The Obama re-election campaign released a propaganda documentary highlighting to America some of his greatest accomplishments over the past three years as Commander and Chief. In fact, the director Davis Guggenheim, lamented that his toughest task was trying to fit in all of the President’s accomplishments in only 17 minutes. Unfortunately, the film was full of inconsistencies and downright lies – convenient material from the director that gave us Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth.” FactCheck.org did a good job summarizing the film’s inconsistencies (http://factcheck.org/2012/03/obama-road-film-takes-some-detours).
Possibly overlooked was the significance of the title, “The Road We’ve Traveled”. It is awfully similar to a classic progressive book entitled “The Road We Are Traveling”, written in 1942 by Stuart Chase. The author was a Fabian Socialist who admired the “planned” economy of the Soviet Union. He has been credited for coining “a new deal”, identified as the economic program of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. His book focused on the path that America was on while changing from a republic based on free enterprise and capitalism, to a more socialistic society. As a progressive, he advocated for a slow, incremental transformation to such a system over a violent revolution. He listed 18 steps that we need to take to fully transform our society to what he called, “Political System X”.
- A strong, centralized government
- An executive arm growing at the expense of the legislative and judicial arms
- The control of banking, credit and security exchanges by the government
- The underwriting of employment by the government, either through armaments or public works
- The underwriting of social security by the government – old-age pensions, mothers’ pensions, unemployment insurance, and the like
- The underwriting of food, housing, and medical care, by the government
- The use of deficit spending to finance these underwritings
- The abandonment of gold in favor of managed currencies
- The control of foreign trade by the government
- The control of natural resources
- The control of energy sources
- The control of transportation
- The control of agricultural production
- The control of labor organizations
- The enlistment of young men and women in youth corps devoted to health, discipline, community service and ideologies consistent with those of the authorities
- Heavy taxation, with special emphasis on the estates and incomes of the rich
- Control of industry without ownership
- State control of communications and propaganda
Chase wrote that while he could call this new society “communist, state capitalist, of fascist”, but he preferred the less extreme “Political System X”. He also stated that once we execute these steps correctly, it will be impossible to change the direction of the country. So, was the naming of the films a mere coincidence? Franklin D. Roosevelt said “In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way. “ The question we need to ask ourselves is, what’s next?