Democratic Socialism


cjones07292018

I’m not entirely on board with the entire platform of democratic socialism. While I do believe corporations should be subjected to tighter regulations, and profit-sharing by all with their employees would be ideal, I’m not down with government forcing them to share ownership.

But, I do believe every American should have access to affordable healthcare, childcare, and employment. I strongly believe this nation can afford to provide a free education to every American citizen if we make it a higher priority than say, having ten aircraft carriers. The system of privatized prisons and commercializing incarceration should be abolished, and they can take ICE with it. I believe every child in this nation should have three meals a day, no matter which economic class their parents belong to.

A lot of people who try to scare the voters with democratic socialism are either dishonest or lying about it. Typically, when sounding the warning bells of socialism, they point toward Venezuela, or even more outlandish, North Korea.

Democratic Socialism is not about taking everything away from everyone and making it all government-owned. It’s not about not having material possessions. It’s not a John Lennon song. It’s also not about a system where elections are rigged, opposition is oppressed, or where the next leader is chosen from the present leader’s offspring.

When, you think of democratic socialism you should think about Europe. Those are not authoritarian or totalitarian states (The authoritarian candidate here is Donald Trump). Five of the top ten happiest nations in the world (according to the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network) is in Scandinavia (Finland, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, and Sweden).

I saw a political cartoon last week by a conservative mentioning Venezuela and North Korea while warning that nations providing free healthcare and education are places where you can’t find sandwiches and toilet paper. This is why I love conservative cartoons. They’re inadvertently humorous. It is Hoagiefest at Wawa though, so maybe we should all chip in and send a sub to the Swedes.

Conservatives are not the only ones freaking out about socialism. After Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez upset the 4th ranking House Democrat running on a socialist platform, Dems are afraid what works in the Bronx won’t work in Kansas. They’re right. It won’t work in Kansas, but that’s why candidates need to run on issues that cater to their districts. A voter in Kansas is probably more concerned over the price of wheat than he is about gay marriage. But, running on the economy and jobs works everywhere.

Ocasio-Cortez is a lock to win her general election, so she’s spending her time campaigning with Bernie Sanders for other Democratic candidates. And, yes. Their tour went to Kansas. James Thompson, a centrist Democrat running for Congress in Kansas, said she might as well come out because they’re going to call him a socialist anyway.

I have never wanted every seat on the Supreme Court to be filled by liberals. I don’t want total domination of Congress by one party. I hate districts that are so lopsided, that the opposing party doesn’t even bother fielding a candidate. I want two strong parties.

Right now, there is really only one party to hold a debate in. The Republican Party has turned into the party of Trump, and nobody can tell you what their positions are because they fluctuate on a daily basis. Some people want this nation to get beyond the two-party system, but right now, we barely have one. I don’t mind if there are two wings in the Democratic Party. Debate is a good thing.

Thompson is right. Democrats were called socialists when moderate Bill Clinton won the presidency. They shouldn’t panic when only two of their elected members proudly wear the label. They should take Thompson’s attitude toward the accusation.

He said, “They can just shut their pie hole.” That’s a good message for anyone who doesn’t understand democratic socialism. And, that insult works in the Bronx and Kansas.

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