As the leader of the Democrats—the party that carries an historical reputation for expanding government power, higher taxes, and limitless spending—Obama reasserted and rejuvenated his party’s traditional commitment to the statist course. This commitment permeates his speeches. He regards businessmen not as valuable producers, but as conniving parasites who must be placed under comprehensive government controls, including a “czar” to approve executive pay. He expressed this desire in an angry rant against financial managers who received contracted bonuses.8 Obama regards doctors not as lifesavers, but as predators willing to sacrifice their patients to needless operations in order to get money.9 He regards the police who respond to reports of a burglary as cops who act “stupidly,” before the relevant facts are clear. He regards overseas regimes that have pledged to continue to attack the United States as deserving of apology. Meanwhile, he wants to prosecute American intelligence officers who used “harsh” interrogation techniques against enemies who have killed Americans. Obama and his administration are overtly and publicly committed to an ideologically radical leftist agenda.Image Credit: The People's Cube.
Obama’s choice of advisors has helped to define his antibusiness agenda. He hired, for instance, John Holdren as his director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Holdren has expressed his views of industry in print since the 1970s: “A massive campaign must be launched to restore a high-quality environment in North America and to de-develop the United States.”10 Such views are consistent with a range of policies planned by the administration, from stringent business regulations being drafted by the Congress and Obama’s economic czars, to cap-and-trade legislation intended to strangle industry, to unremitting attempts to place the medical industry under comprehensive government control.
Such views permeate Obama’s rhetoric, which connects him in many people’s minds to the most radical (i.e., consistent) advocates of democratic socialism. Despite his attempts to appear moderate, the basic nature of his administration—its essential identity, purpose, and worldview—is becoming crystal clear. He is a leftist and a socialist on principle, who vilifies the free market, apologizes for his country before murderous foreign dictators, and finds salvation in ever-growing government power. Not all Americans see him this way, but the number is growing with his every word and deed.11
Obama, of course, does not intend to be clear about his socialist identity. He is trying to come across as a “reasonable,” moderate “centrist.” But his attempts to appeal to moderate voters are angering the hard left and alienating the independents. Meanwhile, an increasing number of astute American voters on the right are largely unmoved.12 Many people are seeing him as a skilled orator who is trying to save his agenda.
Friday, September 18, 2009
From John David Lewis, "Obama’s Atomic Bomb: The Ideological Clarity of the Democratic Agenda":