No, he is a Democrat with a social conscience.
The idea that Barack Obama's policies are 'socialist' is a great exaggeration popularized, many would argue, by the Republican Party's efforts to put down, through any means, a very strong opponent.
At the very most, President Obama's policies are Social Democratic in nature. His philosophy is democratic. He taught Constitutional Law at the University level and understands the rights and freedoms it gives the people, which his actions support with an attitude of reformation of some of Capitalism's inherent flaws, as opposed to the revolutionary attitude of true Socialists.
His healthcare plan, for example, is something seen by Europeans as rather conservative. Britain has had health care through the government (NHS) for over 70 years. This is far from being symptomatic of extreme leftism. The president's plan is a fairly moderate policy aimed at ending what many would see as a poor way to treat citizens by allowing socio-economic backgrounds to decide levels of health care.
Whilst one can only really speculate as to Barack Obama's private leanings, his policies are certainly not of the far-left nature that his opponents make out.
The term Socialist can be used in various fashions.
Some people feel that President Obama is a socialist because the laws and regulations he is trying to pass could be interpreted as taking away personal freedoms. They believe that some of the regulations President Obama is attempting to pass go beyond what the Constitution states is the government's role.
In his book The Audacity of Hope, President Obama states that:
"They conclude that the Constitution itself was largely a happy accident... that we can never hope to discern the Founders' 'original intentions' since the intentions of Jefferson were never those of Hamilton, and those of Hamilton differed greatly from those of Adams; that because the 'rules' of the Constitution were contingent on time and place and the ambitions of the men who drafted them, our interpretation of the rules will necessarily reflect the same contingency, the same raw competition, the same imperatives- cloaked in high-minded phrasing- of those factions that ultimately prevail. ... so I see a certain appeal to this shattering of myth, to the temptation to believe that the constitutional text doesn't constrain us much at all, so that we are free to assert our own values unencumbered by fidelity to the stodgy traditions of a distant past."
This alarms some people because they interpret it to mean that President Obama does not respect the Constitution or believe that it should be followed and upheld.
Also in The Audacity of Hope President Obama constantly advocates spreading the wealth around. This system would be extremely wonderful, but if one "robs the rich to give to the poor", soon enough the rich decide that they don't have to work for their money. If they do nothing at all, the government will make sure they get money anyway. This creates problems because if no one wants to work anymore, then the government has to force people to work, thus taking away personal freedoms. This is why some people believe that President Obama may have socialist intentions.
He does, however, according to some, have sympathy for certain "socialistic" ideals. For example, his statements regarding a need for medical care for even those that don't have the money to afford it is interpreted by some as socialistic. However, this has been something that the people in the US and those in all civilized Western nations have wanted to provide to the less fortunate for decades and have been providing through the state and Federal Medicaid program for the indigent, and for senior citizens through Medicare. The democratic capitalist nations in the UK, France, Australia, Canada and the US (to name only a few) are not characterized as socialist even though they have programs to assist those needing medical care who can not afford it.
See the link below for a definition of socialism.
First, it should be noted that most objective sources regard Barack Obama as a centrist Democrat, rather than a liberal. He tends to lean more liberal on social issues, and more center-right on issues such as defense. "Liberal" has become a conservative, Republican talking point that is used as a negative against Democrats, but it is unclear what the label really means in today's corporate-driven electoral politics. That said, here are comments left by others over the past four years. Some comments go back to 2007, and are based on assertions about what Mr. Obama "might" do as president.
Opinions from prior to the election of Barack Obama in 2008:
The following is according to National Journal, Washington's leading online and print publisher of in-depth non-partisan news and analysis of the people, issues and trends driving the federal policy-making process. Its publisher also owns The Atlantic, the magazine Andrew Sullivan writes for. Per its poll, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., was voted most liberal senator in 2007, followed by the other leading Democrat for President Hillary Clinton. Per its ratings the previous 2 years, he ranked as the 16th- and 10th-most-liberal during his first two years in the Senate. See Related Links)
(Ratings from Democratic, independent, and liberal sources have not been provided. The poll was released on January 31, 2008, well after Obama was considered one of the leaders for President. )
The National Journal rating system does have problems:
Once regarded as a centrist, Mr. Biden was rated by the National Journal in 2007 as the third most liberal member of the Senate. Biden was also a candidate for President at the time the vote was released.
In this year's poll of Republicans, both Obama and Biden are further to the left than Bernie Sanders, who comes in fourth. He is more liberal than 90% of the Senate on economic issues; 88% of the Senate on social issues; and 98% of the Senate on foreign issues. His composite "Liberal" score is 93.7% -- and Bernie Sanders identifies himself as a Socialist, a statement that has been frequently responded to by Liberals as a falsifaction, some saying, quote, "Liberalism and Socialism are two completely separate things. while some Liberals may hold views that wish for the standardization of [a few] institutions, this in no way makes them a Socialist." (anonymous source)
A definition of "liberal" is:
Favorable to progress or reform, as in political or religious affairs. 2. (often initial capital letter) noting or pertaining to a political party advocating measures of progressive political reform. 3. of, pertaining to, based on, or advocating liberalism. 4. favorable to or in accord with concepts of maximum individual freedom possible, esp. as guaranteed by law and secured by governmental protection of civil liberties. 5. favoring or permitting freedom of action, esp. with respect to matters of personal belief or expression: a liberal policy toward dissident artists and writers. 6. of or pertaining to representational forms of government rather than aristocracies and monarchies. 7. free from prejudice or bigotry; tolerant: a liberal attitude toward foreigners. 8. open-minded or tolerant, esp. free of or not bound by traditional or conventional ideas, values, etc. 9. characterized by generosity and willingness to give in large amounts: a liberal donor. 10. given freely or abundantly; generous: a liberal donation. 11. not strict or rigorous; free; not literal: a liberal interpretation of a rule. 12. of, pertaining to, or based on the liberal arts. 13. of, pertaining to, or befitting a freeman. -noun 14. a person of liberal principles or views, esp. in politics or religion. 15. (often initial capital letter) a member of a liberal party in politics, esp. of the Liberal party in Great Britain.
That may be the dictionary definition of liberal but it is not the actual definition of today's Liberal Politician. To see the definition of today's Liberal politician you should look up the definition of socialist.
Also, the politician's by in large that call themselves conservatives are also a discredit to the label. On economic issues Congressman Ron Paul is probably best represents the values of a conservative. It is a shame he is a crackpot on the other important issues we face is America today.
As to whether Senator Obama is a liberal I would suggest looking at his voting record. He has voted along party lines 98% +/- of the time. Since he is in the "Most Liberal" category I would suggest he is more a socialist then a liberal. Based off his voting record, not off his campaign speeches.
Media critic response: It should be noted that right-wing Republican sources will always say Democrats like Barack Obama are liberal. That does not make the assertion accurate, however. Many other sources, from the left and from the center, dispute that Obama is "the most liberal," since many of his policies have also been championed by moderate Republicans and centrist Democrats.
Yes. President Obama is a Democrat, i.e., a member of the Democratic party in the US political system. By most objective accounts, he is considered a moderate or centrist Democrat in his political philosophy. He also is a democrat, i.e., a member of the citizenry of a democracy within a philosophy of a democratic government, such as in the US.
Actually, most objective analysts would say Mr. Obama is a centrist Democrat. He is liberal on social issues, but leans more conservative on issues such as defense. He believes the government should stay out of people's bedrooms and private lives, and he believes that the government does have a role in solving the problems and improving the lives of Americans.
While his political opponents insist he is liberal (which to them is something bad), the truth is that whether as a senator or as the president, Mr. Obama has generally been a moderate or a centrist, leaning somewhat to the left on social issues and somewhat to the right on certain foreign policy issues.
He doesn't follow the traditional values that made America what it is today.
Barack Hussein Obama is considered a liberal because he embraces liberal values. Liberal values begin with the idea that the federal government should be involved in every aspect of life.
Yes he is. He is as far left as he can be, with out falling over.
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