Not So Out There, After All
Ron Radosh says that he began reading Stanley Kurtz’s book, Radical-in-Chief, “skeptical of the charge” that President Obama is a socialist, but the book changed his mind:
As the years went by, and Barack Obama moved from community organizing to Harvard Law and then back to Chicago, Kurtz shows that one thing remained constant: Obama continued to move in the same socialist circles that he had first come across at the SSC at Cooper Union. It was there that he probably heard a young Cornel West talk at a panel on race and class in Marxism, and was introduced to the father of Black Liberation theology, James Cone, the mentor to a minister named Rev. Jeremiah Wright. It was also at the SSC that he most likely came across a leader of Michael Harrington’s Democratic Socialists of America, the Yugoslav-born Bogdan Denitch, who wrote an essay on the importance of Harold Washington’s mayoral campaign in Chicago, in uniting the black and white Left in a new class politics that would produce victory and socialist momentum.
These ideas and theories motivated Obama and helped him choose his own career path — that of community organizing as the way to lead a coalition of blacks, whites, and Hispanics to create a socialist “redefinition” of America, with one caveat: The concept and advocacy of socialism as the final goal would consciously be hidden from sight. As Kurtz reveals, the socialist theorists openly talked about what they called “stealth socialism” or “incremental radicalism,” small steps that move the nation forward until the ultimate goal of a socialist transformation is obtained. One moves apparently without an ideological plan, but working for measures that will end with an irreversible move to a statist economy based on public control through groups run by labor and community organizations. As Kurtz writes: “Obama’s college socialism, the influence of socialist conferences on his career, his choice of a profession dominated by socialists, and his extensive alliances with the most influential stealth-socialist community organizers in the country give the game away. Obama has adopted the gradualist socialist strategy of his mentors. . . . Eventually, this will transform American capitalism into something resembling a socialist-inspired Scandinavian welfare state.”
Plenty of us saw through the facade before America’s Great Mistake of 2008, but as Radosh points out, many of “Obama’s inexplicable actions” — disregarding all messages from the public regarding ObamaCare notable among them — make sense within this construct.
No doubt, many who take up the “stealth socialism” program do so unconsciously, merely being duped by the rhetoric that its advocates deploy. As the media fawners were quick to proclaim during his campaign for office, Barack Obama is too smart for that to be the case, for him.