Is President Obama a socialist? According to actual socialists, the answer is an emphatic “no.”
For conservative bloggers and some at Tea Party rallies who call Obama a “socialist,” the abundance of socialist signs and propaganda at the liberal “One Nation Working Together” rally in Washington last month is just more evidence that Obama and his followers are actually socialists.
But this is simply wrong according to the socialists The Daily Caller talked to at the rally.
A large contingent of proud socialists was organizing around the International Socialist Organization (ISO) booth far from the action at the Lincoln Memorial. Looking hipsterific, they could have been kids at some dingy, rock venue.
When approached, though, they weren’t exactly friendly. The girl behind the booth in the leather jacket and faux-hawk even gave TheDC the stinkeye. ISO member David May, however, finally broke the group’s silence when asked if Obama was a socialist. May’s reply was a clear, “No.”
In fact, Obama was doing “quite well to help along big business,” he said.
“Obama has taken over the leadership of the American empire, which is a capitalist nation,” he explained. “And he’s the head of the Democratic Party, which is the world’s, America’s, second-most-enthusiastic capitalist party.”
May said neither he, nor any of his young comrades, had any faith that Obama would ever enact socialist reforms.
Neither did Carl Davidson. Formerly of the New Party, Davidson is currently of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism. He’s apparently pretty famous for knowing the president.
“If you Google ‘Marxist Mentor + Obama’ you’ll get a million hits about me,” he said.
“I know Obama well. I worked on his first campaign,” said Davidson. “He’s not even close to being a socialist…The socialism he gets attacked for is so much demagoguery.”
Then there was the table of the Party of Socialism and Liberation.
“No, we would say [Obama’s] not really a socialist at all…just another Democratic politician in many ways,” said volunteer Sunil Freeman. “You can look at other socialists systems and see how radically different they are.”
“Cuba would be one example; China to some extent. Systems where there’s universal health care … So that’s just one simple example of a different social order,” she said.
“I think the right–wing politicians use the word ‘socialists’ as sort of a demonizing term to score political points,” Freeman continued. “But just because you call someone a socialists, doesn’t mean they are a socialist.”
It seems real socialists want the good life found in Cuba and China, which might explain why raging conservatives decry actual socialism.