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Something Happened

One week ago, the Zogby tracking poll had Barack Obama beating John McCain by almost 10 points among likely voters. Today, it’s a four-point game. Yesterday, IBD reported, “After seesawing between 3.2 and 3.9 points over the weekend, Obama’s lead slipped to 2.8[.]” Gallup’s newest traditional poll has Obama leading by two points. Probing coverage of Sarah Palin’s wardrobe didn’t seem to do what the mainstream media had hoped. With the public losing interest in the crusade against Palin, a fresh news cycle has ushered in a serious challenge for Barack Obama. Americans are scared that the Democratic nominee is a socialist. And it’s not attack ads or robocalls that have created this impression, but Obama’s own words. Up until now, Obama has enjoyed a twenty-six-point lead among self-professed moderates, who make up roughly half the electorate. As there is nothing moderate about collectivism and wealth redistribution, the new charges could bury Obama.

Barack Obama’s greatest advantage over John McCain has been his ability to convince Americans that he will take them someplace, transport them out of the War on Terror paradigm, off of the anti-American planet we currently inhabit and into a future in which America is somehow still the global leader without actually being better than any other nation, where somehow everyone is furnished with healthcare and education without this crippling the economy. Over the past few weeks, this last “somehow” has been defined. And if it points toward where Obama intends to take the U.S., Americans are rightfully fearful.

Obama’s democratic socialist sympathies first came to light when he told Joe Wurzelbacher of his plan to “spread the wealth.” The worrisome sentiment was reinforced by an unearthed 2001 radio interview, during which Obama seemed saddened by the Supreme Court’s inability to redistribute wealth in accordance with need. On Sunday, Obama sounded a further collectivist note, when he told a Colorado crowd, “Now, make no mistake: the change we need won’t come easy or without cost. We will all need to tighten our belts, we will all need to sacrifice and we will all need to pull our weight because now more than ever, we are all in this together.”

Americans don’t take kindly to the government-knows-best school of problem solving. If wealth is to be spread around, it will be spread by those who earn it. Sacrifices may be made, but they will not be dictated. Even today’s PC-damaged Americans suspect that the collective good is most effectively, and ethically, realized in pursuing individual achievement. Less than twenty years after the defeat of the Soviet Union, we’re faced with a potential president who thinks it’s his place to tell us what we must give up and how it will be apportioned to bring about the common good. This won’t fly. Eighty-four percent of Americans oppose the government redistribution of wealth.

Before Joe the Plumber, Obama managed to sell indecision as moderation and detachment as self-possession. Evidence of extreme ideology was skillfully sidestepped as ancient happenstance (as in the case of his association with Bill Ayers), or partisan misinterpretation (as in the case of Obama’s abortion record). But Obama’s sympathies are both recently held and clear-as-day. And that’s a serious problem.



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