You may have noticed that the word socialist and its related terms are tossed around a lot as political insults. Typically, the right-wing does this to place their opponents in a political phylum for ease of dismissal. They make no attempt to engage with the actual arguments of their opponents. The mere application of a label is supposed to make them go away. Such a tactic is, of course, a red herring. A shiny thing designed to distract from the actual issue.
The reality is that politicians do not actually hate socialism. In reality, they hate socialism for the wrong people. Socialism itself is not the problem, it is the recipients.
There is never any talk of cutting politicians’ pensions or pay. There is never talk of ending corporate subsidies in an allegedly capitalist system. The idea of ‘how will we pay for this?’ is only ever applied to social programmes such as medicare (and its counterpart in the US Medicare4All) but never to corporate subsidies or the military or any other corporate or rich priority. For those sectors of society, the treasury is their plaything. But when it comes to social programmes for the peasants (even if that term is never used) suddenly politicians evolve into deficit hawks. This hypocrisy must stop.
“Socialism is no longer a dirty word in the U.S.”
Democratic socialists Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) are on a mission to debunk doubters and conclusively show that a bold progressive agenda can spark enthusiasm and win elections in the Midwest.
Helping to prove their case, organizers were forced to relocate one of the pair’s joint rallies in Kansas on Friday afternoon after ticket sign-ups—as often happened during Sanders’ 2016 presidential run—rapidly exceeded venue capacity.
With a heartily-despised Donald Trump in the White House and with rightwing Republicans now dominating Congress and the Supreme Court, many newly-energized leftwing voters will probably close ranks with mainstream Democrats in an all-out Democratic Party effort to drive the Right from power. At the same time, there is a comparable recognition among establishment Democrats that, unless they welcome the growing number of democratic socialists into their ranks, they have little chance of winning elections. This might well explain why so many leading Democratic politicians have now turned to backing the staples of the Sanders campaign, such as Medicare for all, free public college education, and curbs on corporate power. It might also explain why the Democratic National Committee is busy cutting back the establishment-controlled superdelegate system for choosing a presidential candidate.
In an interview on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” Thursday night, Ocasio-Cortez—who is one of DSA’s 42,000 members—was given a chance to explain the core principles of democratic socialism to an audience of millions.