Some of my left leaning friends have done their best to dissemble and disavow the term collectivist vis a vis President Obama but I'm seeing a certain philosophical approach being applied here:
"I am here to say they are wrong [advocates of free market capitalism]. I'm here in Kansas to reaffirm my deep conviction that we're greater together than we are on our own. I believe that this country succeeds when everyone gets a fair shot, when everyone does their fair share, when everyone plays by the same rules. "
- Barack Obama 12/6/11
Unlike maybe some others I'm not discarding the above Obama quote as meaningless rhetoric. I take it seriously as statement of his worldview. I think it's clear that the most charitable way to describe the political philosophy of Barack Obama is collectivism.
All of this is within the broader context of an enduring point of mine. For the sake of clarity, I'd like those on the political left to own their own political philosophy as robustly as the right does. Rather than running away from a label, own it. People on the right are striving to be able to call themselves conservatives, and in some cases like with Mitt Romney with limited success are they even allowed to claim that mantle. Meanwhile on the left most, certainly amongst my friends, consider themselves centrists or moderates somehow. My father who hails from England has the courage to proudly call himself a socialist. I can respect that. At least I know where the man stands even if he can't tolerate much debate with me, but that's another (regrettable) matter. In this country, liberals don't want to be called liberals, and to even come close to considering any American politician other than Bernie Sanders a socialist is considered beyond the pale by the mainstream left. Which is why I'm trying to see if anyone on the left, anyone, will admit that the term collectivist applies. It's the most mild term I can possibly think of to describe a certain political worldview currently at odds with the advocates of free market capitalism. But I find it telling that even that has to be rejected. It speaks to what ostensibly seems like at least a reticence if not an outright fear to actually advocate the worldview that most of modern left leaning rhetoric seems to emulate.