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Case Closed: Barack Obama is a Socialist Working to Destroy America
Posted By David Swindle On December 7, 2010 @ 8:00 am In Book Club,Email,Feature,Obama, Barack | 6 Comments
“I don’t know how much I buy this whole ‘ex-leftist’ thing,” one of my old professors wrote to me earlier this year as he was trying to wrap his head around how one of his “progressive” poetry students could somehow devolve into an aggressive, unapologetic, Evil Neo-Con Warmonger working for the demonic David Horowitz.
“From what I remember you always struck me as a pretty moderate dude in your columns,” he said.
Why of course I did. Looking “moderate” and “reasonable” and “liberal” was the objective when in reality in my heart I was a radical and a socialist. Back in 2004-2006 when I was taking my professor’s courses the public face I wore was one of a “progressive” Democrat. In my weekly op/ed columns for the Ball State Daily News I argued on behalf of John Kerry and critiqued the Bush administration and the Conservative Movement.
I may have been dumb enough to identify with the Left but I was smart enough to know that if I told the truth about my political convictions then few people would be persuaded. So while I might have had six books by Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn on my shelf at the time, their names never showed up in my columns. How could I persuade anyone if I came out and actually said that racist, genocidal AmeriKKKa was the world’s greatest terrorist state, its clawed fingers dripping with the blood of poor brown people all over the world? What good would it do to support Ralph Nader in 2004 and point out that Kerry was also an elite member of the Ruling Class — also part of Yale’s Skull and Bones Society — and was only a baby step’s improvement over the malevolent George W. Bush? No, New Left-style honesty in “speaking truth to power” and brutally confronting the American Empire was a road to nowhere. It made infinitely more sense to just become a Democrat, and yank the established party leftward until the day came when a true leftist could be elevated to the White House to reform a corrupt system.
This is the nature of the majority of the Left today from the most inconsequential, amateur blogger to the Commander-In-Chief: radical Che wolves in liberal Democrat donkey costumes.
So why is it then that it’s taken so many conservatives so long to finally begin to accept that Barack Obama is actually a radical seeking to destroy America from within? Simple: conservatives follow the evidence. And up until now, while various pieces have certainly been available, there just has not been enough to prove conclusively that Obama is a socialist. Billy Ayers, Jeremiah Wright, “spread the wealth around,” etc. etc. — were we in a court of law all these data points could legitimately be tabled as merely “circumstantial evidence.” Associations, off-the-cuff remarks, and friends don’t prove Obama’s core intellectual and political convictions and intents.
Just a few months ago the Freedom Center prepared the production of a new pamphlet, Breaking the System: Obama’s Strategy for Change. The point of the pamphlet was to show how the Obama administration was utilizing the infamous Cloward-Piven Strategy to intentionally try to bankrupt the government.
When we started the project I was skeptical of the premise. Was Obama really employing Cloward-Piven? Short of getting Obama on film admitting it how could we actually prove it?
As the early drafts of the manuscript came in, though, the weight of the evidence was overwhelming. I was convinced. There was no way that Obama and his administration could be doing what they were doing by accident. There was no way they could have no idea what the effects of their policies would be. Was it more likely that the administration was stupid or malevolent? If they were idiots then how could they have been so competent as to accomplish their objectives?
And now that we have Stanley Kurtz’s Radical-In-Chief: Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism we can know conclusively that the negative economic consequences of the Obama administration’s policies are no accident. It is the single most important political book released in the last three years.
What makes Kurtz’s book so unique and vital among all the other anti-Obama tomes to come out? Simple: Kurtz did original research, digging through obscure archives of socialist groups and piecing together the history of socialism in America in the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s — and Obama’s extensive, overwhelming, intricate connections with it. It’s a challenging book to try and summarize adequately. (The whole point is to just try and take in all the evidence that Kurtz has assembled.)
For his entire political career Obama has been an unassembled jigsaw puzzle, allowing others to project onto him their own readings of his political philosophy based off of the few available pieces.
So in trying to summarize Kurtz, it’s best to begin like a jigsaw puzzle — start with the edge pieces and then work inwards. So let’s begin with a fact that both Left and Right agree on: Barack Obama started his career as a “community organizer.”In his preface, Kurtz begins with a question that really hasn’t been asked since Obama appeared on the scene: What on Earth is a Community Organizer?
Kurtz answers, and if any Obama supporters want to try and dispute this then I look forward to hearing about how this is a lie or a smear:
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. Barack Obama’s colleagues and mentors were some of the smartest and most influential stealth-socialist community organizers in the country. Their strategies of political realignment and social transformation guide the Obama administration to this day. Although contemporary community organizers deliberately hide their socialism, with a bit of digging, their secrets can be revealed. In neglected archives and long-forgotten issues of obscure journals, the untold story of modern American socialism lives. As the revolutionary hopes of sixties radicals banged up against the hard reality of a popular Reagan presidency, America’s socialists turned to a combination of community organizing and local politics to move the country steadily leftward by degrees. These were the socialists who schooled Obama. Their story is his story.
The story of the New Left which David Horowitz helped lead has been told many times from numerous perspectives. Peter Collier and Horowitz’s book Destructive Generation is probably the best summary of this part of the Left’s history from the early ’60s through the mid ’70s. This generation of progressives was characterized by a radical temperament and radical objectives. They wanted socialism and were quite up front about it. With the Vietnam War engaging the liberal center of the electorate, many activists — Tom Hayden and Bob Scheer, for example — actually dreamed that they might provoke a violent revolution.
But with the Vietnam War ending and Ronald Reagan dominating in the 1980s tactics had to shift. Enter Saul Alinsky, the Midwest Academy, ACORN, and the idea of community organizing. What was going on at the top with leftists infiltrating the Democratic Party as “liberals” (see The Shadow Party) was also happening at the bottom with hardball activists recasting themselves as pragmatists working to solve problems within the community. (Except all the problems had the same solution: more taxpayer dollars for organizers.)
Kurtz documents convincingly that the turning point for Obama was likely his attendance at at least two — perhaps three — Socialist Scholars conferences in the early ’80s. How do we know Obama was there? He admits it in his memoir, attempting to cast his participation as just one more thing to do in New York City in the early ’80s. (He buries the admission alongside a list of other recreational activities.) Kurtz did the legwork, digging up who the speakers were at the conference and what they were likely talking about at the time (based on their recently-published articles and books.) And what was the hot subject at those conferences? Community organizing.
Once Obama decided to become a community organizer who did he get involved with? What were their ideas? What strategies did they advocate for changing America? How did Obama utilize them in his own community organizing? How do Obama’s descriptions of his activism in Dreams from my Father measure up with the facts that Kurtz pieced together through examining the archives? Where do Rev. Jeremiah Wright and the notorious, unreprentant Weather Underground terrorist Billy Ayers fit in? Was Obama’s involvement with ACORN really limited to just representing them in one legal case? Who supported Obama as he made his transition from community organizer to politician? If Obama is a “sell-out” who no longer embraces his socialist past then why does he continue to maintain the support of those he knew in the ’80s and ’90s?
Radical-In-Chief answers these questions and connects all the dots. The picture that emerges is clear: Obama is not a pragmatic, post-ideological liberal just pursuing “what works” to try and improve the country. He has lied and deliberately obscured his radical past — and present.
Taking all of this in, the obvious answer is to try and claim, “Well yeah, Obama may have pragmatically used this world to jumpstart his political career but that doesn’t mean that he’s actually a socialist today.”
How do we know that Obama never abandoned Alinskyite Socialism? Simple: because when you look at his behavior — from his policy priorities to his rhetoric — you see their roots in this hidden world.
Q Mr. President, you’re often pressured from both the left and right on one issue or another, and then even within the Democratic Party you get pressured from the more conservative, more progressive side of the party. So I’m curious, you sort of govern as a — sort of as a pragmatist, and I’m wondering if you view yourself as a progressive.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I mean, the problem with labels is everybody thinks they mean different things. So I would define myself as a strong progressive in the sense that I believe in that essential American Dream that everybody gets a chance to make it if they’re willing to work hard, that government has a role to play in ensuring opportunity by making sure kids get a decent education and can afford to go to college; that workers are able to train and retrain for the jobs of the future; that we’re building strong infrastructure; that we are using our diplomacy alongside our military to protect our national security; that we believe in the Bill of Rights and we actually act on it, even when it’s inconvenient; that we are promoting the equal treatment of citizens under the law.
Those core beliefs that America prospers not just when a few people do well but when everybody has the chance to do well, when we’ve got a growing middle class, where we — people are able to live out their dreams without the barriers of race or gender or sexual orientation, those are things I deeply believe in.
In that sense, though, I think Abraham Lincoln was a progressive. He was a Republican. He was the first Republican President. And that just gives you a sense of how these categories change so much.
It used to be that the values I just described had a home in the Republican Party as well as the Democratic Party. I think it’s only been in recent years that you can’t find that articulation of some of these values in the Republican Party, and that in fact if you champion them that you’re considered some wild-eyed radical. That’s a shift, and not a good shift, in terms of our public debate.
How is this response transformed once you’ve read Kurtz’s book? Once you’re familiarized with the techniques of stealth socialists one name in particular really jumps out from Obama’s answer: Abraham Lincoln. Kurtz explains in Radical-In-Chief how one of the methods of community organizing socialists is to invoke the names of America’s founders and heroes in order to mask their ideology. So it makes perfect sense that Obama would throw out a ridiculous non-answer like this to obscure the question of what he actually believes.
Second, let’s consider Obama’s administrative priorities in light of Kurtz. Some of the most common ways that the Left likes to try and paint Obama as a “pragmatist” or “post-ideological” or even not really one of them is to point to his “disappointing” social and foreign policies. If Obama is really the Radical-In-Chief then why is it he doesn’t support gay marriage? Why is it he’s been such a disappointment to the GLBT community? Why is it that Islamist water-carriers like Glenn Greenwald are upset that he’s carried over so many Bush administration policies? Why is the “anti-war” movement (actually a pro-totalitarianism movement) furious that he sent more troops to Afghanistan?
Why is it that Obama looks so BORED in every foreign policy speech he gives?
Juxtapose his lack of emotional engagement on foreign issues with how fired up he gets when talking about healthcare:
This behavior all makes sense when you read the strategies of the stealth socialists who most influenced Obama. The approach they advocated was for organizers to tread lightly on social issues and foreign policy and instead try and rally their people around economic interests. And that’s exactly what Obama has done in his first term in office.
So what’s to be done now that we know the truth?
What would happen if the facts revealed in Kurtz’s book were the central argument against Obama in 2012? What if the primary political task the conservative movement set about pursuing over the next two years was laying out the facts of Obama’s stealth socialism to the undecided center? What if the conservative blogosphere really got behind Kurtz’s book and started pushing it, realizing how unique and important it is, instead of just paying lip service to another anti-Obama book?
Dream for just a moment: imagine if Obama’s opponent in the 2012 election started confronting him with some of this material during the presidential debates. Imagine them rattling off some of the names and groups from Kurtz’s book and then finally asking, “Mr. President, when exactly did you stop being a socialist?”
How would the Left respond? We can see already just how paralyzing Radical-In-Chief is. Try and find a single progressive review confronting its thesis. Juxtapose how much Media Matters has hammered Dinesh D’Souza and his book The Roots of Obama’s Rage compared to only a quiet reference of Kurtz and Radical-In Chief. (This single item here is the only one I could find. And it’s only a passing mention, not even a post devoted to Kurtz.)
This response is very familiar. The Left has been similarly silent on Horowitz and Collier’s writings. Just try and find substantive rebuttals to Destructive Generation, Radical Son, and The Politics of Bad Faith. They simply can’t be found — trust me, I’ve looked. Such critiques don’t exist. And they’re unlikely to emerge in response to Kurtz too. Why? Because Kurtz’s book isn’t a polemic. He’s an anthropologist by training and his analysis is through that lens. Kurtz’s book has a dry, restrained tone, as though he’s laying out the tribal customs of indigenous tribes in New Guinea. He can’t be dismissed — he can only be ignored. And that’s only if conservatives stay quiet.
Don’t expect this to be the last you hear of Kurtz’s book at NewsReal Blog. This is only the beginning of the conversation. I’ve assigned my team of editors and their star bloggers to read Radical-In-Chief and write about it. Over the course of 2011 a greater sense of momentum needs to build around Kurtz’s thesis and we’re going to do what little we can to help provoke that.
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