Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny
President Obama has awarded the nation's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Dolores Huerta. Ms. Huerta, co founder of the United Farm Workers with Cesar Chavez, and a Honorary Chair of Democratic Socialists of America was also given credit by the President for his 2008 campaign slogan, "yes we can."
The Heritage Foundation - President Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Tuesday to Dolores Huerta, an 82-year-old labor activist and co-founder of the United Farm Workers union.
Huerta is also an honorary chair of the Democratic Socialists of America.
DSA describes itself as “the largest socialist organization in the United States, and the principal U.S. affiliate of the Socialist International.”
Huerta has claimed, “Republicans hate Latinos,” and has spoken fondly of Hugo Chavez’s despotic regime in Venezuela. Some of her more radical comments were captured in this audio clip:
Despite her apparent radicalism, Huerta has received accolades from top administration officials, including Labor Secretary Hilda Solis. She is now the recipient of the nation’s highest civilian honor – one of 14 individuals to receive the medal Tuesday at the White House.
I am sure the President wished to recognize Ms. Huerta for her tireless work in organizing Mexican American farm workers, thus helping to improve their lot in life. However what I found most compelling is the fact she is an avowed and active socialist. Something the President of this capitalist nation was undoubtedly aware of.
It is also my considered view, and I acknowledge I could be mistaken, the President is likely aware of the following; taken from the DSoA preamble.
The globalization of capital requires a renewed vision and tactics. But the essence of the socialist vision--that people can freely and democratically control their community and society--remains central to the movement for radical democracy. Those who point to the collapse of communist regimes, for which the rhetoric of socialism became a cover for authoritarian rule, as proof that capitalism is the foundation of democracy, commit fraud on history. The struggle for mass democracy has always been led by the excluded -- workers, minorities, and women. The wealthy almost never join in unless their own economic freedom appears at stake. The equation of capitalism with democracy cannot survive scrutiny in a world where untrammeled capitalism means unrelenting poverty, disease, and unemployment.
In this new economic order where sweatshops and child labor are on the rise and capital is freed from historic national constraints, American movements for social justice must of necessity adopt the internationalism of the socialist tradition. Just as Eugene Debs said, "While there is a soul in prison, I am not free" and Martin Luther King proclaimed that, "A threat to justice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere," we must pledge to forge a new international solidarity based the spirit of the abolitionists and suffragists, the labor, peace, and civil rights movements, of modern feminism and environmentalism.
We are socialists because we reject an international economic order sustained by private profit...
We are socialists because we share a vision of a humane international social order based both on democratic planning and market mechanisms to achieve equitable distribution of resources...
Democratic socialists are dedicated to building truly international social movements - of unionists, environmentalists...
In the United States, we must fight for a humane public policies that will provide quality health care, education, and job training and that redirect public investment from the military to much-neglected urban housing and infrastructure. Such policies require the support of a majoritarian coalition of trade unionists, people of color, feminists, gays and lesbians and all other peoples committed to democratic change. Our greatest contribution as American socialists to global social justice is to build that coalition, which is key to transforming the power relations of global capitalism.
And there my fellow libertarians, classical liberals, rational conservatives, rational liberals, and all other Americans who understand that a true capitalist society, one that did exist in the USA was responsible for elevating the standard of living of this nation to the highest in the world. It was not socialism that did this, nor will it ever be a majoritarian democratically planned economy and social order that will achieve and maintain the greatest prosperity for the greatest number.
That is what worries me about this President. He seems at the very least to be sympathetic to the goals of the DSoA, if not outright supportive. I hope I am wrong about both.