Maddow Claims Obama 'Socialist' Label is 'Racially Divisive'
When Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama publicly said ‚Äúspreading the wealth around‚ÄĚ was better for the country, it caused some of his critics to cry socialism.
Rachel Maddow, the host of MSNBC‚Äôs ‚ÄúRachel Maddow Show,‚ÄĚ responded Oct. 20 claiming it was an ad hominem attack on Obama‚Äôs campaign with ulterior ‚Äď and racial ‚Äď motives.
‚ÄúI hereby propose a similar adage ‚Äď not for online discussions, but for American politics,‚ÄĚ Rachel Maddow said. ‚ÄúI hereby submit, that the longer it‚Äôs clear that liberals or Democrats are going to win an election, the longer it‚Äôs 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.‚ÄĚ
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 ‚Äúscare‚ÄĚ voters away from Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama.
‚ÄúAt least in
According to Maddow‚Äôs 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 ‚Äúracially divisive code‚ÄĚ from the decades of the 1980s and 1990s.
‚ÄúWelfare, where‚Äôd that come from?‚ÄĚ Maddow said. ‚ÄúWelfare? Yeah, the great racially divisive code word from the ‚Äė80s and ‚Äė90s that has no bearing whatsoever on Barack Obama‚Äôs tax policies. But that word does create a vague impression that this candidate might want to give out welfare handouts.‚ÄĚ
Maddow cynically suggested the socialist and welfare claims were part of a plot by the McCain-Palin campaign to ‚Äúsummon and stoke‚ÄĚ the Bradley Effect ‚Äď a political phenomenon when election results vary from polls because some voters tell pollsters they‚Äôre voting for a black candidate, but once in the voting booth, they don‚Äôt.
The charges of socialism became more prominent in the campaign when Obama was confronted by a
‚ÄúMy attitude is that if the economy‚Äôs good for folks from the bottom up, it‚Äôs going to be good for everybody,‚ÄĚ Obama said in the now famous Oct. 13 ‚ÄúJoe the Plumber‚ÄĚ incident. ‚ÄúI think when you spread the wealth around, it‚Äôs good for everybody.‚ÄĚ
Obama‚Äôs tax plan isn‚Äôt pure socialism, according to some avowed socialists. However, the ‚Äúspread the wealth around‚ÄĚ remarks by Obama are socialist in nature. The textbook definition of socialism from ‚ÄúMarx for Beginners‚ÄĚ shows some similarities: ‚ÄúAn 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.‚ÄĚ