Someone in the Obama campaign should find a new line of work. They’ve adopted as a slogan the single word: Forward! You’ve heard those complaints from conservatives that Obama is a socialist? Well, Forward! is one sure way to validate those concerns. Forward! has been the slogan of Marxists for more than a century. Vorwärts is not a soccer rival to Harry Potter’s Hogwarts school, that home of witchcraft and wizardry. . Vorwärts was the German language name of the Socialist newspaper for generations of European leftists.
In Russia, Vladimir Lenin’s Bolsheviks used the word Vperyod! Now, if you had been accused day in and day out of being a Marxist, would you run for re-election with such a freighted word? It’s a comment on American education that a candidate for president can use a Communist word and expect no one will notice or object.
Maybe the Obama team is just taking cues from MSNBC. They try to deny their far-left orientation with the disarming slogan: Lean Forward. Try to imagine that we’re on the rim of the Grand Canyon, staring down at the chasm of debt that this administration has dug for. This president has dug a hole of debt in three years deeper than all previous forty-three presidents. And while we’re hanging out over that canyon rim, MSNBC tells us to lean forward.
It’s surprising that President Obama didn’t pick up on the unsavory associations with the word Forward! It’s like David Duke not getting the problem with white sheets.
In his book, Radical-in-Chief Stanley Kurtz takes great care to document Mr. Obama’s ties to American socialists. Obama admits in his memoir that he attended the Socialist Scholars Conference in New York City in April 1983. The way Obama tells it, going to that conference was part of the delightful intellectual smorgasbord of activity that a Columbia student samples in Manhattan. You know, Lincoln Center, the Bronx Zoo, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Grant’s Tomb—all that cultural stuff in the Big Apple.
The only problem with this scenario is that the agenda of the Socialist Scholars Conference in 1983 was pretty clear: How to bring Socialism to America without importing all that nasty, brutish KGB and GuLAG apparatus from what President Reagan was calling the evil empire.
Those democratic Socialists may well have hit on the formula: work against the family, abolish marriage, crush small businesses, take over big ones. Nationalize student loans and home mortgages, the two biggest items in the American family budget. You don’t have to nationalize everything. As former Obama economic adviser Austan Goolsby said, just the “commanding heights” of the economy. Nice Marxian phrase there, Austan.
Stanley Kurtz is quite careful to distinguish President Obama’s radicalism from that of the Continental Marxists. Kurtz will not go where the evidence does not lead. He finally concludes that Barack Obama is a Socialist, but he’s a Socialist like the left wing of the Swedish Social Democratic Party.
Now, it was hard enough to get Americans to muster on the village green when Paul Revere rode through “every Middlesex village and farm” crying out “The British are coming! The British are coming!” But stand they did and fired the shot heard `round the world.
During the Cold War, Hollywood’s Alan Arkin made fun of anti-Communists here with a spoof called “The Russians are Coming! The Russians are Coming!”
So it’s not hard to figure out why Stanley Kurtz’s book did not raise greater alarms. How do you get folks stirred up yelling “The Swedes are coming! The Swedes are coming”?
The serious question we need to ask ourselves: Does the Swedish Socialist model work, even for Sweden? Sweden and the rest of Scandinavia will find it increasingly impossible to meet the demands of their social welfare systems with an ever-shrinking native-born population. That’s why Sweden has taken to importing folks from the Third World. And that, tragically is why the ancient city of Malmo has become dangerous for Jews. The children and grandchildren of people who fled there with the rise of Hitler are being forced out by the rise of jihadist anti-Semitism.
Anti-Semitism is the inevitable result of the politics of re-distribution. We should not forget that in Germany, it was National Socialism that blamed the Jews as that nation’s one percent. Socialism didn’t work in the USSR, but anti-Semitism was rife. That’s why millions of Soviet Jews fled when they had the chance.
The reason Socialists always proclaim Forward! as their slogan is that they never want you to look at their record. Don’t look back at the wreckage of the economy and the dangers to liberty. Just keep marching together, Forward! indeed.
Ken Blackwell, a contributing editor at Townhall.com, 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.