Someone recently asked me if I knew the difference between socialism and democratic-socialism.
I quickly replied one has more letters. They did not appreciate what they believed was sarcasm. Although there was a degree of cynicism in my reply, there was more than just a hint of truth as well.
The New Hampshire primary is well underway, and with little less than a year before New Hampshirites go to the polls for the country’s first primary, the atmosphere this year feels much different than with past elections. Historians may look back at the first 20 years of this new millennium as the two decades that did more to permanently divide and change this nation since the Civil War Era.
In as much as some are trying to paint a narrative that the president isn’t the top issue in 2020, the ominous undercurrent suggests differently. It is this undercurrent that has not only divided the Democratic electorate, but will drive away independent-minded voters.
In a recent USA Today poll it was established that ”…By 55-35 percent, the Democrats surveyed endorse electability over ideological purity.” Numerous other polls state the same thing; that even though Democratic voters still strongly embrace extreme far left priorities, such as the Green New Deal, that at least in these early stages, beating Trump is the top “issue.” The problem is it takes more than the party loyalists to win an election, and this is where the democratic-socialist ideology is getting in the way of their goal to get rid of Trump.
Democratic voters are torn between their utter hatred for everything Trump and what they believe their philosophical approach to governing should be. While polls show the number one issue for most Democratic voters is defeating Trump, a large percentage of Democratic voters have a more positive view of socialism than capitalism. In fact, several polls indicate 57 percent of Democrats and 51 percent of young people have a favorable view of socialism (Gallup). It is this factor more than defeating Trump that is pushing those Democrats running for president.
However, a recent Hill/HarrisX American poll indicated an overwhelming majority of respondents, 76 percent, said they would not vote for a “socialist” political candidate, while only 24 percent polled said they would. Additionally, an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows only 18 percent of Americans said they viewed socialism positively.
Yet, if you were to listen to the occupants of the clown car that is the Democratic Party presidential primary, they are talking directly to the base, and not the other 76 percent. They claim Trump is destroying the norms of our country while simultaneously calling for abolishing the electoral college, slave reparations, stacking the Supreme Court, permanently eliminating the Senate filibuster, lowering the voting age to 16, providing universal guaranteed income, creating new states (D.C., Puerto Rico), granting Social Security benefits to illegal immigrants, eliminating private health care, and the pièce de résistance, the Green New Deal.
These are the topics the Democratic base and the Democratic presidential candidates are running on, and these are the policies that will either lose them the 2020 presidential race (at worst), or make the possible Democratic president a one-term president (at best).
Hiding behind the hatred and legitimate concerns some may have with Trump is a mob that, in the words of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, are all “about transforming our country.” Some of you may ask “what exactly do they mean by ‘transforming’?” Everything I listed above, and more, is what the Democrats mean by transforming. If you are nodding your head in agreement, applauding these changes, you might be a democratic-socialist. If you are shaking your head back and forth in defiance, you might be part of the 76 percent who will not support the radical transformation of our country.
There is no doubt Trump’s election and presidency has energized the Democrats. Forget what the pundits are telling you, all national elections are about who is in the White House. The party out of the White House wants to move back in, the party in the White House wants to stay. However, listening to the latest batch of presidential hopefuls, a lot has changed since 2016.
Listening to most of the current Democratic hopefuls, I am reminded of the words of movie character Jeffrey Pelt in “The Hunt for Red October”: “Listen, I’m a politician, which means I’m a cheat and a liar, and when I’m not kissing babies I’m stealing their lollipops. But it also means I keep my options open.” As cynical as that quote may be, sadly there is an air of truth to the sentiment. What is more frightening, however, is what if the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates aren’t lying to us, and they will push for these destructive policies? Sadly, if that is true, it will be more than just lollipops they will be stealing.