You believe Obama is a straight-out socialist. How so?
Obama doesn’t run around wearing a Carrie Bradshaw-esque nameplate necklace that says “Socialist.” But his policies, actions, words, background and associations speak louder than any ID necklace ever could. As a technical matter, economic fascism (government control of the means of production without ownership) more accurately describes what Obama is carrying out than socialism (government ownership of those means of production), but “fascism” and “socialism” are highly charged words — and arguments over the labels often obfuscate the reality of the policies. But in the end, it doesn’t really matter what you call it. The only things that matter are the content of the policies and their consequences. And Obama has engaged in extreme government-directed redistributionism to undermine the free market, generate widespread dependency and further centralize state power.
Didn’t your former boss, Richard Nixon, implement economic policies that were far more left-wing than many of the policies President Obama has implemented, like price controls?
Unlike President Obama, President Nixon was a capitalist who did not believe in “remaking” the very character of America. He did institute some wildly progressive policies: Wage and price controls, an expanded food stamps program, began the EPA, took us off the gold standard. It’s always interesting to watch leftists try to grapple with Nixon’s legacy: They so want to hate him but they like much of what he did domestically. I didn’t, and often told him so; we had some tough arguments over those policies.
In many ways, Nixon started the modern notion of “compassionate conservatism,” which as we all know is neither “compassionate” nor “conservative.” Although on some level he felt the need to defend his legacy, he did come to regret most of those initiatives. On the creation of the EPA, he once told me that he began it with a noble intent to ensure clear air and water, but that like every government bureaucracy, it grew out of control. And on food stamps, he sighed and said to me, “Once you begin a government program, you can never take it away.” He did become more conservative and unapologetically free market-oriented in his later years. I used to joke with him that with age came wisdom.
Is there anything about Obama that impresses you?
Yes. His absolute and unwavering commitment to his philosophy and his steely discipline in affecting it as policy. He is single-minded and uncompromising in his beliefs, and relentless in seeing through his mission. It’s quite astonishing.
What do you believe the consequences will be for the nation of re-electing President Obama?
The nation is at the proverbial fork in the road. One path will lead us to Obama’s ultimate vision of Orwellian statism. The other path will lead us back to what made us exceptional from the start: individual freedom and economic liberty. If we choose the Obama path, it will spell the end of America as we’ve always known it. This is not your grandfather’s or even your father’s Democrat Party; today’s party morphed into a far more radical and determined leftist army long ago — and without much notice. They are what I call in the book “the kooks.” The kooks have been running the show for several decades, but have done it in hyper-speed once Obama took office.
Once the tentacles of redistributionism wrap themselves tightly around every part of the economy — and around our psyches — they can never be unwound. Once the majority is dependent on government in significant ways, we will have passed the tipping point. America as an economic dynamo will be no more, America as an international superpower will be no more, and America as an exceptional nation will be no more. It’s not too late to save her. The choice is still before us, but time is running out.