Harry C. Alford, the head of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, is a former Obama voter who has become sharply critical of the President. In fact, he now professes himself to be ashamed of his vote for Obama. To paraphrase a famous Star Wars quote, he finds the President’s lack of faith in capitalism disturbing. “Borderline communist” disturbing. Alford appeared on Sean Hannity’s TV show Tuesday night to discuss his take on Obama in more detail:
Alford attributes Obama’s early appeal to charisma and, frankly, a good deal of racial solidarity, with voters from various minority groups seeing Obama as an avatar of their own hopes and dreams. He sees that appeal as naive after watching Obama campaign incessantly for years, while allowing the national economy to lie fallow, or imposing his agenda at a steep cost to our general prosperity.
“He’s spending, spending, spending,” said Alford. “That’s the problem. He wants to tax, tax, tax… yet the irony of it is, he dogs successful people, he says they’re bad, rich is evil. But yet he’s courting the rich on his knees, to come and give him some money, so he can use it for whatever reason, I don’t know. He’s turned out… I don’t know what he’s planning for us.”
Alford compared Obama’s overwhelming support from the black community to the unconditional support a troubled family member might receive from parents and siblings… support which enables continued bad behavior. “We gotta wake up, slap ourselves and wake up,” he said. “This is America, and everybody is involved in this. If our children are hurting, it’s our responsibility to find someone who understands that pain – ‘feels it,’ like Bill Clinton would say. This guy doesn’t feel it. In fact, he issues a lot of that pain, with a smile.”
He understands that phrases like “borderline Communist” are heavily freighted, but stands by his use of the term. “It’s so anti-capitalistic, this distribution of wealth,” Alford explained. “That, to me, that says it all. He wants to re-distribute wealth, take money that was honestly earned by people who struggled, and suffered, and paid the price to win that money… he wants to take it from them, and give it to people who don’t have to do a thing. It’s the will of the State to oversee everyone.” Just for good measure, he went on to compare the Obama-friendly American media to Soviet propaganda.
While certainly contentious – one cannot deploy worlds like “communist” without setting off some fireworks – it is useful to consider the current conflict in terms of capitalism versus its adversaries. Obama-style government presents itself as a modification of capitalism – it’s more fair, equitable, compassionate, smarter, etc. but he would dispute Alford’s accusation that he has turned against it. But how much can the pure, practical expression of liberty be “modified” before it’s not really capitalism any more? And what are the proper terms for the ideologies historically aligned against it?
Alford concluded by deriding the supposedly agonizing 2.3 percent sequestration spending cuts as “peanuts,” noting that private-sector CEOs would be delighted if the worst thing they had to confront was such a tiny budget cut. Of course, that’s not the worst thing our unsustainable federal government must confront; they’re only acting like it is. And if they choke on the peanuts, they’ll never be able to handle the main course of fiscal restraint.