Is Obama a Socialist? Also, What's a Socialist?

Dan Joseph
By Dan Joseph | October 13, 2014 | 9:45 AM EDT

If there’s one thing ardent supporters of President Obama absolutely detest, it’s when his political opponents refer to him as a “Socialist.”  They scoff when conservatives use the word in regard to the president’s policies or ideological bent. 

Liberals know that the term “socialism” is politically harmful to their candidates and agenda if it sticks.  A candidate who is a self-proclaimed “socialist” would be unlikely to get elected in the United States anywhere south of Vermont.

The Congressional Black Caucus Conference is an annual meeting of liberal Democrats and some of President’s Obama’s most loyal and ardent supporters. They were insistent that President Obama was not a Socialist.  But then I asked these same attendees how they defined socialism.

Interestingly enough, their definitions sound very similar to some of the ways in which they describe President Obama:

"It's someone with an agenda that has to be their way in a certain way, they have a certain view of society that they want people to have."

"The reason he's being called a socialist it that he wants to provide health care to people, he wants to provide other benefits and opportunity, he wants for everyone to have an equal share of the pie."

"The theory is that everything is free, in a way, but it's subsidized through our tax," on attendee said.

Asked if Pres. Obama wants to make everything free through taxation, she said:

"I think he should."


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