Calling Obama a Socialist is like calling Bush a Democrat

There’s been a subtle undertone in recent anti-Obama, pro-fear campaigns that Barack Obama is a socialist, one who favors redistribution of wealth from moneyed persons to the poor.

It’s baloney.

THE SOCIALIST PARTY strives to establish a radical democracy that places people’s lives under their own control – a non-racist, classless, feminist socialist society… where working people own and control the means of production and distribution through democratically-controlled public agencies; where full employment is realized for everyone who wants to work; where workers have the right to form unions freely, and to strike and engage in other forms of job actions; and where the production of society is used for the benefit of all humanity, not for the private profit of a few. We believe socialism and democracy are one and indivisible. The working class is in a key and central position to fight back against the ruling capitalist class and its power. The working class is the major force worldwide that can lead the way to a socialist future – to a real radical democracy from below. The Socialist Party fights for progressive changes compatible with a socialist future. We support militant working class struggles and electoral action, independent of the capitalist controlled two-party system, to present socialist alternatives. We strive for democratic revolutions – radical and fundamental changes in the structure and quality of economic, political, and personal relations – to abolish the power now exercised by the few who control great wealth and the government. The Socialist Party is a democratic, multi-tendency organization, with structure and practices visible and accessible to all members

(Oh, and socialism is not a communism. Many like to conflate the two, but they are very different. Soviet Communism had the central government planning every little thing, while Chinese Communism has loosened some government restrictions and let corporations decide what will be made. They haven’t loosened their power one bit though. Despite this, neither Republicans or Democrats seem to have a problem doing business with non-democratic China.)

Barack Obama certainly isn’t calling for any of this. In fact, under his tax plan, most of us would see a definite decrease in taxes. What’s socialist about that?

To summarize, they call for a classless society with worker control of economic production. I will make no comment on what I think of that, but rather look at the Democratic Party platform. The first main points are “Jumpstart the Economy and Provide Middle Class Americans Immediate Relief.” That has nothing to do with changing how the economy is structured in as radical a way as the Socialist Party calls for. Note the words “Middle Class,” which directly implies a continuation of social classes, which is something the Socialist Party would like to eliminate.

If you want to read the Democratic Party’s 2008 platform, it’s over here. It’s got little in common with what the Socialists call for. The Socialists are running Brian Moore of Florida and Stewart Alexander of California for President and Vice President of the United States. Barack Obama is a member of the Democratic Party, not the Socialist Party.

I don’t know why I’m going on about this when McCain is getting flack and flagrant dissent from people in his own party. Some things are unimportant, I suppose.

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Author: Jason Haas

Jason is an elected member of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors, occasionally moonlights as an amateur gardener, and is a proud father of two, or three, depending on how you do the math.

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