Clearly, in recent weeks, McCain has been able to cast Obama as a leftist. He has made the issue of income redistribution central to the campaign. With the aid of Joe the Plumber and the discovery of Obama’s Chicago PBS interview, in which he lamented the absence of redistribution of wealth, McCain has made the proposition seem central to Obama’s ideology. The unprecedented power the bailout has given government over the banking industry raises the real specter of socialism in America. The banks have, effectively, been nationalized. How will government use its power over them? This new reality, coupled with Obama’s professed pursuit of “social and political justice” through “redistribution of the wealth,” is enough to send a shiver down the spine of those who embrace the free market as the key to economic growth.
The audacity of Obama’s injection of a social democratic concept borrowed from Western Europe into American politics is stunning. And almost half the voters seem to be buying it.