Maddow Claims Obama 'Socialist' Label is 'Racially Divisive'
When Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama publicly said âspreading the wealth aroundâ was better for the country, it caused some of his critics to cry socialism.
Rachel Maddow, the host of MSNBCâs âRachel Maddow Show,â responded Oct. 20 claiming it was an ad hominem attack on Obamaâs campaign with ulterior â and racial â motives.
âI hereby propose a similar adage â not for online discussions, but for American politics,â Rachel Maddow said. âI hereby submit, that the longer itâs clear that liberals or Democrats are going to win an election, the longer itâs clear that liberals or Democrats are winning an argument, the more likely it becomes that someone is going to get called a commie, socialist, Bolshevik, commie Pinko, comrade, five-year planner.â
Maddow pointed out two specific instances of Republican Vice-Presidential nominee Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain using the word socialist in the late stages of the presidential campaign as an attempt to âscareâ voters away from Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama.
âAt least in
According to Maddowâs analysis, McCain was trying to reinvent an era of racial division. No, not the late-1800s or even the 1950s and 1960s, but she claimed it was âracially divisive codeâ from the decades of the 1980s and 1990s.
âWelfare, whereâd that come from?â Maddow said. âWelfare? Yeah, the great racially divisive code word from the â80s and â90s that has no bearing whatsoever on Barack Obamaâs tax policies. But that word does create a vague impression that this candidate might want to give out welfare handouts.â
Maddow cynically suggested the socialist and welfare claims were part of a plot by the McCain-Palin campaign to âsummon and stokeâ the Bradley Effect â a political phenomenon when election results vary from polls because some voters tell pollsters theyâre voting for a black candidate, but once in the voting booth, they donât.
The charges of socialism became more prominent in the campaign when Obama was confronted by a
âMy attitude is that if the economyâs good for folks from the bottom up, itâs going to be good for everybody,â Obama said in the now famous Oct. 13 âJoe the Plumberâ incident. âI think when you spread the wealth around, itâs good for everybody.â
Obamaâs tax plan isnât pure socialism, according to some avowed socialists. However, the âspread the wealth aroundâ remarks by Obama are socialist in nature. The textbook definition of socialism from âMarx for Beginnersâ shows some similarities: âAn economic, social and political doctrine which expresses the struggle for the equal distribution of wealth by eliminating private property and the exploitative ruling class. In practice, such a distribution of wealth is achieved by social ownership of the means of production, exchange and diffusion.â