2008 Socialist presidential hopeful says Obama's a capitalist .
Republicans, especially Tea Party types, still claim President Obama has a “socialist agenda.” Democrats keep on denying it.
Journalists dutifully report the dissing and the disavowals, claiming that's giving the public both sides of the story.
Seldom do scribes ask Real McCoy Socialists like Brian Moore if the President is one of them.
Moore says no way. “Obama’s actions and policies are capitalist to the core.”
Moore is the 67-year-old Floridian who topped the Socialist Party USA presidential ticket in the 2008. In this the most capitalist of Western industrial democracies, Moore managed just 6,528 votes nationwide.
A few journalists sought Moore ’s opinion when Republicans started trashing Obama’s “socialist” politics on the campaign trail two years ago. Moore even went on The Colbert Report to say that he, not Obama, was the genuine Socialist candidate.
Moore, who lives in Spring Hill, Florida , still says Republicans are still playing politics when they pin the “socialist” label on the president and his party. GOP bigwigs know Obama's not a socialist, according to Moore .
They also know that to many Americans “socialist” conjures visions of the Cold War and Moscow ’s minions grimly goose-stepping through Red Square , accompanied by rumbling tanks and massive mobile missiles.
“They are injecting fear and ignorance into an uninformed electorate,” Moore said.
He's a democratic socialist, far from a Marxist-Leninist. Democratic socialists believe in change through the ballot box, not the bullet. They oppose the anti-democratic excesses inherent in both Stalinist-style totalitarian communism and unfettered, greed-is-good capitalism.
Anyway, "socialist" might be a smear word stateside, but it’s not an epithet in other industrial democracies. Like Moore , millions of people in those countries – including our NATO allies -- proudly call themselves democratic socialists.
The U.S. is the only Western nation that doesn’t have a viable democratic socialist, social democratic or socialist-oriented labor party.
In other democracies, Obama and the Democrats would be centrist. Today’s tea party-tilting GOP would be a far-right-wing fringe party.
Meanwhile, Republicans claim the health care reform bill Congress approved – and the GOP wants to scuttle -- is “proof” that the president’s policies are socialistic.
Moore doesn’t buy it.
"The health care reform bill alone now provides 37 million new members to the insurance companies, the hospitals, the HMOs and the pharmaceutical corporations. This broken system has never had it so good. They will wallow in the new trillion dollars that will come their way in the next ten years."
Moore confesses some sympathy for the Democratic party because “of what it could be, but is not.” He ran in the Sunshine State ’s Democratic primary last August as an unapologetically leftist alternative to Alex Sink. He lost, but collected more than 200,000 votes.
Moore despairs at the Democrats’ rightward drift. So does this union card-carrying Hubert Humphey Democrat. "Socialist" wasn't a slur to HHH. It's not to me either. Like Humphrey, too, I'm an admirer of Western European democratic socialist, social democratic and labor parties.
In any event, Republican charges that Obama and the Democrats are “socialists” only shows how far right-wing the old party of Lincoln and Liberty has slid.