There is a new trend sweeping the strongholds of the extreme political left. It is no longer cool, hip or happening to be an establishment Democrat. We are witnessing the rise of the Democratic Socialist and no matter what Nancy Pelosi may say about it; this is the future of the Democratic Party. However, it’s nothing new; it’s just a re-branding of the old collectivist ideology with the promise of democracy thrown in to create the illusion of choices for the people.
First, let me remind everyone that the United States of America is not a Democracy. Politicians, especially Democrats, talk about “Our Democracy” but in their wisdom, our Founding Fathers realized that a Democracy is a very dangerous form of government that by its very definition cannot protect minorities. So, after our hard-won independence, we built a federated, constitutional Republic. It is a Republic that incorporated some democratic principles, primarily in the selection of our representatives, but a Republic none the less.
In line with what we have come to call the “American Dream,” no other form of government could stand to limit the power of the government over the people or protect minorities from the majority. In short, our republic is far superior to a democracy. Cynthia Nixon, whom I’m sure some of you know from HBO’s Sex and the City, is running for Governor in the state of New York. She is challenging Democratic incumbent Andrew Cuomo, and despite her fame, she is, according to the most recent polling data, at the time of this writing, is trailing Cuomo by 35 points. Despite her platform of universal healthcare, free housing, and free education she has, until now, avoided the socialist label. But desperate times (being down 35 points) calls for – well, you know. Nixon is now boldly embracing the idea of being a Democratic Socialist. Spurred-on by the popularity of Bernie Sanders and the recent success of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in both unseating a Democratic incumbent in her race and winning as a “Write-in” in a neighboring district, it would seem a good tactical move on her part.
Fortunately for Nixon, it seems that the term Socialist has been watered-down enough that famines, mass genocides, Nazis, and Venezuela are no longer the first things that come to mind. Unfortunately for her, she is still running against Andrew Cuomo who has a strong appeal among those who tend to vote for the Democratic Socialists of the party. But who are these people? Bernie Sanders is a man who spent most of his professional life as a political officeholder. Instead of meeting payrolls he was spending other people’s money making it easy to embrace socialism.
Ocasio-Cortez is someone who campaigned as a champion of letting the state provide for you, but she had very different ideas when she was running her own publishing company. Having been pro-capitalism and anti-tax coupled with what appears to some to be intentionally deceptive statements about growing up in the Bronx, one would be forgiven for asking the question does she really believe in the state over self-reliance or is she simply trying a path of less resistance.
Do these examples actually represent what it means to be a Democratic Socialist? After all, they both seemed unable to define a difference between Democratic Socialism and any other form of socialism when asked. Of course, there may be a reason for that. Democratic socialism is defined as a political philosophy that advocates political democracy alongside social ownership of the means of production with an emphasis on self-management or democratic management of economic institutions within a market that is a socialist, participatory or decentralized planned economy. The adjective “democratic” is used to distinguish democratic socialists from Marxist–Leninist inspired socialism which is viewed as being more fascist in practice. So, when asking someone who is historically illiterate, or doesn’t have a firm grasp on the differences of both economic and political systems you might expect them to have trouble stating a difference. In fact, given that the real-world ramifications of either is indistinguishable in their end result, I’d understand if you were to say that there is no difference.
Both Marxist socialism and Democratic socialism require that businesses (i.e., the means of production) must belong to the state. Both require that you must be subservient to others (the glorious leader or the vote of the majority) limiting your life choices. In the end, no matter what adjective you put in front of the word socialism it is still socialism. No matter how you plan to implement it, it always suppresses rights and erodes freedoms. And no matter how pretty of a picture those who advocate for the utopian collectivist dream paints, the result if implemented is the nightmare of North Korea, Venezuela, or Nazi Germany.
You cannot eradicate the shortcomings of human-nature and as Margaret Thatcher said, “the problem will socialism is eventually you run out of other people’s money.” So, who are the Democratic Socialists? They are, like all other socialists, people who believe the power should be in the hands of the government. They are people who believe that they know better how you should live your life, so they should get to make your choices for you. They believe that putting an adjective in front of the word socialism will convince you that its not socialism. But most important to freedom-loving Americans, they are enemies of our Constitution and our Republic.