‘Socialist!” is no longer a McCarthyite slur.
Rather, the fresh celebrity “Squad” of newly elected identity-politics congresswomen — Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.), Ayanna Pressley (D., Mass.), and Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) — often either claim to be socialists or embrace socialist ideas. A recent Harris poll showed that about half of so-called millennials would like to live in a socialist country.
Five years ago, septuagenarian Senator Bernie Sanders (D., Vt.) was considered an irrelevant lone socialist in the U.S. Senate — Vermont’s trademark contribution to cranky quirkiness.
But in 2016, Sanders’s improbable Democratic primary run almost knocked off front-runner Hillary Clinton, even as socialist governments were either imploding or stagnating the world over.
After Clinton’s loss to Donald Trump in the 2016 general election, Sanders is back, running as a socialist warhorse, promising endless amounts of free stuff, with those promises suddenly being taken seriously.
Sanders, like the members of the Squad, has limited political power. But the celebrity and social media influence of these new and retread socialists has been on the upswing — especially in the current 21st century climate of radical transformations in economic and political life.
Note the shock over Clinton’s 2016 defeat, the furor directed at a take-no-prisoners Trump, and sudden progressive criticism of the Obama presidency as too temporizing, weak, and ineffectual. And there are still other undercurrents that explain why currently socialism polls so well among young Americans.
College-educated Americans collectively owe an estimated $1.5 trillion in unpaid student loans. Many of these debtors despair of ever paying the huge sums back.
Canceling debt is an ancient socialist rallying cry. Starting over with a clean slate appeals to those “oppressed” with college loans.
A force multiplier of debt is the realization that many students borrowed to focus on mostly irrelevant college majors. Such degrees usually offer few opportunities to find jobs high-paying enough to pay back staggering obligations.
Asymmetrical globalization over the last 30 years has created levels of wealth among the elite never envisioned in the history of civilization. In addition to these disparities, “free” but unfair trade, especially with China and to a lesser extent with the European Union, Japan, and South Korea, hollowed out the interior of the United States, impoverishing and diluting the once-solid middle class. Warped free trade and Chinese buccaneerism, not free-market capitalism per se, impoverished millions of Americans.
Lots of young people claim to be socialists but are instead simply angry because they cannot afford a home, a new car, or nice things in their “woke” urban neighborhoods.
Usually, Americans become more traditional, self-reliant, and suspicious of big government as they age. Reasons for such conservatism have often included early marriage, child-raising, home ownership, and residence in a suburb, small town, or rural area.
Today’s youth are generally marrying later. Most have few if any children. Twenty- and thirty-somethings are not buying homes as quickly or easily as in the past.
They are concentrating in the urban centers of big- and medium-sized coastal blue cities, such as Boston, New York, Portland, San Francisco, and Seattle — but often at dead-end jobs that pay them just enough to get by and enjoy the appetites and perks of cool life in the big city.
These are the ingredients for a culture that emphasizes the self, blames others for a sense of personal failure, and wants instant social justice.
Finally, schools and colleges have replaced the empirical study of economics, history, and politics with race, class, and gender indoctrination.
Few young activists of the old Occupy Wall Street bunch, and few of the current violent Antifa street fighters, know the 20th century history of “socialists” who were actually hardcore communists. Cambodian dictator Pol Pot, Soviet Union strongman Joseph Stalin, and Chinese revolutionary leader Mao Zedong each killed millions of their own people.
Today’s students romanticize Che Guevara and Fidel Castro because they are clueless about their bloody careers.
These people who clamor for socialism have to be the most selfish people on the planet. Few are so ignorant of the failed history of socialism yet they firmly believe they will actually receive all the free things and services promised without any of the ill effects.
Bernie is a great example. HE has lived a life of socialism, never working, always being subsidized, leaching off of the community and ultimately profiting greatly from pushing socialism. The problem is, his business model does not work AS socialism; it only works when it can be sustained by capitalism.
Free market capitalism can lift the world out of poverty. The problem is, it cannot be controlled by a limited, elite few like socialism can be. That is the one and only reason it is opposed anywhere; pure and simple greed and selfishness.
@Boris Badenov: Poverty, I would choose poverty. Without the man who combs his hair with a balloon and his ideas I could work my way out of poverty.
Bernie looks to much like Waldorf the muppet.
As of 2018, the world’s 26 richest people owned as much as poorest 50% of the world’s entire population, and wealth was continuing to concentrate upward even more rapidly.
As of 2018, the upper 1 percent of the world’s population were receiving 27 cents of every new dollar added to the world’s total wealth.
@Boris Badenov: @kitt: And that’s what Bernie wants for us all. Just enough sustenance to keep you working and feeding the Collective. Unless you are the corrupt governing elite, accumulating wealth is verboten.
What does what one person earns have to do with what another person earns? That is the left’s problem; they think envy should be a ruling factor instead of prosperity spreading to all. The left wants to collect all the prosperity and dole it out as it benefits THEM. The only problem is, prosperity runs out under your beloved socialism and then there is only garbage to eat, as in Venezuela… one of your great successes.
Capitalism creates millionaires as well as prosperous citizens. Socialism only creates millionaire government bureaucrats and keeps citizens in dependency. Like Hillary and Obama, who stole millions.
Likewise, in Puerto Rico, the socialists running that island stole the aid that was meant to go to the victims of Maria. Only by the grace of God did Dorian miss Pueto Rico and provide the Democrats there with more emergency aid to steal.
@Greg: Why do you live in a capitalist country at all? Shouldnt you be living in a socialist utopia somewhere?
I think you should make plans to relocate and just let us live in the misery of this evil economy.
@Greg: “Every NEW Dollar,” Greg.
Under socialism there are no new dollars because incentive is murdered.
Everyone makes the same pathetic low subsistence wages, while the ruling cabal hides their billions in foreign accounts.
But, under capitalism, NEW dollars are created.
Who’d have thunk it that sand, silica, silicon, would have increased the planet’s wealth by so much as it has?
That couldn’t happen under communism/socialism because incentives are killed.
Everyone was scared that we were at “peak oil,” so that we’d just have to be beholden to Iran and the UAE.
But fracking made the USA the top oil producer on earth!
The new rich in oil are here!
Obama, who looks moderate compared to this new crop of atheist, communist, socialist candidates, opposed fracking and tried to stop it.
This new generation “Dem” would destroy even the possibility of any new oil production.
Also, look at those things in the so-called “sharing economy.”
Uber, those scooters we see everywhere, AirBNB, and so many others allow people to add to their income by barely working just a couple more hours a month.
Centralization, under communism/socialism would kill this sharing economy.
@Nan G: The resurgent energy industry provides very well paying jobs to many young folk… provided they are willing to work hard. But Democrats prefer everyone working in service industry jobs dependent on the government to provide sustenance.
@Nan G: Not necessarily so, the well connected in. the Party do quite well, as we’ve seen in our so call Republic, #44’s recent purchase at just above sea level. Now if little Greggie wants to be a slave or be well fed until they dismantle him for parts for the elites, well that’s his choice. I prefer not to partake. It’s bad enough that we are governed by the ultra rich and powerful.
@Boris Badenov: You’re so right!
In Commie China the rich are all tissue typed so whenever they need a new kidney, lung or liver, eye or cornea the “right” prisoner can be executed for it.
ALL prisoners are tissue typed in China.
And, incases of rare types, even non-criminals are so, if needed, they can be arrested, tried, found guilty then executed for harvest.
In Cuba, Fidel Castro kept lots of prisoners just in case because his blood type matched theirs.
The socialist/commies here are already calling for the deaths of all Republicans, all Trump supporters and even all who disagree with them even if they claim to be liberals.
Just this week a feminist shelter for battered women fun by feminists was vandalized TWICE because men are not allowed…..even if they “identify” as women.
These feminists are being called the N-word.
Well, it’s equivalent.
The vandalism was declaring “kill TERFs,” which stands for “trans-exclusionary radical feminists.”
People like Greg, even like Bernie Sanders, cannot keep up with the latest divisive attacking between their own intersectional groups.
Abe Lincoln once said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
The left is yearning for a police state. It is all issuing forth through their demented hatred of Trump; they will do anything they can to get rid of him before he exposes what a corrupt disaster their deep state is. Nadler doesn’t care about laws and the Constitution. Schumer doesn’t care about the Constitution or laws. Schiff doesn’t care about the Constitution and laws. Pelosi doesn’t care about the Constitution and laws. All that Constitution and legal shit does is get in the way of the liberal socialist agenda which REQUIRES a police state.
So? What’s your point.
Meanwhile, in reality, the poor are getting richer too. What constitutes “poor” will always be open for defining by you and your party to continue to push your tired old policies that were made irrelevant several decades ago.
Funny to say, but the Left is now reactionary. Get with the times and offer real solutions instead of rhetoric and fake news that forces agendas that don’t exist.