Socialism

The New Socialists Didn't Win

But they're still in charge for the next couple of years.

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Socialists did not sweep the midterms. That is because it would have been mathematically impossible for socialists to sweep the midterms. For all the ink and pixels spilled, there weren't actually very many of them on the ballot. Forty-six Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) candidates won primaries in 2018. Of those, 14 were backed by the national Democratic Party and only four were running for the U.S. House. Most prominent among them was New York's Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who endorsed a few more candidates on her own as well.

Ocasio-Cortez won her congressional race in a landslide, as did Rashida Tlaib in Michigan. But DSA's Sarah Smith was beaten out by Democrat Adam Smith in Washington's unusual Smith vs. Smith congressional race, and James Thompson lost in Kansas to Republican budget hawk Rep. Ron Estes. Ocasio-Cortez fave Ayanna Pressley, a non-DSA progressive, did win in Massachusetts.

In short, no red tide hiding inside a blue wave swept over Capitol Hill. There aren't even many socialists warming statehouse backbench seats this winter—at press time only six additional DSA candidates had been declared victorious, alongside a handful of hyperlocal wins, such as for neighborhood commissions and boards of education.

Voters are hardly going socialist either. DSA membership has grown from 7,000 to 50,000 since President Donald Trump was elected. But despite the prevalence of the red rose emojis that so-called New Socialists use to signal their allegiances on Twitter, and despite the ubiquity of Ocasio-Cortez's red lipstick on cable news, those numbers are quite small. For perspective, the Libertarian Party has more than half a million registered voters.

Socialists have not seized control of the country, but they did manage to grab a nice juicy handful of the debate. What was once the province of white-haired dead-enders has now become the primary source of fresh new ideas in American politics.

All of the major Democratic contenders for 2020 have floated at least one signature Sorta Socialist Policy Plank already. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.) has a plan to aggressively regulate all corporations at the board level, plus a big subsidy for homebuyers in previously redlined neighborhoods called the American Housing and Mobility Act. Sen. Kamala Harris (D–Calif.) is offering a $500 monthly refundable tax credit to poor families with her Livable Incomes for Families Today (LIFT) Act, which is essentially the Earned Income Tax Credit on meth. She is also part of a Californian crossover initiative called Housing for All, which would involve aggressive subsidies for renters. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D–N.Y.) wants to turn the U.S. Post Office into a bank, while Sen. Cory Booker (D–N.J.) is offering "baby bonds" that would be funded by the government annually and mature when the carrier turns 18.

None of these ideas is new—Hillary Clinton pushed a version of the baby bonds idea back in 2008—but they are newly appealing, thanks in large part to the surprising 2016 primary successes of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.), who has been singing his old refrain of debt-free college and Medicare for All for decades.

Astute readers might note that none of these proposals is actually socialism as it has historically been understood—or as it is currently being practiced in Venezuela, for that matter. The workers do not own the means of production. The economy is not (very) centrally planned. These are not transitional moves toward communism.

And yet you may have seen the headlines last August—right around the time of Ocasio-Cortez's primary victory in New York's 14th Congressional District—claiming that Democrats now prefer socialism to capitalism for the first time, according to a Gallup poll. While this is technically true, it's worth noting that this is the result of a dramatic decline in the popularity of capitalism, not a surge in support for socialism. The latter remains essentially unchanged overall. Even among young people, there is no discernible upward trend. (There is an even more marked drop in support for capitalism among the young, however, including a 12-point fall in the last two years.)

Gallup does not define either term in its question. The "Kids These Days Say They Like Socialism, but They Don't Even Know What That Word Really Means" article has become a media staple. Full disclosure: Reason has even run one or two essays along those lines. But what we talk about when we talk about socialism isn't actually nationalizing the means of production or centrally planning the economy. Sure, for a few diehards, it means replacing identity politics with class consciousness. But for most people, cheering socialism is merely a means for expressing discontent with the current capitalist system and a desire for ambitious public works and entitlement programs.

It's totally fair to point out that Scandinavian-style redistribution of gains from a market economy is not, in fact, socialism. But that point is nonresponsive to what the country will really be talking about as we debate "socialism" for the next couple of years. Instead, we are going to be talking about larger welfare programs, higher taxes, and more regulation. We are going to be exploring more deeply the already established 20th century political technique of campaigning on massive new entitlement programs.

But most of all, what many people mean when they say they like socialism is not so different from what many mean when they say they like libertarianism—or what they meant when they said they liked Donald Trump. They are fed up with the status quo. They see no appeal in the mushy center. They are, basically, sick of the system as it is and looking for ways to shake things up.

And that matters even if Republicans hold the White House for the next two or even six years. Because Trump is not an ideologue, he will be more susceptible than his GOP predecessors to this change in the air. If his opponents' big, debt-funded policy proposals prove popular with the public, there's nothing left to stop the president from mirroring them with giveaways of his own. The few remaining limited-government GOPers in Congress will have their hands full, and with Democrats holding the House, compromise proposals where everyone gets to spend massive amounts of money will look even more attractive to an administration desperate for a major policy success heading into re-election season.

Trump may simply decide that every week is now infrastructure week—he has been champing at the bit to put Americans to work digging ditches and paving roads since day one. But there are more ambitious proposals in the Republican pipeline as well.

Despite the DSA's election-night claim on Twitter that "Everything's Coming Up Roses," the democratic socialists were far from triumphant in 2018. And it's wildly unlikely that a socialist—or anyone even remotely resembling one—will capture the White House in 2020. The United States is not on its way to becoming Venezuela or anything like it, and to suggest otherwise is disingenuous. But for the next couple of years, at least, the socialists may have seized the means of policy production.

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129 responses to “The New Socialists Didn't Win

  1. Wear a cup, everyone!!

  2. Maybe the socialists didn’t have a smashing defeat on this election. The trend is clear though. This country is moving in the direction of more government control, more government free shit, and thus more government spending.

    The plight is becoming hopeless for a government of limited and enumerated powers.

    1. A smashing victory*

      I blame Monday

    2. Not more government spending; more government borrowing.

      1. Actually both!

      2. There’s a difference?

        1. Yes, you don’t have to borrow to spend. If you’re a sovereign government, you can print the money, or simply seize it from the less powerful. Or, in the contemporary financial world, you don’t even have to print it — you can just declare that it exists. Money ain’t what it used to be, except for poor people.

    3. This is a stupid article and should be an embarrassment for the Reason staff.

      So let me get this straight. You believe, that the only Socialists that ran in the last election did so openly as “Democratic-Socialists”. Really? That shit must be good, can I have some?

      Half of those running as straight up Democrats are socialist, but with enough sense to lie about it.

      1. Perhaps that’s why it means when they says they will be running things.

        The new sophomore socialist in congress will not be running anything.

        I dare say Occasional-Cortex’s supporting Pelosi for speaker is a sign she will be more supportive of the establishment D’s than what her mouth would make you believe.

      2. No, I think you impute too much. Most of those you think are hidden Democrats actually have little to no ideology at all. They’re transmission belts for the voters’ preferences?which of course is what democracy is all about?while skimming what they can for themselves & their main backers.

        1. As the article and a lot of other writing has repeatedly pointed out, these ‘socialists’, new or old, are not socialists in the classical sense. Their belief is in the Bismarckian welfare-warfare state. The difference is one of style, not substantive philosophy or policy.

    4. Wouldn’t more gov’t control just fascism? As bad and as left as socialism.

    5. No, the trend is forming up to a pattern of ending corporate welfare and instead returning to investing in the nation and its people. If you don’t get that by now then you shouldn’t be speaking.

  3. KMW is so optimistic. I hope she’s right. I have a bad feeling that once these “soft” socialists taste power, they will push for more.

    1. Like William Jennings Bryan? Nowadays Bryan would be carried aloft by God’s Own Prohibitionists for his manly defense of Manifesto income taxes, asset-forfeiture confiscation, censorship, prayer in school, deadly force to ban consciousness-altering drugs such as beer, Creation Science and Intelligent Design–to say nothing of his forthright altruistic humility.

      1. No, more like Eugene Debs. Hey people, having decent benefits as Western Europe has for decades upon decades isn’t a bad thing. Holy Fearmongering!

  4. Why don’t you people love me enough?

  5. We People of Puerto Rico are hopeful that young Lolita Lebr?n Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will hit her targets in Congress.

    1. I never understood why people feel they have to support “one of our own” instead of actually examine that person’s ideas and judging the merits of those ideas.

      I would not have supported the dictator Francisco Franco just because he was a fellow Spaniard. People can suck regardless of their nationality.

      1. Franco was a great guy, look at all the commies and socialists he rid the world of. If the Republicans would have won, Spain would have turned into a Soviet puppet and then got the crap kicked out of it in WWII.

      2. Is he still dead?

      3. …well, when compared to the alternative, Franco wasn’t that bad.

        That’s always the key. The alternative, frequently, is worse.

        Germans “supported” Hitler because the Nazis were a better option than the Communists. Both suck, but one is a gaping chest wound while the other was a gaping head wound.

        1. THIS

          Lot’s of people have a hard time grasping that a perfect, Jeffersonian democratic republic is not always on the table. The fact is even the founders did a TON of stuff DURING the revolution that Americans would have thought unthinkable 100 years later, or not in a time of war.

          Sometimes shit gets real, and you gotta get real with it. Hitler was really the only fascist who went proper overboard. The others were not great by objective standards… But not THAT bad. And they were far and away the lesser of two evils, which is often all that is on the table.

          I think Europe and America may well be forced into choosing between socialists/communists and right wing nationalists again in the near future. I would prefer a return to traditional Americana… But if push comes to shove, I’d back Franco V 2.0 long before I’d back Lenin V 2.0.

          Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that though…

      4. Look at Tio Tomas over here.

  6. “Everything’s coming up roses” is a manufactured phrase, originally used for a capitalist profit-making Broadway endeavor.

  7. Just because we’re headed in that direction doesn’t mean we’re going there…

    1. Well, not going there willingly. And not without a fight. But the end result depends on the mettle of those engaging.

  8. “She is also part of a Californian crossover initiative called Housing for All, which would involve aggressive subsidies for renters.”

    Just when you thought that they might not find a way to actively raise housing costs in the state that already has the highest housing costs in the country, they find a way.

    1. Is CA the new home of “Holy My Beer” legislating?

      1. Or “Hold My Beer”…but Holy works. Somehow.

    2. Higher housing costs than Hawaii? Or is it just the prices that are high there?

  9. There has been a Socialist presence in Congress for decades.

    One of the most recent is Bernie Sanders.

    1. And Sanders for all his flaws (like criticizing open borders) is still more libertarian than almost any Republican because he supports unrestricted abortion access in all 3 trimesters.

      #StandWithPP
      #NoHandmaidsTale

      1. You really need to lay off that shit, man.

        It must be that shit you take, because nobody could be this lame on his own.

        1. It is impossible. I say again, IMPOSSIBLE, for a socialist to be libertarian at all.

          Socialism has no rights for individuals. None. They may give you privileges, but no rights. Under socialism you, and everything you have, is property of the state. Universal slavery on the single plantation. The socialists always claim they will be benevolent masters ….. and always turn out to be willing to kill the bad slaves to keep the others in line.

          To say that socialists can be libertarian is beyond stupid, even for you.

          1. It’s a troll account

          2. You need to take an entry level sociology class before you spout out more incorrect lunacy.

      2. I just got a fun idea: start a movement to outlaw abortion in the 1st 2 trimesters, but legalize it in the 3rd.

        1. That would be patently ridiculous!

          What we really need to do is eliminate sexism in abortion.

          Right now if I knocked up some bar slut, she could choose to kill my baby anytime she wants. But I as a father should ALSO have the right to choose to kill that baby if I don’t want to owe some bar slut child support for the next 18 years.

          The fact that I don’t have that right is nothing but pure sexism! IT MUST END NOW! ABORTION RIGHTS FOR FATHERS NOW!!!

    2. FEELZ the Bern.

      1. I prefer to burn the feelz… But maybe that’s just me 🙂

    3. I knew there was a presence in Congress! Now that we can identify it, who are we gonna call?

  10. As libertarians we shouldn’t be afraid of this new group of democratic socialists in America. While they might disagree with us on minor economic issues, they agree with our top priority ? ending Drumpf’s draconian war on immigration. Only after the alt-right has been totally defeated should we bother discussing nitpicky details like the minimum wage or Medicare for All.

    #LibertariansForOcasioCortez
    #AbolishICE

    1. Socialists have always lied about their aims to suck in the gullible.

      OpenBordersLibertarian proves that nothing has changed.

      1. Drrrp

    2. Plus they’re all for non-reproductive rights.

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  12. I’ve heard socialists are bad, maybe Reason should target the party that promotes socialism.

    Which party do the socialists run under?

    1. Party of slavery.
      Party of Socialists.
      Party of the KKK.
      Party of segregation.

      1. LOL the Democrats haven’t been the racist party since the two parties switched platforms decades ago. Read a history book.

          1. Are you seriously suggesting the klan has ever been liberal?

        1. Name 5 Dixiecrat Congressional politicians that changed from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party by 1975.

          You can’t because there weren’t 5.

          1. I believe 2 changed, if memory serves.

          2. Didn’t David Duke switch from Democrat to Republican in 1989? As far as I know he’s still a Republican.

          3. Thats why I give them leeway of 5.

            So where did the Dixiecrats go? Contrary to legend, it makes no sense for them to join with the Republican Party whose history is replete with civil rights achievements. The answer is, they returned to the Democrat party and rejoined others such as George Wallace, Orval Faubus, Lester Maddox, and Ross Barnett. Interestingly, of the 26 known Dixiecrats (5 governors and 21 senators) only three ever became Republicans: Strom Thurmond, Jesse Helms and Mills E. Godwind, Jr. The segregationists in the Senate, on the other hand, would return to their party and fight against the Civil Rights acts of 1957, 1960 and 1964
            Urban Legends: The Dixiecrats and The GOP

        2. You know you’re on a roll when new guys show up and think you’re serious

        3. Except for their attitudes toward whites, white hispanics and white asians (formerly yellow). Soon they will discover the white negro and will be back to their founding principles.

      2. The gop aren’t socialists, but they’re everything else you just listed. Hmmmmmm

    2. The party that agrees with us Koch / Reason libertarians on our two main issues: immigration and abortion.

      1. He says “OUR two main issues” as if he were a libertarian instead of a socialist.

        OBL is just a liar.

  13. The New Socialists Didn’t Win…yet.

    Our country is fracturing. It only remains to reach the point of actual separation [preceded by riots on the French scale] and to figure who gets what real estate.

    1. Splitting the country up is the only thing that will prevent freedom from being absolutely extinguished in this nation… AND prevent a violent civil war, in which one side or the other forces the other side to obey.

      If we have a civil war, the right wing will win. Sooo if the progs have any brains, they should REALLY start pushing for secession again. It didn’t work out awesome the last time the Dems did it, but this time the rest of the country doesn’t WANT them around anyway. The Left Coast going its own way would be met with applause in the rest of the country at this point IMO.

  14. At their core, all Democrats are socialists. They use the progressive income tax to extract and transfer wealth, having destroyed the right to private property with the 16th Amendment. While they do not “own” the means of production, they tax, regulate and control businesses, effectively owning them. The Communist Manifesto is the platform of the Democrats.

    1. By your standards, most Republicans are also socialists.

        1. More to the point, nearly all politicians are opportunists. Present them with an opportunity to tax Peter and use the money to buy Paul’s vote, and they’ll take it. Likewise, they’ll propose overbearing and ridiculous regulations in the hopes of someone buying them off to carve out an exception. Except for a few oddities like Justin Amash and Ron Paul, they’ll toss out their principles to do these things, and be restrained only by the fear that their constituents will somehow cut through their lies and the news media’s fog and realize what they are up to. Trump is also currently somewhat of an exception – not because he ever had _any_ principles, but because he can’t keep a secret and the news media will present everything he does or blurts out in the worst possible light.

          At this point, the Democrats are somewhat more open about it and therefore possibly more dangerous, but there’s no fundamental difference…

  15. >>>Democratic Socialists of America (DSA)

    super-scared of those yoyos

  16. For perspective, the Libertarian Party has more than half a million registered voters.

    And yet we have far, far more socialists in office than we do libertarians.

    1. Also KMW loves to constantly talk about how she doesn’t vote and you shouldn’t either…

    2. Also KMW loves to constantly talk about how she doesn’t vote and you shouldn’t either…

  17. “Forty-six Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) candidates won primaries in 2018. Of those, 14 were backed by the national Democratic Party and only four were running for the U.S. House. ”

    So, are they doing better than the Libertarian party?

    1. sounds about the same, but hipper

  18. But what we talk about when we talk about socialism isn’t actually nationalizing the means of production or centrally planning the economy.

    All of this is correct which uhh, makes our little socialists stalwarts fascists.

    1. Socialism is literally on the polar opposite of the spectrum from fascism

      1. You clearly have no idea what the fascist doctrines actually were. Here is the Nazi party platform:

        https://research.calvin.edu/ german-propaganda-archive/haken32.htm

        (You’ll have to delete the space in the middle of this link – it would not post with the full link.)

        Most of it could be straight out of Marx. Fascism is nothing but socialism without hiding the nastiness.

  19. The fact that you could say “…what many people mean when they say they like socialism is not so different from what many mean when they say they like libertarianism…They are fed up with the status quo.” is why so many will never be Libertarians (capital L). You can’t motivate people by being “against” anything – whether “the status quo,” government, socialism, regulation, etc. Additionally, it is this insane “tolerance” – the trying to be all things to all people and comparing yourselves to socialists in any way that has turned so many off “libertarianism”. The almost single issue (drug legalization – which I am for BTW) libertarian platform does not excite anyone but drug users. And your use of the terminology: “the current capitalist system” indicates you may not yourself understand what Capitalism – real Capitalism – not quasi, crony, market, or whatever “hyphen capitalism” you can name. We are not living under Capitalism. Not even close. But if you will take the time to learn what Capitalism really means, you could strongly advocate for that, and at least be relevant again.

    1. BTW – Just FYI – I have been reading Reason magazine since 1970 when you all almost had it, and once called myself a libertarian.

    2. “We are not living under Capitalism.”

      Who cares? We have private businesses aplenty, and even the ‘new socialists’ aren’t opposed to private business. Don’t get hung up on labels like “Capitalism” or other abstract nouns which require capital letters and nobody understands anyhow.

      1. and even the ‘new socialists’ aren’t opposed to private business

        Please name one “new socialist” that has a platform related to deregulation of business

        1. Not being opposed to private business is not at all the same as deregulation of same. I’m pretty sure socialists would be in favor of even more regulation. There was a pretty significant movement in the last century that was mainly for privately owned business, but controlled by the government. I forget what it was called.

          1. privately owned business, but controlled by the government

            An Oligarchy?

            1. Fascism.

        2. “Please name one “new socialist” that has a platform related to deregulation of business”

          Capitalists also support regulation of business. Just like these “new socialists.” You expected otherwise?

          1. Capitalists seek profit. If the government wants to give financial support, they’re going to take. Which is much different than the government controlling the means of production.

            The new socialists want to tell doctors how much they can make, and what kind of energy we can use. Capitalism has its flaws but it never ceases to go after profit

          2. Successful capitalists do often support regulation that will prevent competitors from arising. “I’ve climbed the ladder, now pull it up.”

        3. There was a debate here with the head editor of The Jacobin. In that debate he claimed that private individuals employing people for wages was a moral wrong only somewhat less egregious than slavery. That seems rather anti business. Is The Jacobin that outside the polite boundaries of American socialist thought?

          1. A Jacobin was a radical from the period of the French Revolution. Thomas Jefferson and Tom Paine are probably America’s pre-eminant Jacobins. Jacobites, on the other hand, were supporters of bonnie prince Charlie, the Catholic pretender to the Scottish throne somewhat earlier.

            Many thinkers, including Adam Smith, never saw capitalism leading to a lifetime of subordination, as is common to many today. He thought the free market would lead to independence for almost all, and the condition of employment and subordination would be a temporary step in one’s career, not a permanent condition.

            1. Except people are free to do whatever they want. Be that change jobs, start their own business, etc. I have been self employed almost my entire life… I COULD have become a wage slave for some major corporation, hell I still could. I may well have made more money than I have up to this point in my life too. But I chose not to.

              Freedom to choose is important. That many people choose to work for others is not an inherently bad thing.

              1. “That many people choose to work for others is not an inherently bad thing.”

                Adam Smith and I would disagree. The fact that the overwhelming majority of people who work in the US choose to put themselves in a subordinate position for the entirety of their working lives is nothing to boast of. Autonomy, independence, freedom from authority were all highly valued by early enlightenment thinking, and it’s a disappointment that they’ve been bargained away so cheaply. If you really wanted a nation of sheep, a monarchy would do just fine.

                1. I agree that being a free man is worthy… Which is why I AM A FREE MAN. I call the shots for myself. But most people have always been followers, and not leaders, so it’s kinda a natural state for most people.

                  Also, the prosperous, modern world could not exist if we were all still yeoman farmers. That’s a fact, like it or not. You can’t run an auto manufacturing plant without people being employed, at least as independent contractors.

                  To me the difference is this: People are not FORCED to remaining employed by a single company their whole life. They can change jobs, professions, start their own business, etc. People logically choose to do what they think gives them the best standard of living.

                  The modern world simply doesn’t lend itself to everybody doing their own thing. It kinda sucks, but it is what it is, and it isn’t going to change anytime soon.

    3. Apologists for capitalism often use the whole “this isn’t real capitalism” line and sound like beaten housewives while doing so. The fact is that capitalism is inherently flawed because it creates “losers” in order to make so-called “winners” among other major problems. Capitalism directly causes societal ills from its most fundamental level.

  20. Informative reporting & pretty decent analysis, Ms. M-W.

    The “news” is a continuation of a trend among Democrats toward the “left”. They’re not taking over the country, but they are taking over the Democrats, & therefore threaten to take over the country in the future?if their leftism doesn’t make them unelectable. I don’t think it’ll hurt their electability that much, because they’re slowly getting voters used to this stuff as respectable policy options. Plus, it’s hard to imagine the USA continuing to harden as a crust of non-socialism scraped from the rest of the advanced world, rather than regressing toward the mean.

  21. “And that matters even if Republicans hold the White House for the next two or even six years. ”

    “If” Republicans hold the White House for the next two years?

    How would they not do so?

    Even if the Democrats were to impeach Trump, then Pence becomes President. And the Democrats have nothing on him that would allow them to get rid of him.

    1. The RINOs joining Democrats to impeach Trump will be the last straw and Civil War 2.0 will likely kick off.

      If we let Democrats and their supporters in the GOP impeach a president for no good reason, then they will just keep doing it to keep their TOP MEN in office.

      The experiment would be over.

    2. An inability to recognize when their media peers are engaged in fever dreams?

    3. Pence won’t eat dinner alone in the same room with another woman unless it’s his wife. That’s obviously treasonous behavior.

    4. “And the Democrats have nothing on him that would allow them to get rid of him.”

      Trump is not a nothing. He’s a talented TV celebrity. Pence is nothing, a vacuum in human form. Or is there something about the man you find impressive?

      1. Vacuous – no better way to describe the progressive movement

    5. And Pence is an actual Republican (or a caricature of one), unlike Trump, a Democrat who slid off the rails.

  22. “It’s totally fair to point out that Scandinavian-style redistribution of gains from a market economy is not, in fact, socialism”

    Close enough.

    Deliberately forcibly redistributing wealth for it’s own sake is based on socialist ideology.

    It certainly isn’t based on any free market or libertarian ideology.

    1. “It certainly isn’t based on any free market or libertarian ideology.”

      Neither is progressive income tax (see Marx’s Communist Manifesto if you want more ideology), yet it is supported by Republicans and Democrats.

      1. Neither is progressive income tax (see Marx’s Communist Manifesto if you want more ideology), yet it is supported by Republicans and Democrats.

        Not entirely true. Democrats have supported a progressive income tax, but Republicans over the last several decades have attempted (and failed) to get rid of it via alternative schemes such as the Flat Tax and/or (less tried, but the best system) a National Sales tax. Democrats have fought it at every step of the way calling such schemes “regressive”. While I would agree that Republican efforts at any kind of income tax reform have failed (utterly), saying that “republicans support the progressive income tax” is not true, as many republicans dislike it, even if ineffectually.

        1. Whether Republicans like it or not is beside the point. They voted for the last tax legislation which featured progressive taxation. That counts as support in my opinion. Republicans also support such Communist Manifesto nuggets like public spending on schools and infrastructure.

    2. Greedy socialists, always wanting to get their hands on other peoples’ money.

  23. “But DSA’s Sarah Smith was beaten out by Democrat Adam Smith ”

    Good to see that an economic philosopher from the 1700s beat the noted Doctor Who companion, but aren’t they both British subjects?

  24. Socialists will continue to win because it is inevitable.
    Just ask Lenin.
    We socialists have dominated the public and higher education re-education camps for decades, and the fruit of our noble labor is bearing fruit.
    Soon, the brainwashed young masses will follow and vote in such brilliant minds as Comrade Bernie Sanders, Maxine Waters, Nancy Pelosi, Kamala Harris and our brilliant and gifted wunderkinder, Ocasio-Cortez.
    It will not be long before the rich fascists and their families who earned their ill gotten gains will be in the local gulag being rightfully tortured, starved, beaten and finally shot in a show of justice and mercy.
    Then the redistribution of wealth will occur with our glorious and prudent socialist elites finally enjoying the wealth, status and privileges the evil capitalist pigs had, and we, the great unwashed masses will show our love and gratitude for them by allowing them to collectivize our farms, take over private industry, enslave us, put us in gulags for our much needed and wanted re-education and the necessary and humane purges to ensure purity of thought and deed as well as de-populating our overcrowded country by the millions.
    So let us look to the future with hope and love as our new slave masters, the socialists, slowly but surely take over out fascist state and remove all forms of nefarious capitalism, capitalists, doubters and counter-revolutionaries.

    1. America doesn’t need socialists to ensure that the gulags are the world’s greatest. It’s already number one, thanks to the capitalists who’ve infested the justice system. Inmates are not starved and shot, typically, though rape is not uncommon.

  25. These aren’t the socialists you’re looking for. Move along. Move along.

    Unfortunately socialism is conflated with communism is conflated with authoritarianism, police state, NKVD, KGB, Stalinism, yada. yada. Especially in America. But in the rest of the world, the “socialism” that the new kids on the block speak of is good old fashioned state welfarism, the mixed economy, the Third Way state.

    Articles like this do the debate a disservice since they assume a view of socialism that has hardly existed in the real world anyway. Get real: the socialists have won. They did it through the schools, and decades ago. Now that investment pays off. You don’t get to reverse this wave. It will have to crash and wipe out some tasty beachfront property before folks learn to fear the ocean again.

    1. You’re assuming we keep voting for everything… At a certain point, when people get pushed too far, people start “voting” via means other than the ballot box. We may well be screwed as far as ballot box voting goes, but I think we’re pretty solid otherwise. Thank god.

      1. You’ll have to explain that. You live in a political context and that context is defined by those that vote.

        1. Not familiar with the whole “ballot box” vs “ammo box” thing huh? Google it.

  26. Where’s my free stuff like a home with a pool and a sweet ride?

  27. Katherine makes a point that I have agreed with for a long time. The 2016 election was an anomaly. All the “normal” Democratic candidates dropped out because they felt they couldn’t beat Clinton and it gave Sanders a lot of attention that he couldn’t have gotten otherwise. A lot of his really bad ideas got exposure that they wouldn’t have gotten otherwise. I think Katherine is a little too relaxed though. If Clinton blows up during the primary, it’s Sanders for the Democrats. If the Republican candidate blows up (could Trump blow up?) then it’s Sanders as President. But I sincerely hope what Katherine is saying here is true. I used to say that the socialists were the loony binge 3% of the U.S. population.

  28. Democrat, liberal, progressive, social democrat, RHINO. It all means we are screwed by incessant spending and give always to the underclass that for some reason our politicians seem to need more of! If anyone else’s rights stop at my wallet the politicians in office and seeking office don’t see it that way. Thankfully I’ll die before it gets too bad. My kids are all in the anti capitalist world, meh!

  29. We already have ‘socialism”. The problem is that right now, it is targeted to big corps, energy giants, banks, Big Ag, etc.

    The rest of us peons get “free market capitalism”.

    We need to reverse the roles is all.

  30. Since there is zero accountability when politicians lie, what they promise or call themselves is irrelevant. For example, FDR, an admittedly rich friend of the bankers, ran on the strongest capitalist program of any candidate since the beginning to the USA. He turned out to be a socialist with no respect for Constitutional limits or ethics. He openly declared he would stack the SCOTUS or ignore it. He did both. It was considered immoral and illegal at that time. Now, it’s SOP.

    The United Socialist States of America, i.e., The U.S. Empire, is a police state and international criminal. It invades 3rd world nations, takes over their government and resources in the name of democracy while violating rights.

    This will not end well for us. It will be catastrophic. The two parties are basically the same. Both are totalitarian.

    1. It might not be that catastrophic. We might end up like Argentina. I hear they have good meat.

  31. The US may not be “On its way to becoming a Venezuela”, but it is well on its way to becoming a Weimar Republic!

  32. These Democratic-Socialists are actually the new Whigs.

  33. … has now become the primary source of fresh new ideas in American politics

    None of these ideas is new?Hillary Clinton pushed a version…

    I assume that none of the commenters read the articles, but is it too much to ask that the editors and writers at least glance at the content?

  34. I think things will get a lot worse in this country before they get better. I still think there are better than 50/50 odds we split up as a nation, and/or have a civil war in the next couple decades. There’s just not really any other way the various factions in this country will ever be happy. I hope it’s a peaceful breakup, a la the USSR. But if it’s not, oh well.

    Anything beats turning into the 1984/Brave New World hybrid the globalist elite has in mind for this country and the rest of the world.

    1. The globalists are losing badly of late. See Paris, France.

      1. They sure are!

        In their own shitty, janky, way many European countries are actually kind of ahead of the US on straightening out a lot of the stuff that’s been going wrong in the world… Which is kind of depressing.

        I wish the US would take things up 10 notches, because even if the Europeans fix a few of the big problems, they still have shitty overbearing government in other ways… And I don’t really want to have to move to Europe to avoid super crazy shit in the USA, only to be taxed to death and not be able to own guns… But there are some things that are even more important than taxes, so it may have to happen someday if the US doesn’t save itself.

  35. Some of us are old enough to remember when the Blue Dems were Red on the map. I guess the Dems in the media didn’t want people to draw the connection, so they flipped the colors.

  36. Anytime someone directly or indirectly attempts to associate or equate the corporately wrought plight of Venezuela to socialism they’re showing their bias against socialism blatantly, probably in order to toady up to the status quo or because they’re a part of it.

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