A lot of talk went on early in Obama’s presidency, calling him alternately- fascist, communist/socialist, or liberal. But what do these terms really mean? It’s easy to simply name call, but in reality these terms have meaning beyond what people realize. Some of them are correctly attributed, but the truth is more complicated to discern.
Fascism is defined in answers.com as:
[Italian fascismo, from fascio, group, from Late
The thing that sticks out as relating to Obama is the socioeconomic controls, i.e., AIG, GM, Chrysler, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, etc. Now to be fair, Obama was no different than Bush in this regard. When Bush signed TARP into law the nation took a large step toward Fascism. Obama seems to have amplified this economic policy in continuing bailout stimulis, and continuing the TARP program to control the financial sector. The control exerted on the “private” economy by this act was/is breathtaking. But by the government’s influence over large parts of our economy (you can add private health insurers to that list now) we have entered the realm of a Fascist economic model. The health insurers will get 40 million new customers by Government fiat, and in exchange they must give up control of their companies and be relegated to the role of a Government pensioner- but in this way fascism is little different than socialism in that if you no longer control your property, is it really yours? What good is it to own a car if you are not allowed to drive? How about the other aspects of fascism- how does Obama measure up there? Well, we do have a large degree of centralization under the President’s authority and that of his Czars, but there are no acts of violence yet aimed at the opposition- so AS of yet, he has not fulfilled the fascist mold, entirely.
Socialism is defined by ask.com as:
This one is tricky because the Federal Government does not own the economy, per se, but by taxing to the level that will be required for the implementation of Obama’s plans the majority of wealth in America will be controlled by the Government.
The socialized health care is just one example of where the future taxes will be levied. In it is a 10% tax on tanning beds, which makes sense by the way. If we plan on learning to live with the socialized health care we need to tax things that hurt you. Tanning causes cancer, which costs money from the public treasury. If you accept that logic (which by the way implies you belong to the Government) then you must see the logic in raising taxes on sugar- which causes tooth decay and obesity (the number one cause of health problems in America) and therefore costs the public treasury more money. While we’re at it we should raise the taxes on gasoline- this one is a two-fer! It will prevent people from driving- which will prevent car accidents, AND CO2 emissions! We should prohibit hang-gliding because it is more hazardous than just sitting on the couch… oh wait, the obesity thing. Instead, we should institute mandatory physical training on a daily basis as a condition of slavery, servitutde, citizenship, this will promote healthy living while we starve.
This is the one that gets me. The dictionary has a dozen or more meanings for liberal, but the most prevalent (and the historical basis) for the word is ‘free from government intervention.’ This one does not describe Obama at all. The better term for the Democratic party of the early 21st Century is ‘Statist.’
Statist is defined as :
The practice or doctrine of giving a centralized government control over economic planning and policy.
The practice of the government taking over authority at the expense of the citizens liberty is what best describes Obama, in my opinion. His plan is to create a “soft” authoritarian state in which the Government will have the full authority to right all wrongs, provide for all needs, and equalize outcomes for the entire populace with vast redistribution of wealth from the earners to those who (either by unwillingness to or inability to) have not earned enough to live. To do this they must create villains to take the blame for failed government policies like health insurers who would not exist (in their current form) except for the price controls from the second world war. The third-party payer system is the largest single contributor to the skyrocketing health care costs that can be named and yet the cure is seen as a complete third party in the form of the Government to take their place.
In conclusion, while it may be early to call Obama a socialist or a Fascist, he is on track. His plan for cap and trade, his successful passage of health care reform over the objections of the American people, his nationalization of industries from banking to automotive to insurance to financial is difficult to deny. Indeed, the whole exercise of distinguishing is an exercise in futility, as it is a distinction without a difference. The socialist takes ownership of private property, but the fascist takes ownership by virtue of control. The fascist controls their subjects by censorship and terror, so too does the socialist. The fascist has a dictator so the socialist has a secretary general. There is no real difference except in the spelling.
Tim Reeves is the State Chapter Coordinator for the Oregon Tenth Amendment Center.
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