Just Move “Forward.” And Think of Nothing Else


SOCIALISM FOREVERIn 2008, Barack Obama ran his campaign on “Hope and Change.” Now, Barack Obama has adopted a new campaign slogan, “Forward.”


As many pundits have been quick to point out, the latter phrase carries with it some extremely troubling connotations. As William Kristol reminds us, “the most famous modern use of “Forward” to characterize a political effort was the “Great Leap Forward” in China, sixty years ago.” He is referring, of course, to Mao Zedong’s 1959 political initiative of forced collectivization that led to financial strife and a decimating famine that claimed the lives of as many as thirty million Chinese citizens.


Ken Blackwell references some other disturbing ties the word has had with socialist movements. “Vorwarts was the German language name of the Socialist newspaper for generations of European leftists.” He also mentions that “Vperyod!” was the slogan used by Lenin’s Bolsheviks. “It’s a comment on American education,” he says, “that a president can use a Communist word and expect no one will notice or object,” suggesting that it is akin to “David Duke not getting the problem with white sheets.”


Now, it’s very possible, and I’d say even likely, that the Obama campaign didn’t think this one through, especially given the accusations of his socialist leanings. Of course, if he did recognize that the word could be negatively positioned against him and he chose to use it anyway, it would show the brazen confidence he has in his media protection and the unwavering devotion of his adoring zealots. But the truth is, it doesn’t matter whether he knew the word could be perceived this way or not. What matters is that his campaign found itself drawn to the word for the same reason as these other socialist movements, and it is the same reason that he chose “Hope and Change” in the 2008 campaign.


Both are simply more amicable ways of describing what he’s really wanted all along, but could never campaign on: “Revolution!”


As Jonah Goldberg writes in Liberal Fascism, “Broadly speaking, the left is the party of change, and the right is the party of the status quo.” And the reason the left values “change” is precisely because it implies “revolution.” “For the left,” Goldberg writes, “revolution is always good- the inevitable forward motion of the Hegelian wheel of history. Even if their bloody tactics are (sometimes) to be lamented, revolutionaries move history forward.” (59)


You see, “change,” “forward,” and “revolution” all mean the same thing for America today: the fundamental transformation of our nation’s character. Our founders ushered in a governmental form that protects life and liberty while guaranteeing an opportunity to pursue happiness. But that is archaic and unfair to Barack Obama. So he instead, like his socialist forebears in others nations, challenges the status quo by offering his constituents a promise of government-issued happiness at the expense of liberty- and potentially at the expense of life, if the history of socialistic governments is any measure of what we can expect.


So you see, even if the use of “Forward.” had unintended consequences as a matter of public relations, there is no mistake in the word’s intended usage as a revolutionary call to arms for his constituents. It is a directive, and there is a certain forcefulness inherent in the word. There is no coincidence in the fact that the man who once beckoned his people to take the “Great Leap Forward” is also the man who said that “political power grows out of the barrel of a gun,” and furthermore, it is no coincidence that Ron Bloom, Barack Obama’s appointed manufacturing czar, agrees with that approach.


Of course, his spin machine will argue that it’s not as sinister as all that, and that it has nothing to do with socialism. He just cares about America, they’ll say, and he wants Americans to move “forward” in a positive direction.


Just move “forward,” and don’t look back. No, don’t try to make the reality you see around you jive with the campaign film that lionizes the president and his accomplishments so shamelessly it would make Goebbels blush.


Just move “forward.” No, don’t think about the direction you are going, or whether you are marching toward an abyss of crippling debt that will compromise the future of your family and country.


Just move forward. No, don’t think about the trends that align this regime with twentieth century socialism, and what that might portend in terms of American liberty.


No. Just move “forward.” And think of nothing else.


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