Whenever I describe our current president as a Socialist, I am most often greeted with shock. Take for example Obama’s new campaign slogan: “Forward!” This term has always been associated with the European socialist movement.

The official newspaper of the Socialist Party of Germany (SPD) since 1891 has been “Vorw ä rts”, which means Forward in German. The official newspaper of the Italian Socialist Party (PSI) since 1896 is “Avanti”, or Forward in Italian, and the editor of that newspaper a century ago was Benito Mussolini.

Going forward is not always a good thing. Manuel Etounga-Manguelle, a Cameroonian on the World Bank, recalls being told by an African government official, “When we gained power, the country was at the edge of an abyss; since, we have taken a great step forward.”

Instead of imploring our country to move forward, first we should look ahead to see where that step will take us. If it’s down the Socialist road, we should reconsider, considering the fate of those who have travelled on that road ahead of us.