Recently on “The O’Reilly Factor,” Bill O’Reilly seemed very concerned about President Obama being described as a socialist by members of the right such as Rush Limbaugh. O’Reilly has often dodged calling the president a socialist, as if doing so would condemn Obama as a tyrannical dictator. It was discussed throughout the show with various guests, and O’Reilly frequently stated that yes, Obama is a far-left guy, but he didn’t want to use the actual term “socialist.” It would be too much.
Here in Britain we look at the continuing battle as to whether Obama is a socialist or not as a rather odd American quibble. In Britain we have no problem defining people as socialists, nor do people on the left have a problem calling themselves socialists. It is not that those of us on the conservative right do not believe that socialism is a bad doctrine. We do, and we see evidence of its continual destruction of the country on a day-to-day basis, but we have always had socialism living quite openly amongst us. We are therefore able to see and recognize it quite calmly as a day-to-day occurrence in politics, just as one recognizes the flu. We wish it didn’t exist, but it does, and so we get on with our lives, trying to avoid catching it in the process.
There are as many exact definitions of socialism as there are socialists. Yet they do have common characteristics. Love of big government, nationalization of industry, massive taxation, wealth redistribution, etc. all point towards socialism. Someone like the president would not even have to say he was a socialist in Western Europe; it would be assumed quite normally, without any fuss or conspiracy.
I have a lot of respect for Bill O’Reilly, but to a Brit who has seen his fair share of socialists and lives in a socialist country run by a self-described socialist party by a self-described socialist prime minister who has taken over for another self-described socialist prime minister, it is puzzling why self-described independents like Mr O’Reilly are doing backflips in an attempt to avoid the obvious fact — President Obama is quite clearly a socialist.
Those of us across the pond who analyze American politics know exactly who it is you have in the White House. Obama is not some new post-political entity. Nor is he some form of Stalinist that will set up a USSA. He is a normal, well-spoken, charismatic socialist who in Britain would sit quite happily towards the left of the Labour Party alongside figures such as Tony Benn, Aneurin Bevan, Harold Wilson, and Ed Balls. To call someone a socialist is not conspiratorial, and it is not fear-mongering; it is simply the truth, and it is time for some in the conservative media to take a deep breath and admit it — America has a socialist leading the country. Welcome to the club: It stinks!