On Tuesday, President Obama awarded the highest civilian honor in the United States, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, to Dolores Huerta, the openly socialist leader who is an honorary chair of the Democratic Socialists of America.
Huerta, the partner with Cesar Chavez in founding the National Farm Workers Association, has never hid her socialist views; in 2002 she said:
I think organized labor is a necessary part of democracy. Organized labor is the only way to have fair distribution of wealth; it helps create a middle class. Without a middle class, there would be no democracy.
Even better for Obama, she has been candid about her hatred for the Republican Party; In April 2006, Huerta, speaking at Tucson High Magnet School in Arizona, twice said, “Republicans hate Latinos” as well as reiterating her socialist attitude:
The average pay of a CEO of a Fortune 500 company is three million to nine million dollars a year. What are you going to do with all that money, right? I don’t care how much money you make. You can only eat three meals a day, you know. You can only wear one suit of clothes a day, you know. So the idea, a lot isn’t wrong so long as you use it for the people like what Hugo Chavez is doing in Venezuela. Why can’t we do that here in the United States?
Most telling is her involvement with the Democratic Socialists of America. Here is their manifesto:
“We are socialists because we reject an international economic order sustained by private profit, alienated labor, race and gender discrimination, environmental destruction, and brutality and violence in defense of the status quo….The capitalist market economy not only suppresses global living standards, but also means chronic underfunding of socially necessary public goods, from research and development to preventive health care and job training … Social redistribution–the shift of wealth and resources from the rich to the rest of society–will require: massive redistribution of income from corporations and the wealthy to wage earners and the poor and the public sector, in order to provide the main source of new funds for social programs, income maintenance and infrastructure rehabilitation, and a massive shift of public resources from the military (the main user of existing discretionary funds) to civilian uses.”
It’s no surprise that Obama honored Huerta considering Obama’s economic tendencies. Considering that polls are showing Obama’s support slipping slightly among Latinos, so it was a twofer for him; honoring a political ally, and appealing to the Latino vote.