The Corner

Frum on Socialism

I’ve been expecting a promised refutation of my points about socialism from a Democratic activist who writes under the pseudonym Eugene V. Debs over at FrumForum. Instead David Frum himself has taken up the issue, with a piece called, “Is Obama a Socialist?” I wonder if I’ll hear again from Debs? I also wonder why this Democratic activist feels compelled to write under an assumed name and why he chose Eugene Debs as his pseudonym.

As always, Frum makes a thoughtful and thought-provoking case. My main objection is that the historical record has convinced me that President Obama in fact is a socialist. Dealing with that record is going to be a problem for people who deny that this is who the president is.

Sometimes a self-consciously moderate stance can become doctrinaire. There are moderates of the right and left who make a point of avoiding any position that might make them appear extreme to someone on one side or another. I myself tried to avoid the socialism issue during campaign 2008. When I began to research my book, I had every intention of skirting the socialism question. The facts forced me to change my mind. I believe that Obama truly is a socialist, and I put the case in my book in detail, backed up by a very substantial amount of never-before-seen information. Obama’s political history has to play a role in our assessment of his ideological intentions.

I don’t see how any reasonable person can see the facts I’ll soon present in my book and continue to treat the socialism charge as a fringe conjecture. At the very least, it is a matter worthy of very serious attention and debate.

Stanley Kurtz is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

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