A Socialist by Any Other Name is a . . . Democrat?

January 22nd, 2016

Hillary Clinton is in a panic.  Likely, she dreads laying her head on the pillow each night for fear of nightmares filled with flashbacks from her 2008 presidential campaign.

That’s because she seems to be currently experiencing that campaign all over again.

Back in 2008, Mrs. Clinton found herself ultimately defeated at the hands of a junior senator from Illinois who outflanked her from the far left of her party.  Now a much more senior senator (in more ways than one) appears to be doing the same thing to her again.

There is one big difference.  In 2008, her opponent, Barack Obama, never came right out and declared himself a socialist.  While that label was attached to him by his foes, Obama never claimed it.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is quite different. Throughout his political career, Sanders has proudly declared himself a “socialist.”  In fact, until 2015, he was more afraid of being called a Democrat than a socialist.  Consequently, Sanders still holds the record as the longest serving Independent in congressional history.

It’s thought that Americans won’t elect a “proud socialist” to many offices in this country much less to the office of President of the United States.  Consequently, Hillary Clinton’s camp immediately sprang into action at the first sign that Sanders may be about to pull an Obama on her by reminding voters of Sanders’ socialism and proclaiming him a wackadoodle (a moniker which actually seems to help candidates in both parties).

Senator Claire McCaskill even went a step further saying, “The Republicans won’t touch him because they can’t wait to run an ad with a hammer and sickle.”

This last attack is priceless.  If Senator McCaskill is to be believed, she’s not saying all this as an attack on Sanders.  No, in fact, she’s just pointing out what those awful Republicans will do to Senator Sanders if he’s nominated.  It’s kind of like mentioning another candidate’s Canadian birth not as an attack but more as a friendly warning as to what might happen if voters nominate the opposition.

So what’s the truth here?

Is Sanders a socialist?

Well if you believe Senator Sanders, he is.  Let’s just say, however, that if he moved to France he’d be not a “proud socialist” but a “bad socialist” or more correctly a “mauvaise socialiste.”  That’s because while Sanders speaks excitedly about “revolution” on occasion and he claims to be more than happy to raise everyone’s taxes tenfold or completely drive pharmaceutical companies from our shores to other countries around the globe, he still doesn’t appear to be a proponent of nationalizing everything like most true believers to the socialist cause.  Still, this could all be a ruse.  Possibly, underneath it all, Sanders yearns for a country where the government controls everything and all citizens robotically produce things and collect government checks in return.

Given that Sanders at this point in time is campaigning for “socialism lite,” what exactly does Hillary Clinton and the rest of her comrades (no disrespect intended) in the Democrat Party support?

Currently, Clinton and the gang declare themselves proud progressives.  In political science, there is a difference between socialism and progressivism and that is that while socialists wish to eliminate capitalism, progressives seek to use capitalism to achieve income equality through heavily regulating businesses.  The end result of this is that if you plotted all the various positions of socialists and progressives on a Venn diagram, there would be lots of overlap.  And if you plotted what Hillary Clinton is campaigning on with what Bernie Sanders is saying, there would be even more.

So let Hillary and her Democrat colleagues do the Republicans work for them by painting Bernie Sanders as an unelectable socialist.  And if Hillary gets the nomination, let’s see who she chooses to be her running mate.

Elizabeth Warren, perhaps?  She’s regarded in most circles as Bernie Sanders with combed color treated hair.  In other words, there isn’t much difference between them.

And if that happens, you can rest assured that Democrats won’t find socialists all that bad or unelectable after all.



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