America’s Great Leap Forward

I just finished a book on China’s Great Leap Forward written during the 1950s. The book shook me to the core with images of starvation, brutality, and suffering. The reason China experienced this pain was the idea that the government could move the country “Forward” using redistribution and central planning methods.

I am astonished that President Obama would use the slogan “forward” in his re-election campaign.  

The word “Forward” is a known Communist term and has been used for over 100 years to describe what a country can look like if we all do our collective fair share.  If we all  “share the wealth”. I was prompted to write this article after hearing Obama’s speech over this past weekend.  He said, “Do we go forward towards a new vision of America in which prosperity is shared?  Or do we go backward to the same policies that got us in this mess in the first place?”

He then went on to say, “I believe that we have to go forward.”  I immediately thought of the aforementioned book about China.  All I could picture were the regular Chinese citizens listening to Mao on the radio talking about how they could share the wealth.  How poverty and suffering would be ended and how China would become the envy of the world.  A veritable utopia that just never came true. From 1958 to 1961, it is estimated that over 45million Chinese died of starvation.  Central planning by the Chinese government failed to understand markets and how farmers produced for profit, not redistribution. 

I don’t believe it is a coincidence that Obama’s campaign is using the communist word Forward.  I believe he knows exactly what he is doing when he chose that campaign slogan for his second term.

In his first run for President, Obama may have slipped when he candidly said to Joe the Plumber that he wanted to “spread the wealth around.”  His true message isn’t really hidden anymore though.  Remember when he said “At some point you’ve made enough money”?

Will the American people fall for the slogan “Forward” without knowing its history and origin?  History has a nasty way of repeating itself when a society does not learn from its past.  People frequently live in a state of denial rather than acknowledging and accepting responsibility for their actions.  They find it hard to believe that in 2008 they elected a person who believes what Mao or Stalin stood for while committing some of the greatest atrocities in history.

So do I have confidence that those who voted for Obama (who are not just outright socialists) will vote for Romney?  I hope so but I am also not 100% sure. People do not like to admit that they were wrong.  Some psychologists call it cognitive dissonance.  It is when people dig in their heels and hold onto their beliefs even when faced with overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Indeed, when people’s self-confidence is rattled (when facts intrude), they may even become more hell-bent on sticking to their beliefs.

Obama wants to fundamentally transfom America and has said so over and over. It is the American voters that fell for Obama’s hope and change rhetoric back in 2008 that we now need to win over.  Let’s pray that these Americans don’t fall victim to another round of rhetoric.  Let’s educate them on the facts of Obama’s record and work to change their course and vote for the Romney/Ryan ticket.

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