Investing in Gov't
George Lakey: (Activist)
I just returned from a research trip to Norway where the people I interviewed often brought up the topic of our new President. The first was Kristin Clemet, the director of a conservative think tank. "This spring on a delegation to Washington I was struck again," she said, "by how different the political spectrum is in Norway from your country. Here, Obama would be on the right wing." I checked her view with others -- academics, politicians, activists all over the Norwegian spectrum -- and all but one agreed. In Norwegian terms, our President's positions are very conservative...
...Half a century ago Norway already had a universal health care system that is simplicity itself. There's a single payer (the government) and minimum red tape, something like Medicare but for everyone and better. The entire political spectrum supports this. By contrast, Obama says he backs the failed U.S. private insurance scheme and his team is wobbling on his own modest proposal to add a public option. So I would have to say to thoughtful Republicans: even if you don't like the Nordic blend of capitalism and socialism, with its virtual abolition of poverty, free university education, and enlightened environmentalism, you're only confusing the issue when you try to label the President with the "S"-word. You may think his policies are wrong, but in Norway even conservatives would say the Democrats and Obama don't go nearly far enough.