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If Obama is a socialist, what was FDR?
TBO.com ^ | August 2, 2009 | WILLIAM MARCH

Posted on 08/01/2009 9:22:48 PM PDT by TaxPayer2000

TAMPA - The accusations come fast and furious on Web sites and talk radio: President Barack Obama is a socialist, a communist.

Is he? Is his health care proposal socialist?

"Yes. Next question," said Michael Steele, chairman of the national Republican Party, speaking to reporters in Washington on Monday.

"He has surrounded himself with people that have been for the redistribution of wealth. That's part of the communist mindset," said Ted Webb, a rightist Tampa radio commentator.

"'Communist' is not the correct word, and 'socialist' is debatable - the correct word is 'Marxist,'" said Rick Klepal, a Tampa commercial investment manager with an interest in politics.

If Obama is a socialist, there may be a lot of other political leaders in U.S. history who were, too, according to academics who study American history and politics.

The foremost candidate probably would be Franklin D. Roosevelt, several said.

Maybe Lyndon Johnson. John Kennedy? Thomas Jefferson? Bob Dole?

"The problem from the get-go is there are academic notions of what socialism is and there are political notions, which vary with the political culture," said Scott Paine, a Democrat and a political scientist at the University of Tampa.

The accusation of socialism, communism or generally destroying the American way of life tends to pop up whenever political leaders advocate ground-breaking legislation or government initiatives, said Richard Conley of the University of Florida.

"The American system is calibrated toward incremental change, not large-scale change," said Conley, a Republican who specializes in studying the presidency and says he's "on the conservative side of the spectrum and no big fan of Obama."

'Red Roosevelt'

In modern history, no president has been so excoriated as a socialist, communist and traitor to the American system than Roosevelt. His New Deal introduced half a dozen new types of government regulation and income redistribution.

In the 1930s, "the idea that the federal government would become involved not only in the economy but in social affairs was just unthinkable to many," Conley said. "It didn't represent what the U.S. was like until that point."

Today, some of those programs are among the nation's most widely accepted and popular - Social Security, mandatory bank-deposit insurance and regulation of securities sales.

But at the time, "the critics went berserk," said John Belohlavek, a political historian at the University of South Florida and a Democrat.

"They called him 'Red Roosevelt.' They said, 'This is communist Russia, the government taking over.'"

Father Charles Coughlin, a popular radio evangelist of the time with a populist, anti-Semitic philosophy, began as a Roosevelt backer but turned bitterly against him.

Coughlin, who combined the religious and political influence of Billy Graham and Rush Limbaugh, called Roosevelt "a Communist in the chair once occupied by Washington" and "anti-God," and said the New Deal was mired "in the Red mud of Soviet communism."

Republican opposition to Social Security didn't completely fade until the 1960s, Belohlavek said.

Other programs that drew fire against Roosevelt - welfare and agricultural subsidies, for example - have remained controversial but are not viewed as "socialism."

Roosevelt's Agricultural Adjustment Act, the beginning of farm subsidies, inspired some of the sharpest criticism. But conservative Republicans from wheat and corn states, including former senator and presidential contender Bob Dole of Kansas, fight for the subsidies.

Dole was also one of the main architects of the 1983 Social Security rescue plan, which dramatically increased taxes to save the income redistribution program.

When then-President Lyndon Johnson proposed a Medicare program, it drew the same criticisms as Obama's plan, Belohlavek said.

"It was called 'outrageous,' 'socialized medicine' - senior citizens would be mistreated and maltreated and wouldn't be able to choose their doctors. It was incredibly controversial."

Today, "not that it isn't flawed, but I can't imagine anybody arguing that we should give it up," Belohlavek said.

FDR's New Deal was just as much an experiment as critics say Obama's plan is, Conley said.

"In hindsight, we stopped the run on banks, got seniors Social Security so they didn't become paupers," he said. "But from the vantage point of the 1930s, the outcome was anything but certain."

Conley said a proposal for national regulation of health care takes government activism into a more intimate and controversial arena.

"It's one thing to regulate the fat cats on Wall Street, but very different to start talking about regulating decisions you make with your family, your spiritual adviser or your doctor," he said.

"That's part of the president's problem right now."

U.S. political culture

Debating whether Obama - or Roosevelt or Johnson - is a socialist is meaningless, Paine said.

"It's not about the definition of the word; it's about the connotation of the word in our political culture," he said.

In general, "socialism" means controlling production and distribution of goods and services to make the benefits less dependent on ability to pay for them, Paine said.

Depending on how you interpret that, a public school system, a graduated income tax, or even Tampa police service could be "socialist," he said.

Public schools - begun by the "common school" movement of the 18th century and led by Jefferson before the term "socialism" was coined - are available at no charge and paid for by property taxes based on the value of an individual's assets. Sso is police protection.

Income tax takes a greater percentage from the rich than the poor.

"Any system that provides services to people who can't pay, or who pay less than it costs, and the subsidy comes from people who can afford to pay more, could be considered socialist," Paine said.

But most of those who criticize Obama's plan aren't thinking about that academic definition. "A socialist is someone that believes that the state should tell you how to live, what kind of insurance you should have, what kind of car you should drive," Webb said.

Klepal said socialism is "when the government seeks to control the economy by controlling methods of production."

He said health care differs from other government programs that redistribute money or regulate economic activity.

"It's life and death. ... I don't want to have the federal government in that process."

But if socialism means placing the good of society ahead of the good of the individual, there could be few better formulations than Kennedy's:

"Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: bho44; fabian; fdr; presidents; socialists

1 posted on 08/01/2009 9:22:48 PM PDT by TaxPayer2000
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To: TaxPayer2000

The difference?

FDR was a Socialist who loved his country.


2 posted on 08/01/2009 9:26:49 PM PDT by WackySam (The fact that there are 24 hours in a day, and 24 beers in a case, is not a coincidence.)
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To: TaxPayer2000

At least he wasn’t an overt racist.


3 posted on 08/01/2009 9:29:46 PM PDT by buccaneer81 (Bob Taft has soiled the family name for the next century. I AM JIM THOMPSON!)
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To: TaxPayer2000
What was FDR?


4 posted on 08/01/2009 9:31:21 PM PDT by 50mm (I AM JIM THOMPSON!)
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To: WackySam
You have no argument from me. They were all socialist. Shame on all of them! The only difference is one of degree. Obama is just more blatant about it than some of the others. This train wreck has been coming for a long time.
5 posted on 08/01/2009 9:31:37 PM PDT by Nosterrex
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To: TaxPayer2000

Just a comment on one statement. Bob Dole did work to rescue Soc Sec. But when he did it was not seen anything like an income redistribution program. In 83 there was genuine concern that those who had contributed oer their years would not receive the benefits they’d been expecting. They were expecting repayment in line with their prior cotributions. That’s not income redistribution AFDC was income redistribution.Obamacare will be a serious form of redistribution. But as conceived SSS was not, and that is what Dole and others tried to save.


6 posted on 08/01/2009 9:31:52 PM PDT by xkaydet65
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To: TaxPayer2000

FDR loved Uncle Joe Stalin. He was a commie.


7 posted on 08/01/2009 9:32:17 PM PDT by gorilla_warrior (Metrosexual hairless RINOs for hopey-changey bipartisan-ness)
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To: TaxPayer2000
But if socialism means placing the good of society ahead of the good of the individual, there could be few better formulations than Kennedy's:

"Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country."

What a lying note to end on. The majority of people who want socialist healthcare aren't looking at it as an opportunity "to do for their country". They see it as an opportunity for their country to do something for them, namely pay their doctor bills.

Also, the writer's characterization of Father Caughlin is tendentious and false. He should read Jonah Goldberg's book so that he can get his facts straight.

8 posted on 08/01/2009 9:34:44 PM PDT by Yardstick
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To: TaxPayer2000
If Obama is a socialist, what was FDR?

A socialist, and apparently an inspiration for future socialists.

9 posted on 08/01/2009 9:38:43 PM PDT by kittycatonline.com
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To: gorilla_warrior

FDR loved his drugs, period. He was in far too deep a stupor to be aware of his consequences.


10 posted on 08/01/2009 9:41:22 PM PDT by tired1 (When the Devil eats you there's only one way out.)
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To: TaxPayer2000

Bolsheviks


11 posted on 08/01/2009 10:03:37 PM PDT by Jim from C-Town (The government is rarely benevolent, often malevolent and never benign!)
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To: TaxPayer2000

Socialism is the means to the communist end.

It’s humans as stock farm animals. And communists are not above taking them to slaughter.

It’s slavery.

Whenever one human is FORCED to fund any part of another’s existence or the existence of the government IT IS SLAVERY!

The universe doesn’t recognize the subtleties—you are free, or you are not. Unless you want to split hairs in regard to the acceptability of ‘shades of slavery’ or the ‘degrees of slavery’ like someone with some kind of sick fetish.

NO MAN, NO GROUP OF MEN, IS FIT TO RULE ANOTHER!

It is a DEADLY game that will cause suffering and death yet AGAIN, just like it always has in history.


12 posted on 08/01/2009 10:05:51 PM PDT by Boucheau (The enemy of freedom is on the left.)
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To: TaxPayer2000

...A socialist and a statist.

From FDR’s Second BIll of Rights Speech

“It is our duty now to begin to lay the plans and determine the strategy for the winning of a lasting peace and the establishment of an American standard of living higher than ever before known. We cannot be content, no matter how high that general standard of living may be, if some fraction of our people—whether it be one-third or one-fifth or one-tenth—is ill-fed, ill-clothed, ill-housed, and insecure.

This Republic had its beginning, and grew to its present strength, under the protection of certain inalienable political rights—among them the right of free speech, free press, free worship, trial by jury, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. They were our rights to life and liberty.
As our nation has grown in size and stature, however—as our industrial economy expanded—these political rights proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.

We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. “Necessitous men are not free men.” People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.

In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all—regardless of station, race, or creed.

Among these are:
The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;

The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

The right of every family to a decent home;

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

The right to a good education.

All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.

America’s own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for our citizens.”


13 posted on 08/01/2009 10:13:50 PM PDT by rlmorel ("The Road to Serfdom" by F.A.Hayek - Read it...today.)
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To: WackySam

“FDR was a Socialist who loved his country.”

That’s a damn lie!!!!


14 posted on 08/01/2009 10:19:25 PM PDT by dalereed
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To: WackySam

The difference? FDR was a Socialist who loved his country.
***Good one. Bump that.

Obama is a National Socialist
www.freerepublic.com ^ | October 27, 2008 | Kevmo ...
www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/2116981/posts


15 posted on 08/01/2009 10:26:15 PM PDT by Kevmo (So America gets what America deserves - the destruction of its Constitution. ~Leo Donofrio, 6/1/09)
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To: WackySam
The difference?

FDR was a Socialist who loved his country.


Agree but he had all the other flaws Obama has.

Wasn't FDR's wife a lesbian and didn't FDR run around on his wife? Give Obama time ... he'll be like that too.

16 posted on 08/01/2009 10:56:43 PM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God).)
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To: TaxPayer2000; All


17 posted on 08/01/2009 11:26:06 PM PDT by musicman (Until I see the REAL Long Form Vault BC, he's just "PRES__ENT" Obama = Without "ID")
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To: gorilla_warrior

Agreed.

But did the US go to war on 1941 to defend the USSR from the Nazis and the Japs? I think so.

Did the US nuclear bomb the Japs to prevent them from rivaling the Soviets in future? Yes.

Did the USA occupy Japan and Germay to protect the Soviets? Yes.

Did the US stall their advance on the Western Front to let the Soviets gain control of Western Europe? Yes.

We’ve had Jimmah, Lyndon, Clinton, and now the arch Manchurian Candidate, Obama. So sad. The USA, last great hope of Democracy falls to internal corruption and Commie insurrection.

Democracy is ending.

Now comes the Dictatorship of ????????


18 posted on 08/02/2009 2:18:46 AM PDT by plenipotentiary (Obama was a BRITISH SUBJECT at birth, passed to him via Pops, can't be NBC)
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To: TaxPayer2000

I don’t know what FDR was, but my father, who served during WW2, used to call him a commie bas%ard.


19 posted on 08/02/2009 4:41:49 AM PDT by BuffaloJack (thirst for absolute power is the natural disease of monarchy - Thomas Paine)
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To: TaxPayer2000

You can’t judge Socialism by what it says to you. While it says “the good of society” its real goal is total control of “the Masses”.

It’s the old thing of the front of the package in the grocery store proclaiming miracles in color and dazzling visual effects, while the ingredient list on the back reveals the same old emasculated white flour and hydrogenated (carcinogenic) fat.


20 posted on 08/02/2009 5:50:30 AM PDT by RoadTest (I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. - John 14:6)
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To: rlmorel

O.K.. I’m going to venture a translation of FDR’s speech based on how these things unfolded in the following years:

“The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;”

Compulsory union membership.

The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

See above.

“The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;”

Artificial government price supports.

The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

Over-regulation by the government: mountains of government forms to fill out and turn in, punishment for getting too successful (big).

The right of every family to a decent home;

Pouring billion$ into loans that would never be repaid, causing the start of our present financial trainwreck.

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

Oh boy; here we go: OBAMACARE!

The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

The Ponzi scheme of Social Security - addictive as cocaine (we can’t give it up).

The right to a good education.

The Socialist NEA’s homosexuality 101, touchy-feely diversity and cultural homogenization, resulting in the recent find that the longer an American stays in school, the farther behind students of other developed countries he falls.

That’s how FDR’s program worked out in reality. Was he a Socialist/Communist?


21 posted on 08/02/2009 6:06:04 AM PDT by RoadTest (I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. - John 14:6)
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To: TaxPayer2000

FDR was a socialist progressive...what some have termed as quasi-socialism.


22 posted on 08/02/2009 7:35:20 AM PDT by cranked
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To: cranked

FDR was a Fabian Socialist, an early ‘Third Way’ Progressive if you will.

Today, we’re full of EUrocRats in doves clothing... the banner is the same no matter what you call them.. Peace

http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Fabian_Society


23 posted on 08/02/2009 8:28:51 AM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Godspeed .. Monthly Donor Onboard)
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To: NormsRevenge

Interesting. Thank you for the link.


24 posted on 08/02/2009 8:32:57 AM PDT by cranked
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To: TaxPayer2000

In a time of strong men FDR was our “El Presidente for Life”.

Once he was elected in 1932 he refused to relinquish office until his death in office after winning four national elections.


25 posted on 08/02/2009 8:42:56 AM PDT by ansel12 (Romney (guns)"instruments of destruction with the sole purpose of hunting down and killing people")
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To: TaxPayer2000

Barack hmself says it all in his usual leftist code-speak:

“We’ve got to make sure that people who have more money help the people who have less money.”

“We’re going to reshape America in a way that is less mean-spirited and more generous.”


26 posted on 08/02/2009 9:02:00 AM PDT by Iron Munro (Win the War On Poverty - Stop bringing in foreign reinforcements for the other side.)
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To: RoadTest
You can’t judge Socialism by what it says to you. While it says "the good of society" its real goal is total control of "the Masses".

As with Obama and every other leftist, commie and socialist, they use code-speak and what they say is at best only part of what they mean.
When socialists like Obama and FDR say something is "for the good of society" what they really mean is "for the good of society as I perceive it."

They all believe they have superior wisdom and insight that gives them the right govern every aspect of our lives. It is their altruistic duty to share their superior wisdom, to tell others how to live their lives down to the smallest detail - buckle up - wear a helmet, don't smoke, don't eat meat, no dodge ball for kids, what kind of car to drive.

(Remember Obama said he hoped the controversy surrounding the arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. would become a "teaching moment"? Of course, he is the teacher and the dim witted whites are the pupils.)

They are puzzled and frustrated that we are seemingly too dense to understand - everything they do, they do for us. Instead of resisting them why aren't we on our knees thanking them?


27 posted on 08/02/2009 9:09:42 AM PDT by Iron Munro (Win the War On Poverty - Stop bringing in foreign reinforcements for the other side.)
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