Socialism is The Democrat’s Messaging Problem.
You have to give the Republican Party it’s due. They know how to tear down Democrats and they have been doing it effectively since Obama’s 2008 election. How? It’s simple.
Paint the party as a socialist, Marxist, communist party full of radicals that wants the government to dictate every aspect of American life.
Let’s look at the Affordable Care Act. One of the most effective strategies in GOP history was to paint the Affordable Care Act as socialized, government controlled healthcare.
The bailout of 2009-10 created the Tea Party based on the premise that government has seized power and it’s only a matter of time before it started to taxed people to death and break down the borders even though George W. Bush, a Republican, laid the groundwork for the bailout.
Hillary Clinton struggled to define the difference between a socialist and Democrat. Most Americans know that Hillary Clinton is far from a socialist, but all you need is few people to believe that narrative and struggling to answer a question exacerbates the issue. While she was DNC Chair, in the heart of a Presidential election, Debbie Wasserman Schultz couldn’t explain the difference. Twice. What’s ironic about Congresswoman Schultz was socialism supporting Bernie Bros were her primary critics.
My millennial peers, a large portion of the Democratic base, view socialism favorably, even though most of us don’t know what it is.
And lastly, the full embrace of one Bernard Sanders, the 74 year old unabashed socialist from Vermont.
The acceptance of Bernie is a big one. It makes it difficult to counter the GOP attacks of socialism run amok when you actually have socialists in high profile positions within the Democratic Party.
I know Bernie’s supporters are going to hate this, but I don’t care. He is weighing down the party. Bernie is a sellout at one point, but the same people claim he would have won if he won the primary that he lost by four million votes.
Speaking of the primary. Isn’t funny how Bernie calls Donald Trump an authoritarian but attempted a woefully undemocratic coup of the DNC? Isn’t funny how Bernie screams about tearing down the 1% but he’s a millionaire with three houses?
Instead of running away from Bernie, the Democrats have embraced him, even though he trashes the Democrats every chance he gets. Instead of Hillary Clinton staying towards the center, she moved further to left and alienated older people who want nothing to do with socialism and working class people who fear excessive taxes that funds socialism.
It boggles my mind that Democratic Party allows the GOP to continue these vitriolic attacks on the Democrats’ brand and have no idea how to stop the bleeding when the answer is obvious — run away from socialism and that includes Bernie.
Because socialist ideologies are connected so closely to the working class, it may seem like the Democrats are abandoning working people by running away from the socialists, but fully embracing it gives the GOP opposition all ammunition in the world which makes socialism acceptance completely counterproductive.
But I’m sure you’re thinking — Terence, how do you describe the difference between a socialist and democrat. I think of a quote by John Locke that my high school history teacher once used:
Every man has a property in his own person. This nobody has a right to, but himself.
That’s how the Democrats need to paint themselves. Tell working people that we can make acquiring land easier, but the property you build belongs to you. Tell working people that it's okay if they want a bigger property, as long as your work hard for it the honest way, we will not stand in your way. That’s a good thing. You’re not a greedy, sellout jerk capitalist if you decided to take a chance to improve your life. Money can’t buy happiness, but poverty can sell sadness.
But first thing first…
Primary Bernie Sanders in 2018.