In certain unscripted moments, Barack Obama has given us a glimpse of his socialist inclinations, but I wonder what percentage would vote for him if they truly understood the extent of his radicalism.
Yet the financial crisis has created a climate of fear and uncertainty and unleashed an unprecedented tolerance for large-scale government intervention, which is playing perfectly into Obama's hands. People are blaming this largely Democratic-spawned mess on Republicans because Bush is still president.
Maybe I'm being too much of an alarmist, but I'm worried for the first time in my life that the election of a presidential candidate could lead to a fundamental change in our system of government. Just listen to the comments of post-debate focus group members expressing a knowing willingness to accept Obama's socialism, such is their angst at the subprime mortgage mess.
Already some 38 percent of Americans do not pay income taxes, and Barack Obama wants to increase that percentage dramatically. How ironic that he and other Democrats pretend to be targeting their message to "working-class" people when many of their constituents aren't working. But such is class warfare that the upper-middle class and wealthy are demonized as not earning an honest living.
Do you suppose it has registered with class warfare-receptive Obama voters that Obama is deliberately turning the American dream on its head? Could it be any clearer that his message to the middle class is: Don't aspire to achievement, success and wealth because a) it is immoral to have more than others, b) the government will take your wealth away from you and give it to others, and c) why bother to bust your rear end to make more when you can vote yourselves money from the public trough?
Obama let slip his socialist proclivities to Joe the plumber when he denied he wanted to punish wealth and insisted he just wanted to spread the wealth around. Joe was justifiably repulsed by Obama's cavalier attitude toward the American dream.
Democratic commentator Bob Beckel was dismissive of the significance of Obama's outright nod to socialism, saying we've had a progressive tax system since the income tax was initiated. Yes, Bob, and we've had socialists in America since then, too.
But what Beckel did not explain is that at least in those days, the stated purpose of the income tax system was to fund government services, not to redistribute wealth.