It seems like a sufficiently innocent, positive word – doesn’t it?
It’s been a week since the Obama re-election team unveiled "Forward" as the President’s new campaign motto. And it’s been a week of commentators noting the similarity between Obama’s “Forward,” and liberal tv network MSNBC’s slogan "Lean Forward;" Communist Chinese Dictator Mao Zedong’s "The Great Leap Forward;" and "Spring Forward," the slogan used by communist Russia Dictator Vladimir Lenin.
Some have insisted that the Obama campaign’s similarities to Chinese and European communism are only rhetorical, and, therefore, the choice of this word was simply an unfortunate mistake. Others suggest that this is a flagrant display of the true philosophical colors of our President, and those of the people by whom he’s surrounded.
But there have been multiple Obama Administration appointees who have spoken favorably and eloquently about communism. And President Obama has for years been promising to use government power to improve people’s lives – just like communist dictators do.
So is America comfortable with communists advising the President? And is Obama improving anything, as he gobbles up more control of our lives with executive mandates and big-government policies?
Since taking office in 2009, there have been at least three Obama Administration appointees who have expressed their fondness and appreciation for communism. Van Jones, President Obama’s former “Green Jobs Czar,” is perhaps the most widely known communist appointee who didn’t last long at the White House. After being appointed by the President in March of 2009, Jones became embroiled in “controversy” when it was discovered that he had previously identified himself as an “avowed communist,” and had ties to a Marxist group back in the 1990’s. After this came to light in the media, Jones was terminated by President Obama with less than four months on the job.
Then there was former Obama White House Communications Director (now a Democrat Party political strategist) Anita Dunn. Ms. Dunn, whose White House career dates back to the Carter Administration, was the subject of a brief moment of controversy in 2009 when it was discovered that in a speech she had noted that Mother Theresa and Mao Zedong were two of her “favorite political philosophers.”
As if that isn’t sufficiently accommodating to communism, President Obama’s former “Manufacturing Czar” had similar accolades to his name. During his tenure at the White House, Czar Ron Blum became famous for noting that “the free market is nonsense,” and that “Chairman Mao” had it right with idea that “political power comes largely from a gun…”
A communistic campaign slogan and three Administration appointees with affections for communism – accidental or not, there has nonetheless been a recurrent theme with the kinds of people with which our President surrounds himself. And then there are the policies and the promises, with the accompanying loss of individual liberty.
After less than two years at the White House, President Obama had successfully put in to place a system of tremendous governmental control over the otherwise private economy. By the middle of 2010, the President had become a de-facto C.E.O. over huge chunks of the economy, with the power to hire and fire executives, establish compensation limits for executive management, and to determine what products and services are produced. Insurance companies, car manufacturers, lending institutions and energy producers – President Obama has forced his will upon them, and they have reacted.
So where has the President’s agenda led us thus far? Forward to $13 trillion of government debt? Forward to government spending that outpaces GDP? Forward to a government debt downgrade? Forward to skyrocketing healthcare prices?
When Chairman Mao rose to power earlier last century, he implemented what he called his “First Five Year Plan,” noting that the first three years would be difficult but thereafter things would go well. His reign over China, as we know today, brought about the deaths of somewhere between fifty and eighty million “peasants,” and eventually gave way to the more westernized “People’s Republic of China” – still a communist government, yes, but with more private control of economic resources instead of less.
Will President Obama be implementing a second “four year plan?” We, the people, will make that decision and not the President himself. For now we’d all do well to consider whether or not the President’s plan has moved us “forward” at all.
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.