Ron Paul: Obama Not A Socialist
Speaking of Ron Paul, he took the bold step yesterday of announcing that President Obama isn’t a socialist. Not in a technical sense, anyway.
“The question has been raised about whether or not our president is a socialist,” Paul said. “I am sure there are some people here who believe it. But in the technical sense, in the economic definition of a what a socialist is, no, he’s not a socialist.”
“He’s a corporatist,” Paul continued. “And unfortunately we have corporatists inside the Republican party and that means you take care of corporations and corporations take over and run the country.”
Paul said examples of President Obama’s “corporatism” were evident in the heath care reform bill he signed into law last month. He said the mandate in the bill put the power over health care in the hands of corporations rather than private citizens. But he said the bill wasn’t the only place where corporatism is creeping into Washington.
“We see it in the financial institutions, we see it in the military-industrial complex,” he said. “And now we see it in the medical-industrial complex.”
I would think the bailouts of the big banks, General Motors, and Chrysler would be better examples.
Now, in a technical sense, I’m not sure any of this is “corporatism,” which is used to describe so many wildly disparate concepts as to be almost meaningless. But there’s not much doubt that organized economic interests hold powerful sway in both our parties.
It’s also true that, historically speaking, socialists are anti-capitalist and have worked to destroy corporations. There’s just no appetite in American politics for that. Obama would surely have preferred to establish a government-run alternative to private insurance, which would be a very mild form of socialism, but there weren’t anything like the votes for that so there was no use expending the political capital to engage in a losing fight.