"It would be nice -- or at least honest," writes Sean Hannity, "if Barack Obama would just come out and admit his socialism."
That sentence appears in the chapter titled "Obama the Socialist" in Hannity's new book, "Conservative Victory -- Defeating Obama's Radical Agenda." In a recent interview about the book, Hannity told me he believes Obama "meets the dictionary definition" of a socialist.
This is the plain truth. Obama is a socialist. Merriam-Webster defines socialism as "any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or government ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods." A socialist is "one who advocates or practices socialism."
Obama, for example, practiced socialism with General Motors.
Last year, he directed the government to take 60 percent ownership of GM. Congress had not enacted legislation authorizing him to do this. He simply took money out of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which had been appropriated to buy assets from financial institutions (not manufacturers), and bought the federal government an auto company.
Obama's greatest socialist act so far, however, is the national health care system he signed into law last month.
"As a leftist to his core, Barack Obama has been salivating over socialized medicine for years," writes Hannity. "It's the perfect policy vehicle for socialists who want to ensure that government's tentacles will spread into all aspects of our society. They have been trying for decades to impose it on this liberty-loving nation. It is the socialists' dream, a solution that has all the attributes of Trojan-horse liberalism: It appears perfectly compassionate on the drawing board, while operating as a freedom vacuum once put into practice."
This, again, is the plain truth. Under Obamacare, the government will start out subsidizing the health insurance of Americans making up to 400 percent of the poverty level. In return for this redistribution of wealth, those who go on the health care dole will give up a significant measure of freedom.
Obamacare gives government the power to control which health insurance plans they can buy and what benefits those plans will -- or will not -- provide. In its role as primary paymaster and regulator of the health care system, the government will have decisive leverage over some of the most morally consequential decisions individuals ever make.
And that is before the system evolves into a single-payer system, which it inevitably will, as insurance companies discover they cannot deliver the benefits the government demands at the price the government will pay, and as individuals who make too much to qualify for a government subsidy discover they earn too little to buy the plan the government insists they must.
"What we need is less government and a vigorous reintroduction of market forces into the medical industry," writes Hannity.
"Conservative Victory" is a gutsy book that pulls no punches in defining the threat that Barack Obama's agenda poses to American freedom. But it also makes a powerful case for the counter-agenda needed to take our country back. That agenda is old-fashioned, unapologetic Ronald Reagan conservatism -- a conservatism that stands for free enterprise, traditional morality and peace through strength.
"Our free-market system is the reason that American prosperity has outshined that of every other free nation in history," writes Hannity. "The time is ripe for conservatives to make their case -- not just a rejection of Obama socialism, but a reinvigoration of free-market capitalism."
"Conservatives, being God-fearing at their core, are committed to protect the sanctity of human life," he writes. "We support the concept of traditional marriage, between one man and one woman, as one of the essential institutions of a stable, ordered society."
"It was Ronald Reagan's steadfast insistence on SDI at Reykjavik, against the hysterical hand-wringing of nuclear-freeze liberals, that eventually forced Mikhail Gorbachev to capitulate in the Cold War," he writes. "We won not by surrendering but by protecting our interests and our principles from a position of strength."
"The true key to conservative victory," writes Hannity, "is to stay true to conservative principles; to convey the message clearly and powerfully; and to refuse to let liberals distort what we stand for and what is in our hearts."