I fell off my chair when MSNBC’s Chris Matthews asked Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Shultz (D-Fla.)to explain the difference between a Democrat and a socialist. She never answered because she can’t. It is too soon for the Democratic Party to come out of the political closet as America’s socialist party. Yet that is why this exchange was more important to the future of American politics than anything that was said at the first GOP presidential primary debate.
Liberal and left-wing blogs get all tied up in knots with this issue, linking Democrats and socialism. The die-hard socialists, the militants, are not a very happy lot, in fact, they think that the Democratic Party is too conservative to ever be true socialists. However, they are not the problem. It is the rest of them that should be the focus of our attention.
You know who I am talking about. The so-called centrist Democrats that President Obama claims to represent. These activists are constantly downplaying the socialist elements of Democratic policy. They campaign center, some even slightly right of center, but govern left or, usually, hard left. They choose their words carefully, but in the shadows defend big government with every ounce of political firepower they can muster.
Socialism in America is not new. It’s been around since before the New Deal. If the New Deal was their opening salvo, ObamaCare is the crown. The crown jewel is yet to come. How did they make it so far without being exposed for what they are? There are many reasons including technology, political complacency by the right, and much more. Conservatives and Republicans have also done a poor job contrasting the differences and, sometimes, have facilitated the growth of the American Socialist state.
Today close to 80% of the federal budget goes to pay for some sort of federal benefit entitlement program. How is that not Socialism? These programs robs from one American to give to another American. We’ve created a western European culture of dependency on government, rather a society that rewards hard work and individual accomplishment. I think socialism went mainstream a long time ago but society has been conditioned ignore it or accept it as something that it is not.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (S-Vt.) has no chance of securing the Democratic nomination for president; however, thousands of young and not so young supporters are showing up at public events to support what Sanders calls, Democratic Socialism. Take a look at the video embedded at the end of this post. Are the Democrats coming out of their political closets? I think so. These folks do not care, anymore, to be associated with someone who is a dyed in the wool left-winger.
Hillary Clinton is exactly the same as Sanders, as is President Barack Obama. In fact Clinton and Obama helped lay the political foundation to make a Sanders campaign a possibility. It is not important that he win. What is important that he run under the Socialist banner and make it more acceptable to more and more Americans. Meanwhile Clinton, Obama, Wasserman-Shultz, and all the other “mainstream” Democrats will play political hide-and-seek because it is the only way, for now, that the left can win Presidential and Congressional races.
The Republicans should take a cue from Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, and I think Senator Ted Cruz may have done so as well, and start to re-cast the image of the Democratic Party as America’s Socialist Party. And there is nothing McCarthyite in doing so (by the way Senator McCarthy, demonized by the Left, was no demon). We must do a better job of contrasting the parties and I can think of no better way than using the truth to expose the left’s hold on the Democratic party. If Chris Matthews had the guts to open that door, why can’t we keep it going?