Not Only What You Believe But Why

September 8, 2008

Recently I have been having some interesting conversations with people I know about political ideologies and the upcoming election in November. This is true especially now as many on the left are getting antsy with Barack Obama and his backtracking on some issues, refining his position on others and a perceived move to the middle on even more. But do not worry, Barack Obama supporters, he has avowed and reaffirmed that he is a staunch liberal "progressive" just to ease your troubled minds. He will maintain and even expand the Nanny State to help you cope with the trials in life you are incapable of dealing with. So when you see him talking about things like continuing President Bush's faith based initiatives and refining his position on Iraq, fear not.

Despite these concerns liberals, who call themselves "progressives," have been flocking to Obama's campaign and heeding his clarion call. An example of this is a group that was found poking around at will on Barack Obama's own campaign website called "Marxists, Socialists and Communists for Obama." The Communist Party USA's Political Action Committee chairman and also the chair of the Connecticut Communist Party, Joelle Fishman, also got on the Obama bandwagon with his gushing article a while back entitled, "Big Political Shifts Are Underway."

I have mentioned these things to several people only to get a stunned looked and a hurried disclaimer, usually from Obama supporters not quite radical enough to consider themselves Marxists or Communists. This disclaimer goes that while these groups may be supporting Obama, Obama is certainly not a Marxist, a socialist or a communist. Perish the thought!

This is a fair enough argument to at least have. Simply because a group supports someone because they see a candidate as being able to further their own causes does not necessarily mean that the candidate agrees with and endorses them back. I understand this all too well being a libertarian because we often get accused of being "socially liberal," against equal rights, racists, bigots, anti-poor, and anything else someone can come up with because we are against certain things and other less than savory groups often attach themselves to us in order to further their own agenda.

It is not what you believe so much as it is why you believe it that matters when making the connection between a group and a person.

We libertarians, for example, get called social liberals because we do not think government should create agencies and regulations to prevent people from doing drugs that happen to fall on a certain list arbitrarily created by bureaucrats. But we are not "liberal" on this issue in the modern sense of the word. The liberal, pro-drug groups want to be able to do drugs because they need chemicals to feel good and do not know how to deal with life without them. Libertarians do not care about using drugs to feel good, but only keeping government to legitimate functions and letting people to their own devices. It certainly does not make us "pro-marijuana" to suggest that if someone else wants to rot their brain and waste their life that we think it is all right to let them do it - as long as they are not harming anyone else of course.

Libertarians like me often oppose regulations and laws that give government the authority to harass people and businesses who may be perceived as having not hired or done business with someone because of the color of their skin. We are not racists just because racist groups pipe up when we talk about doing away with such things and join in the chorus because we do not believe in the inherent superiority of one person or another based on their skin color like these idiotic groups do. The reason we believe that such things are wrong is because we already believe that when the Declaration of Independence says, "all men are created equal" that such is all we need to clarify where government should stand and not another thousand laws passed by politicians. Politicians, I might add, who would be relegated to twiddling their thumbs, and trying to justify bloated salaries for themselves if they were not seen as constantly "doing something" and crafting needless legislation when there is already inherently built into our system a means of seeking redress if your rights are truly infringed. We do not think it should be criminal to be a racist. We think it is a stupid and ill-informed position to take but stupidity should not be illegal. If it were, lots of people I know would be in jail.

Sometimes we libertarians also believe that wars must be waged, just like liberals do. But it does not make us liberals because we both believe in the utility of war. Liberals wage wars for imperialism and conquest. Deny this if you like, but history proves this point - see Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, etc. Whereas we libertarians believe in war to secure liberty and the unalienable rights of mankind - see the American Revolution.

So believe me, I can understand that simply because two groups believe in similar, if not the same, ends that you cannot simply say that their core beliefs are the same or that they are fellow travelers. But when it comes to Barack Obama, the reason that the Communists, Socialists and Marxists are supporting him is because he is discussing and promoting not just the same what, but also the same why.

He promotes higher and progressive taxes so that wealth can be redistributed by government to those deemed worthy of receiving it from those that have earned it. So do socialists, Marxists and communists. He speaks derisively of certain classes while promoting others to pit groups against one another for political power. So do the socialists, communists and Marxists. He decries the concept of being self-reliant and pleasing your fellow man by producing something of value to them that they will compensate you for and instead promotes the concept of sacrifice to the state and forgoing your own advancement and for Nationalistic and Statist purposes. Once again, so do the communists, Marxists and socialists.

Beyond that you can look at the people he has associated with. Bill Ayers who called his terrorist group, Weather Underground, America's "Red Army" and committed acts of terror is just one of those associates. Frank Marshall Davis, card carrying member of the Communist Party USA, was Obama's mentor from a young age. Let us not forget the Reverend Jeremiah Wright who refers to America as the "U.S. of KKK A." among other things. So it is no wonder that groups like "Marxists, Socialists and Communists for Obama" exist and people like Joelle Fishman rally to his side.

When it comes to Barack Obama, those on the left support him because he is both the what and the why. Make no mistake. While you certainly cannot be known by the flies that hover around you looking to exploit you for their own ends, for Obama and his campaign the old adage holds true - you are known by the company you willingly have kept and continue to keep.

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Copyright ©2008 J.J. Jackson

J.J. Jackson is a libertarian conservative author from Pittsburgh, PA who has been writing and promoting individual liberty since 1993 and is President of Land of the Free Studios, Inc. He is the Pittsburgh Conservative Examiner for  He is also the owner of The Right Things - Conservative T-shirts & Gifts. His weekly commentary along with exclusives not available anywhere else can be found at Liberty Reborn.