The right wing continues to try to paint U.S. President Barack Obama as a socialist, but as host Bill Maher said on his "New Rules" segment on "Real Time" Friday, of Obama is a socialist, he's a lousy one.
As Maher noted in "New Rules"
"Newt Gingrich called Obama the most radical Leftist President in history. Senator Marco Rubio called him the most divisive figure in American history. Michelle Bachmann said Obama is the most radical President we have ever seen in the history of the country …John Bolton said Obama just doesn’t care about national security. Honestly, there are Mexican drug mules who don’t pull this much stuff out of their a**.
“If Obama were as radical as they claim, here’s what he would have already done: Pulled the troops out of Afghanistan, given us ‘Medicare for all,’ ended the drug war, cut the defense budget in half, and turned Dick Cheney over to the Hague.”
Truly, the word socialist isn't anywhere near as pejorative and contentious a term in other countries as it is in the United States. In France, in fact, a declared socialist, Francois Hollande, just won the presidential election, defeating Nicolas Sarkozy. While France has only had one other Socialist president, he was Francois Mitterrand (who was Hollande's mentor). Mitterrand was elected in 1981, and was re-elected in 1988, which meant he was reasonably popular.
Socialism in the U.S. is a bad word because folks equate socialism with communism. They are not the same. A quick visit to Wikipedia shows that. It's also because of communism and the Cold War, equated with the U.S.S.R. and China that folks fear socialism. The right wing has attempted to use socialism as a scare tactic.
Strangely, they attempt to call Barack Obama both a socialist and a Fascist. Socialism is considered left-wing. Fascism is considered right wing. Wikipedia says ", fascism's goal to promote the rule of people deemed innately superior while seeking to purge society of people deemed innately inferior is a prominent far-right stance."
In effect, by definition, Fascism could not be equated with the Democratic party, left wing as it is, but only the right wing GOP ... and a quick look at that statement about Fascism and those with an open mind might leap to "Occupy Wall Street" and the One Percent.
Watch the clip from "Real Time," below.
Image Source Wikimedia Commons