Obama Rhetoric Matches That Of Old Soviet Leaders
Posted 06/19/2013 05:53 PM ET
President Obama insists his policies are driven by a "common sense" approach. He also speaks in terms of "we the people" and "the government is us."
Such declarations are reminiscent of old Soviet posters displayed for all to see: "ALL POWER BELONGS TO THE PEOPLE" and "PEOPLE AND COMMUNIST PARTY ARE ONE."
But the real power in the USSR was in the hands of Communist Party leaders. They, in the name of the people, defined foes of centralized government as "enemies of the people."
Similarly, Obama's Department of Homeland Security has defined right-wing extremists as "those that are mainly anti-government, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority."
His National Security Agency has specified that in addition to gun owners and veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, right-wing extremists also "may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration."
Soviet bureaucrats were justified in harassing and persecuting "enemies of the people." IRS bureaucrats, empowered by NSA definitions, feel free to harass and intimidate people and groups who question administration policies.
Tea Party groups that want the government to follow the American founding documents are right-wing extremists, and pro-Israel Jewish groups need extra scrutiny by the IRS as potential terrorists.
To watch citizens in every corner of life, the Soviets relied on embedded snoops who reported on conversations and moods of co-workers and friends. The Soviets would envy the tools available to the Obama administration to spy on American citizens today.
Soviet leaders freely sacrificed citizens to reinforce their agenda, cover up incompetence and retain power. They loved to use teachable moments to demonstrate what happens to citizens who do not follow government directives.
Information accumulated on citizens was handily available and used by all forms of state media to publicly denounce, humiliate and punish non-conformists.
In the name of security, the NSA needs to use all tools available to catch terrorists. Therefore, the NSA is justified in accessing personal data of American citizens, and the Justice Department under Attorney Gen. Eric Holder spies on journalists' emails and phone conversations.
In the Obama administration's war on non-conformist media, Holder was preparing a show-trial when DOJ spied on Fox News correspondent James Rosen and his parents.
Few noticed the fate of the American Internet prodigy Aaron Swartz, who committed suicide in January at age of 26. In an online "manifesto" in 2008 Swartz wrote: "Information is power. But like all power, there are those who want to keep it for themselves."
Obama's Justice Department filed multiple charges against Swartz for advocating free virtual public access to information on the Internet. He faced $1 million in fines plus 35 years in prison. Was Justice also preparing a show-trial against Swartz?
Soviet Communists professed "FREEDOM AND EQUALITY FOR ALL HUMANITY." President Obama talks about fairness, equality and social justice.
Like Communist Party leaders in Moscow, government leaders and their acolytes in Washington lead lavish lifestyles. Soviet citizens faced constant shortages of basic necessities. Here, food stamp enrollment is up 70%.
With the implementation of ObamaCare, life in America will have even more in common with that in Soviet Russia. As members of the government had in the USSR, members of Congress will have dedicated, taxpayer-paid clinics with upscale technology and care. The rest of us will have to rely on less-expensive, low-quality medical services.
But while President Obama's use of rhetoric, social policies and intimidation has a lot in common with Soviet Communists, his administration doesn't rationalize all means of production. "If you talk to us, it turns out we're pretty common-sense folks," Obama said at a fund-raiser this month. "We don't want to tax all businesses out of business."
In fact, he needs rich patrons such as Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and Google's Eric Schmidt. Crony capitalism as practiced by his administration has more in common with "the merger of corporate and government power" that was Benito Mussolini's approach in Italy.
Americans as a result don't need to worry about toilet paper shortages as experienced in the former Soviet Union and in communist Venezuela today. We'll have our toilet paper, just not our liberty and freedom.
• Kunin lived in the Soviet Union until 1980, working as a civil engineer. She is now a retired software developer living in Connecticut. This is the 29th column in her "Perspectives Of A Russian Immigrant" series, all of which can be found at ibdeditorials.com.
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