Diana West

By leaps of collectivism and bounds of centralization, Barack Obama has been taking the country in a socialist direction since he took office. I would add, however, that this is the direction the country has been moving since 1933. That's another story.

But it's all part of a story we're not supposed to discuss in concrete terms. This must change this year, or else. Or else what? More and more socialism. That means less and less freedom.

On Oct. 12, 2008, Joe the Plumber -- who, today, as Samuel Wurzelbacher is running for Congress -- prompted Candidate Obama to repeat the socialist mantra, in Obama's words, that "when you spread the wealth around it's good for everybody." If you recall, this led to an intense, frenzied media vetting -- of Joe the Plumber. Obama and his ties -- for example, to the socialist New Party and the socialist front organization ACORN -- went unreported in the print and television mainstream, even as new evidence was exploding like fireworks on mainly conservative Internet news sites and blogs, particularly in those final weeks of the campaign.

To date, Mitt Romney has balked at labeling President Obama or even his policies as socialist, probably calculating that the label distracts from his arguments. I implore him to reconsider lest Obama's and the Democrats' stealth socialism finish off the country once and for all.

What's fascinating, meanwhile, is that Obama is underscoring his own socialism by disavowing it -- even as no one in the political arena is accusing him of it. Psychologists probably would call this phenomenon "projection."

Joel Gehrke of the Washington Examiner noted that twice last week Obama defended his economic ideas against charges of socialism -- charges no one is actually making. This week, Gehrke picked up on the president's stated denial that he is trying to "redistribute wealth," even as Obama touted a plan to do exactly that with the "Buffett Rule." This rule, as Obama explained to Joe the Plumber back in 2008, "spreads the wealth around" by taxing millionaires at a higher rate to pay for "investments" (a deceptive word for government programs). These "investments," Obama told a Florida audience, "haven't been made as some grand scheme to redistribute wealth from one group to another. This is not some socialist dream."

That's the narrative, of course. Who really believes it's supported by the facts?

Diana West

Diana West is the author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character (St. Martin's Press, 2013), and The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization (St. Martin's Press, 2007).