On their website the Democratic Socialist of America (DSA) has a description of their political perspective called Where We Stand. It says, in part,
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. 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, meaningful work, a healthy environment, sustainable growth, gender and racial equality, and non-oppressive relationships.
At least according to its newsletter called the New Ground ,Senator Barack Obama attended at least a few meetings of the Chicago Chapter of this group in 1996. And from the way he was described in the newsletter he “talked the talk” and “walked the walk”
March – April, 1996
A Town Meeting on Economic Insecurity: Employment and Survival in Urban America
By Bob Roman Over three hundred people attended the first of two Town Meetings on Economic Insecurity on February 25 in Ida Noyes Hall at the University of Chicago. Entitled “Employment and Survival in Urban America”, the meeting was sponsored by the UofC DSA Youth Section, Chicago DSA and University Democrats. The panelists were Toni Preckwinkle, Alderman of Chicago’s 4th Ward; Barack Obama, candidate for the 13th Illinois Senate District; Professor William Julius Wilson, Center for the Study of Urban Inequality at the University of Chicago; Professor Michael Dawson, University of Chicago; and Professor Joseph Schwartz, Temple University and a member of DSA’s National Political Committee……..Now the issue is again coming to the front, but he wished the issue was on the Democratic agenda not just on Buchanan’s. One of the themes that has emerged in Barack Obama’s campaign is “what does it take to create productive communities”, not just consumptive communities. It is an issue that joins some of the best instincts of the conservatives with the better instincts of the left. He felt the state government has three constructive roles to play. The first is “human capital development”. By this he meant public education, welfare reform, and a “workforce preparation strategy”. Public education requires equality in funding. It’s not that money is the only solution to public education’s problems but it’s a start toward a solution. The current proposals for welfare reform are intended to eliminate welfare but it’s also true that the status quo is not tenable. A true welfare system would provide for medical care, child care and job training. While Barack Obama did not use this term, it sounded very much like the “social wage” approach used by many social democratic labor parties. By “workforce preparation strategy”, Barack Obama simply meant a coordinated, purposeful program of job training instead of the ad hoc, fragmented approach used by the State of Illinois today. The state government can also play a role in redistribution, the allocation of wages and jobs. As Barack Obama noted, when someone gets paid $10 million to eliminate 4,000 jobs, the voters in his district know this is an issue of power not economics. The government can use as tools labor law reform, public works and contracts…..
Look this is America, anyone can be a member of any political party they believe in, but the guy should be honest about his beliefs and Americans should have the right to decide if they want a President who believes in income redistribution as defined by the Democratic Socialist Party of America.