Ken Blackwell

This column was co-authored by Ken Klukowski.

Governor Rick Perry called President Barack Obama a socialist who also loves his country. Those who support Western European-style socialist policies don’t understand the power of private markets, or government’s inefficiency and incompetence.

Answering a question from Bill O’Reilly, Governor Perry created a buzz by responding that President Obama is a socialist, though was quick to add that the president loves his country and simply doesn’t understand how America’s market-based economy works. If the president understood the private sector, Governor Perry explained, he wouldn’t pursue tax and regulatory policies that crush job-creators and prevent wealth creation.

There are two types of socialism. One is authoritarian socialism seen in the Eastern Bloc countries (many of which are now free-market economies) and some nations in Central and South America. It’s used by harsh and oppressive authoritarian regimes that repress their people.

The other type of socialism is a big-government philosophy that uses wealth redistribution to fund a massive nanny state of cradle-to-grave entitlements. We see this type of socialism in many Western European and Mediterranean countries that are friends and allies of our country, such as Spain, Italy, France, and Greece.

Governor Perry was referring to this Western-European socialism. President Obama believes that government has all the answers if led by enlightened leaders (as he fancies himself), and believes he will improve everyone's lot. Perry referenced Obama’s infamous exchange with Joe the Plumber, where Obama infamously said when government spreads the wealth it’s better for everyone.

The term “socialism” is misunderstood by many, and the Left spins it as if calling someone a socialist is a personal attack. They do this to avoid serious discussion of socialism’s impact.

There are two components to socialism. It’s a philosophy that government owes to everyone in society a certain standard of living. It includes government-provided or subsidized food, housing, education, and healthcare.

Socialism provides entitlements through massive taxation, and also believes that heavy government regulation leads to a better society. It does all this in the name of “social justice.”

No honest person can deny that President Obama’s policies fit these criteria. Government-run healthcare (and calling it a fundamental right, despite the fact that it’s nowhere mentioned in the Constitution). Federal control of education. Government picking winners and losers in the economy.

Ken Blackwell

Ken Blackwell, a contributing editor at, is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council and the American Civil Rights Union and is on the board of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. He is the co-author of the bestseller The Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency, on sale in bookstores everywhere..
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