“What’s in a name? That which we call a socialist
By any other name would smell as putrid.”
The above mangling of Romeo & Juliet was called to mind by a new CNSNews.com interview with Sean Hannity, in anticipation of the release of his new book, Conservative Victory: Defeating Obama’s Radical Agenda, next week. The conservative star makes no bones about calling President Barack Obama a socialist:
CNSNews.com: You believe that Barack Obama is a socialist?
Hannity: I believe that Barack Obama is the most radical president America has ever had–by far. Yes.
CNSNews.com: And he’s trying on every front that he can to increase government control of our free enterprise system?
Hannity: Yes. I think he meets the dictionary definition–if you look at taking over banks, financial institutions, insurance companies, dictating pay, the health care industry–that is by definition what socialism is. Yes.
CNSNews.com: And he’s not going to be sorry seven, eight years–
Hannity: Look, Al Sharpton said he was a socialist the other night. I’m just quoting Al Sharpton. First time I agree with Al Sharpton. He’s right. Obama is a socialist.
Sharpton aside, leftists and “polite company conservatives” will naturally howl at such blunt talk—after all, Obama himself professes to believe in no more than “a light touch” of government in the free market, and many self-described socialists take umbrage at the notion that Obama is bringing their ideals to life (outright Communists, on the other hand…). But it’s hard to look at some of Obama’s greatest hits—drastic expansion of government control over personal healthcare decisions (which, remember, Obama thinks should go even further) and government control over automotive companies—and not see similarities to that “dictionary definition” Hannity is talking about:
a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.
On the other hand, David Swindle made a good point on March 1 about all this consternation over what semantics to label Obama with: that it’s largely academic and of limited practical value. Socialist, statist, leftist, collectivist, progressive, modern liberal…whatever terminology we want to use, the fact remains that the activists and intellectuals that comprise today’s Democratic Party, mainstream media, lower & higher education, cultural elites, and popular culture all (with slight variations on the particulars) agree on several basic principles:
- Government’s judgment is more trustworthy than the individual’s judgment or market forces
- The federal government can run roughshod over state prerogatives whenever it sees fit
- Individual liberty matters little when weighed against economic or social inequality
- Constitutional rules are made to be broken, by any means necessary (judicial activism, legislative trickery, or outright disregard), in the pursuit of one’s policy goals
From his domestic agenda to his rogues’ gallery of far-left associates, Barack Obama fits that definition to a T. Call it what you like, but the important thing is to know what ideas we’re up against—and Hannity’s latest blockbuster sounds like a good place to start.