That is a big topic on which much can be said. The U.S. has dabbled in National Socialism before; elements of Roosevelt’s New Deal emulated Mussolini’s policies, and were implemented by men who made no secret of their admiration for Il Duce. But it has been a long time since anyone has seriously tried to turn the United States in a National Socialist direction.
Which is what Barack Obama seems to be doing. Consider his 983 executive orders, compared with George W. Bush’s 63 [See Update below]. Or his extra-constitutional czars; or his illegal cramdown of bondholders in auto bankruptcies; or the explosion in warrantless wiretaps and the even greater explosion in federal regulations; or his “green energy” scams to distort the economy and enrich political cronies; or the recent revelation that the Obama family costs U.S. taxpayers something like twenty times what the British Royal Family costs its subjects. Or, more important, consider Obamacare, a classic top-down National Socialist program.
And then there is the matter of style. The cult of personality is central to National Socialism, and Obama is part of that tradition to a degree that is, frankly, creepy. Consider this Obama poster:
As many observers have pointed out, this sort of image is fundamentally at odds with the American political tradition. Which, I suppose, is a point in its favor if you are Barack Obama. Compare the Obama poster with this one, which celebrated Lenin at the height of his dictatorial powers. The resemblance is eerie:
As I have written before, I consider Lenin to be the most evil man in world history. It was Lenin who introduced the language of pest control to politics, and both Hitler and Stalin are his legitimate progeny. Lenin, of course, was a Marxian Socialist, if you think the distinction is worth drawing. But how about the father of National Socialism, Benito Mussolini? Here is a comparable poster celebrating Il Duce:
It is ironic that Mussolini looks downright modest compared to The One. Maybe I am overstating the case, but it does seem to me that Obama lacks a basic understanding of, and sympathy with, the concepts of pluralism and tolerance that are necessary for any democratic society to function. I think is is truly urgent that we not give Obama another four years to lead the United States down a path that is far too well-trodden and that, history shows, leads only to disaster.
UPDATE: A reader adds these observations:
Loved the Mussolini post.
…economic “patriotism”…we’ll tell you what you’re investing in, whether you like it or not. You have no economic rights anyway…Industrial Policy!…autarky!…for “our” “magnificent auto industry”…“Win the future” by subsidizing the industries of yesterday — 1953 — with money borrowed from China today.
But look at this:
Before I studied public opinion, I often wondered, “Why are democracies’ policies so bad?” After I studied public opinion, I started asking myself the opposite question: “Why aren’t democracies’ policies even worse?” The median American is no Nazi, but he is a moderate national socialist – statist to the core on both economic and social policy.
FURTHER UPDATE: These numbers are all over the place; see this site for example, but I am not certain that they are correct. Everyone who has been paying attention knows, in any event, that Obama has greatly expanded the use of executive orders, most crucially using them to create or alter substantive law where legislation would be appropriate or, worse, already exists. An obvious example is his executive order announcing the selective enforcement of immigration laws, in violation of his oath of office.