Commentary

Obama-Backed Documentary Wins Oscar, Producer Quotes Communist Manifesto in Acceptance Speech

Communist sympathizers should be more careful.

On an Academy Awards night that was relatively free of the usual Hollywood political bombast (Brad Pitt and Greta Thunberg notwithstanding), the two filmmakers who took home an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature decided to liven things up with a shout-out to the granddaddy of all leftist works — the Communist Manifesto.

And Barack Obama, the man who was the 44th president of the United States who’s now a production company executive, gave them a shout-out of his own.

At a time when one of the leading contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination is a spittle-spewing socialist from Vermont, and the party’s other top tier names are racing each other to get to the left end of the political spectrum, it might have seemed like a good idea for two leftists to declare their political allegiances before Hollywood’s elite in the safe space of the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

But they might be regretting it.

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The Oscar went to Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar for “American Factory,” the story of a Dayton, Ohio, former GM plant that’s re-opened by a Chinese billionaire.

Their acceptance speech, delivered by Reichert, contained an allusion to probably the best-known line in leftist literature.

“Working people have it harder and harder these days,” she said. “And we believe that things will get better when workers of the world unite.”

It was a reference, of course, to the Communist Manifesto: “Workers of the world unite; you have nothing to lose but your chains.”

It wasn’t universally well-received.

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Naturally, little things like the blood-soaked, failed history of communism, from its beginnings with Karl Marx’s manifesto in the 19th century to the catastrophic bloodbath it visited on humanity in the 20th – up to 100 million dead, according to David Satter, a journalist and historian of the Soviet Union writing in a 2017 Wall Street Journal piece – don’t get in the way when there are virtues to signal and left-wing politics to espouse.

And former President Obama didn’t let that trouble him one bit.

In a tweet, Obama, who with wife Michelle now runs Higher Ground Productions, the company behind “American Factory,” praised the documentary makers.

Now, to be fair to the former president, his tweet didn’t include Reichart’s reference to Karl Marx, but it’s also doubtful he would have been turned off by it.

A man who spent his youth as a “community organizer” practicing the principles of avowed leftist Saul “Rules for Radicals” Alinsky has a big space in his heart for communists and fellow travelers. Obamacare, the disastrous turn toward socialized medicine in the United States that bears his name, is proof enough of that.

But in a United States where three years of President Donald Trump has reinvigorated an economy Obama and his Democratic Party tried to stifle with suffocating statism, an open shout-out to the Communist Manifesto doesn’t play nearly as well among sane people as it does in Beverly Hills.

Some of the responses on social media showed it:

After decades of listening to limousine liberals spout nonsense about their solidarity with the working class, most reasonably sensible Americans have gotten used to the idea that the Hollywood glitterati aren’t like normal people.

Do you think Barack Obama is a socialist?

But they’re tolerated because they’re talented, they’re generally attractive, and the work they do is entertaining to millions.

As the continuing implosion of the Democratic Party’s primary process continues, though – with Bernie Sanders now basically the front-runner for the party’s nomination, God help us – Americans are likely to be getting more chary about just how far left they want to see the country go.

Americans with sense see an economy under Trump humming, with unemployment at or near historic lows. They see what Democrats have on offer in the form of Sanders and the rest of the Democratic field, and now they see an Academy Award winner financially backed by the most recent Democratic president openly paying homage to the murderous ideology of communism.

There was a reason communist sympathizers didn’t used to be so open about it — they knew Americans wouldn’t go for it.

The mask is off the Democratic left, though, in the Iowa caucuses, in the last sprint before the New Hampshire primary Tuesday, and, once again, at the Academy Awards.

Leftists can cheer speeches like Reichart’s now. Trump supporters are going to be cheering in November.

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Joe has spent more than 30 years as a reporter, copy editor and metro desk editor in newsrooms in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Florida. He's been with Liftable Media since 2015.
Joe has spent more than 30 years as a reporter, copy editor and metro editor in newsrooms in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Florida. He's been with Liftable Media since 2015. Largely a product of Catholic schools, who discovered Ayn Rand in college, Joe is a lifelong newspaperman who learned enough about the trade to be skeptical of every word ever written. He was also lucky enough to have a job that didn't need a printing press to do it.
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