'Marxist' Obama crushes freedom, conservatives say
OXON HILL, Maryland - Agence France-Presse
A mouse pad bearing an image of U.S. President Barack Obama dressed in Chinese Communist costume is displayed at a shop in Beijing February 17, 2013. The mouse pad is sold at 20 RMB ($3). REUTERS/Kim Kyung-HoonBarack Obama is a closet Marxist; liberty, freedom and the American way are under attack; and the federal government is waging a campaign to indoctrinate families, welcome to CPAC.
The Conservative Political Action Conference, an annual gathering of grass-roots conservatives, represents a mass meeting of ardent activists eager to swap views on gay marriage, guns, abortion and the economy.
Uniting many attendees, however, is the overriding worldview that the Obama administration and the Democrats are engaged in a sinister campaign to erode their freedoms of religion, consumer choices, weapons and economy.
At a small stand in the conference hall, 58-year-old Cliff Kincaid of the Accuracy in Media watchdog group sold and distributed books and brochures arguing that Obama was brought up as a communist and is therefore a Marxist president.
"He employs a lot of Marxist class warfare rhetoric in order to divide and polarize the American people," said Kincaid.
"Freedoms have not vanished completely, we still have certain First Amendment rights," he added, referring to the freedoms of religion, speech and assembly enshrined in the US Constitution.
"But he has diminished the power of the United States internationally, he is supporting groups like the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the Middle East which are anti-American." The vision of an America under siege is a recurring theme at CPAC, where it is hard to walk even a few steps without being confronted by a leaflet, poster or T-shirt warning of a United States in decline.
The film "America at Risk" was projected onto a screen in one room, while in another, a group distributed "The Ultimate Obama Survival Guide," which teaches conservatives "how to survive, thrive and prosper during Obamageddon." Elsewhere, a rhetorical two-minute video put together by the Tea Party Patriots movement was screened several times a day, depicting an Orwellian vision of an America where menacing bomber-jacketed heavies raid terrified individuals demanding contributions to government welfare programs.
On stage, where speakers have included 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his deputy Paul Ryan, activists urgently railed against the alleged disappearance of their freedoms.
"Will you stand up and fight boldly? Fight for freedom? Fight for our Constitution?" exhorted Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots.
An hour later, and religious freedoms were in the spotlight, with author Eric Metaxas arguing that same-sex marriage threatens church freedom.
"Unless we take this very seriously and very soon, it will soon be too late, and we won't be able to do anything about it," Metaxas railed.
Minorities -- blacks and Hispanics -- and the poor, meanwhile, are the subject of particular fascination. Crystal Wright, editor and publisher of conservativeblackchick.com, accused the Democrats of trying to build a "culture of dependency." "A government program cannot replace a mom and a dad in a home, but they have been sold and told that they can," Wright said.
Author and conservative blogger Kate Obenshain said Obama was trying to crush dissent while simultaneously depriving women of the right to carry guns.
"Obama's goal is to shut us down, to turn everybody off to listening to us so he can just ram through a radical agenda," she said.
"They want to take away our right to equalize ourselves with men by taking away our right to bear arms, and particularly to bear a semi-automatic weapon, which I need, frankly."