chavez.
Communist Party USA Backs Obama’s Re-election
- In June 2012, Marxist John Case, who writes for various Communist Party USA publications, wrote a piece titled “The Danger of a Romney Election,” which stated that: “Re-electing Obama is not sufficient to bring economic recovery or even relief to our people. Only a different class configuration in political power can do necessary minimum reforms to give us a chance. But re-electing Obama is absolutely essential. Now is not the time for hand washing the complexities and tactics away—or failing to triage the most critical questions from those that are less critical. We cannot win everything at once!”
Obama’s Striking Ideological Resemblance to the Party of European Socialists
- In January 2012, a Forbes magazine piece documented the striking similarities between President Obama’s political agendas and those of the Party of European Socialists—particularly as regards the expansion of the welfare state; government-funded universal access to education and health care; a progressive taxation system designed to redistribute income and wealth on a massive scale; a belief that state control is necessary to rein in the “greed” that underlies market forces which benefit only “the privileged few”; a reliance on “international institutions” and “international consensus” as the basis of foreign-policy decisions; and environmental policies that favor “carbon taxes, higher energy prices, restricted drilling and refining, and subsidies of green technology … even at the expenses of higher conventional growth and jobs.”
- Concluded Forbes: “If the Party of European Socialists were to rate Obama, he would get a near-perfect score. The political views and programs that Obama is prepared to reveal to the public are consistent with those of European socialists. He is clearly a socialist in the European sense of the term.”
“The President of the United States Is a Socialist”
- Stanley Kurtz, author of Radical-in-Chief, points out that Obama, from his teenage years to the present, “has lived in a thoroughly socialist world”; that Obama “never abandoned his early socialist convictions but instead discreetly retained them, on the model of his colleagues and mentors in the world of community organizing.” The final sentence of Kurtz’s book is its most powerful: “The president of the United States is a socialist.”
Important Quotes that Reveal President Obama’s Socialist Mindset
Though Obama—in the tradition of the Democratic Socialists of America, ACORN, and the Midwest Academy—has carefully avoided openly referring to himself as a socialist, he gives us a glimpse of his mindset every now and then, particularly when he is busy fomenting class envy, demonizing financial prosperity, and advocating wholesale wealth redistribution. Recall, for instance:
- when Obama famously told Joe Wurzelbacher (“Joe the Plumber”), during the 2008 campaign, that a tax increase on small businesses would be justified because “when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody”;
- when he told an Illinois audience in April 2010, “I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money”;
- when he made any one of his innumerable disparaging referencesto “the top 1 percent,” the “millionaires and billionaires,” the “fat-cat bankers,” and the “corporate jet owners” who are “sitting pretty” as they live lavishly at the expense of “the bottom 90 percent”;
- when he flatly rejected “this brand of ‘you’re-on-your-own’ economics” in January 2012;
- when he condemned the “ever-widening chasm between the ultra-rich and everybody else”;
- when he advocated “a new vision of an America in which prosperity is shared”;
- when he congratulated the anti-capitalist Occupy Wall Streetradicals for “inspir[ing]” him, reminding him “what we are still fighting for,” and being “the reason why I ran for this office in the first place”;
- when he claimed: “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen”—a reference to the government-funded “roads and bridges” that presumably made it possible for the business to thrive;
- and when he said, during the closing statement of his October 3, 2012 presidential debate with Mitt Romney, that he sought to create an America where “everybody’s getting a fair shot, and everybody’s getting a fair share.” He then quickly corrected himself: “[E]verybody’s doing a fair share, and everybody’s playing by the same rules.”
The Quest to “Fundamentally Transform” America, “Brick by Brick, Block by Block”
- Five days before the 2008 presidential election, again Obama articulated his intent to “fundamentally transform” the United States. Earlier in the campaign, he had pledged to “remake the world as it should be,” and to “change this country, brick by brick, block by block.” Earlier still, he had told an audience of supporters that “we’re not just going to win an election but more importantly we’re going to transform this nation.” These ominous proclamations sit at the very heart of the socialist mindset, the grandiose quest to tear down the status quo and erect a new, utopian world upon the scattered rubble of its despised ruins.
- Those quotes echo what Obama had said many years earlier, in an interview published by the Daily Herald on March 3, 1990: “I feel good when I’m engaged in what I think are the core issues of the society, and those core issues to me are what’s happening to poor folks in this society…. Hopefully, more and more people will begin to feel their story is somehow part of this larger story of how we’re going to reshape America in a way that is less mean-spirited and more generous. I mean, I really hope to be part of a transformation of this country.”
An Illustration of Obama’s Embrace of Incremental Socialism
- The strategy of settling for incrementalism rather than sudden, sweeping revolution was displayed with vivid clarity during the healthcare debates of 2009-10. Obama was already on record as having stated emphatically, in a 2003 speech at an AFL-CIO event: “I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer, universal health care plan”—i.e., a government-run system.
- But by 2007, with the White House clearly within his reach, Obama began to make allowances for the increasingly evident fact that a single-payer plan was not politically palatable to a large enough number of American voters. “I don’t think we’re going to be able to eliminate employer coverage immediately,” he said in May 2007. “There’s going to be potentially some transition process. I can envision a decade out, or 15 years out, or 20 years out.”
- He made similar references to a “transition step” and “a transitional system” on other occasions during the campaign. In the summer of 2008, Obama declared that “if I were designing a system from scratch, I would probably go ahead with a single-payer system,” but acknowledged that from a practical standpoint, such a result could only come about “over time.”
- Obamacare, then, was deliberately designed to be a stepping stone toward total government control of healthcare—a mere way station along the road toward the “radical ends” that the president ultimately sought to achieve.
A Successful Businessman Expresses His Resentment of Obama’s Class-Warfare Rhetoric
- In October 2012, Steve Wynn, CEO of Wynn Resorts told political commentator/TV host Jon Ralston: “I’ve created about 250,000 direct and indirect jobs according to the state of Nevada’s measurement. If the number is 250,000, that’s exactly 250,000 more than this president, who I’ll be damned if I want to have him lecture me about small business and jobs. I’m a job creator. Guys like me are job creators and we don’t like having a bulls-eye painted on our back. The president is trying to put himself between me and my employees. By class warfare, by deprecating and calling a group that makes money ‘billionaires and millionaires who don’t pay their share.’ I gave 120% of my salary and bonus away last year to charities, as I do most years. I can’t stand the idea of being demagogued, that is put down, by a president who has never created any jobs and who doesn’t even understand how the economy works.”