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View Full Version : It's settled. America is ready for democratic socialism. No, really.



SullivanB
11-05-2015, 06:30 PM
That silent majority we hear so much about, it turns out that they're democratic socialists at heart. After decades of stagnated wages and government favoring big money, paid for on the backs of the middle class, times are ripe for that political revolution Bernie Sanders is attempting to lead. It's all right here. Actually, it's a rather interesting analysis.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/the-conversation-us/how-campaign-finance-dise_b_8482172.html

Sky Blue
11-05-2015, 07:35 PM
Jeez, where does Huffington Post come up with these people? What planet do they inhabit? Some progressives have gone way, way around the bend.

Conservative Republicans are ascendant on both the state and federal level in unprecedented numbers and may well succeed to the Presidency in a year.

And these people think the country is ready for democratic socialism?

SullivanB
11-05-2015, 09:02 PM
As the brilliant Professor Mandle has pointed out, those Americans prepared to embrace a democratic socialist society are a silent majority. They're not genuinely represented in the halls of government and their voices are not heard, simply and solely because they're drowned out by the influences of big money and it's effects on our political leaders and even the electorate. As the article suggests, the only way this silent majority is to find its voice and enjoy genuine representation in government is for big money to be driven out of politics. Once money is out of politics and the issues can be fully and honestly laid before the people, even some of your own party will come over to the sunny side.

Of course, getting money out of politics was what the candidacy of Larry Lessig was all about. It was egregious but predictable that the Dem party bosses would drive him out, since getting money out of politics is the last thing they really want to occur. But the Sanders experiment is consistent with Mandle's thesis and, despite all the roadblocks thrown up by the Dem party bosses, he's still going strong. Had Warren decided to run, Sanders would not have come in and things would likely be even farther along toward that democratic socialist America Mandle speaks of.

Keith Wilson
11-05-2015, 09:07 PM
SB, I'm inclined to partially agree with you; it's a very weird piece in some respects. The author defines 'democratic socialism' as supporting 'programs that reduce the risks that accompany life in a market society.' By that definition, FDR, Lyndon Johnson, and Richard Nixon were all democratic socialists. Possibly so many years of the right screaming 'AAAAAGH!! SOCIALISM!!' at anything short of rank social Darwinism, the common meaning of the term has shifted that far, but I doubt it. His points about campaign finance are generally good, but the idea of a 'silent majority of socialists' is kind of silly unless one equates 'socialist' and 'moderate liberal'. Rush Limbaugh and Glen Beck may believe that, but I doubt most folks do.

peb
11-05-2015, 09:11 PM
Jeez, where does Huffington Post come up with these people? What planet do they inhabit? Some progressives have gone way, way around the bend.

Conservative Republicans are ascendant on both the state and federal level in unprecedented numbers and may well succeed to the Presidency in a year.

And these people think the country is ready for democratic socialism?



It's hard not to be a little optimistic after yesterday. The dems are going to nominate a candidate who is distrusted by over 60% of Americans, and who is behind every gop candidate except Trump in head-to-head matchups, and whose sole motivation appears to be the desire to be the first woman president. No real primary challenge to allow her to be vetted. It appears to be mass politics hubris.

OTOH, gop candidates are refining their message and looking better, as a group, in each debate.

Sky Blue
11-05-2015, 09:20 PM
Sullivan B, recall that I also argued that Larry Lessig should have been included (http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthread.php?197916-The-Citizen-Equality-Act-of-2017&highlight=), if only because silly candidates like Chafee and O'Malley got a lectern.

I could not (and still cannot) see the justification for those fake candidates getting a lectern but Larry Lessig shouldn't get one because he's a fake candidate?

Answer: his platform runs head-on into Hillary's Clinton Wall Street patronage, and the DNC isn't going to allow anyone to go off message. It is a sham.

Keith Wilson
11-05-2015, 09:24 PM
. . .who is behind every gop candidate except Trump in head-to-head matchups,Eh? I presume you're speaking of Ms. Clinton? This is completely false. The only Republican candidate she's ever polled behind at all is Carson, who has only slightly more chance of being elected than you do. (data here, scroll down about halfway (http://elections.huffingtonpost.com/pollster#2016-races)). That said, it's a year until the election, and polls now aren't worth much either way.

peb
11-05-2015, 09:35 PM
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/2016_presidential_race.html

CWSmith
11-05-2015, 09:36 PM
Conservative Republicans are ascendant on both the state and federal level in unprecedented numbers and may well succeed to the Presidency in a year.

Conservative politics is certainly very powerful right now. However, the House Freedom Caucus is just 36 members. Doesn't that suggest that it may be more about the money behind the politicians than the voters?

Sky Blue
11-05-2015, 09:42 PM
this is completely false

Well, maybe not completely, as Quinnipiac currently has Mrs. Clinton polling behind each of Cruz, Rubio, Carson and Christie.

So it depends on who you ask. Still, I agree. A year out from the election, these polls mean almost nothing. http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/latest_polls/president/

Sky Blue
11-05-2015, 09:44 PM
Conservative politics is certainly very powerful right now. However, the House Freedom Caucus is just 36 members. Doesn't that suggest that it may be more about the money behind the politicians than the voters?

Yes, certainly on some level, but the voters in the end will be pulling the levers. An interesting aspect of this is what is happening in the states, which have trended to the right, dramatically, and continue to do so. Locally, the Republicans are really getting it done right now.

CWSmith
11-05-2015, 09:55 PM
Locally, the Republicans are really getting it done right now.

The GOP has worked its membership into a lather. Trump and Carson are the ultimate protest votes before any real votes are taken. However, at this date it's all talk. What happens to radical conservatism and the outsider vote remains to be seen. The adults may yet come home.

SullivanB
11-05-2015, 10:02 PM
SB, I'm inclined to partially agree with you; it's a very weird piece in some respects. The author defines 'democratic socialism' as supporting 'programs that reduce the risks that accompany life in a market society.' By that definition, FDR, Lyndon Johnson, and Richard Nixon were all democratic socialists. Possibly so many years of the right screaming 'AAAAAGH!! SOCIALISM!!' at anything short of rank social Darwinism, the common meaning of the term has shifted that far, but I doubt it. His points about campaign finance are generally good, but the idea of a 'silent majority of socialists' is kind of silly unless one equates 'socialist' and 'moderate liberal'. Rush Limbaugh and Glen Beck may believe that, but I doubt most folks do.

Why is the suggestion silly? Is it not conceivable, even probable, that a majority would prefer policies reducing or insuring against the "risks that accompany life in a market society"? Democratic socialism may not be what they call it, but it is catching on. The idea of dealing with income inequality by taxing the wealthy a bit more to make life a bit easier and better for the middle class and the poor. That's democratic socialism. And yes, FDR and LBJ bought into it big time, LBJ, even as he fought the commies.

Keith Wilson
11-05-2015, 10:12 PM
Is it not conceivable, even probable, that a majority would prefer policies reducing or insuring against the "risks that accompany life in a market society"?It's extremely likely that a large majority would support this, and they have for pretty much as long as I've been alive. It is not, however, 'democratic socialism' by any definition that has been used by anyone other than right-wing ideologues. Perhaps you and Rush Limbaugh think Medicare is 'socialism', but I don't.

The meanings of words are just conventions, a matter of consensus, and often change over time. If you really want to call the social polices of LBJ and Nixon 'democratic socialism', you're free to do so, but I can't see that there's any benefit. You could also call them 'grilled cheese sandwich' or 'axaxaxas mlö', but I doubt it would contribute much to understanding.

Gerarddm
11-06-2015, 02:11 AM
Bernie has been crafting a major speech on democratic socialism as he believe it is. He better give it soon.

SullivanB
11-06-2015, 08:23 AM
It's extremely likely that a large majority would support this, and they have for pretty much as long as I've been alive. It is not, however, 'democratic socialism' by any definition that has been used by anyone other than right-wing ideologues. Perhaps you and Rush Limbaugh think Medicare is 'socialism', but I don't.

The meanings of words are just conventions, a matter of consensus, and often change over time. If you really want to call the social polices of LBJ and Nixon 'democratic socialism', you're free to do so, but I can't see that there's any benefit. You could also call them 'grilled cheese sandwich' or 'axaxaxas mlö', but I doubt it would contribute much to understanding.


I see Medicare as a hybrid, a large, government controlled program effected through the services of privately owned service providers. Social Security is a purely socialist program, and socialism at its best.

Actually, there is benefit, real benefit in acknowledging that those programs FDR and LBJ gave us are either purely socialist programs or hybrids with clear socialist characteristics. The benefit of acknowledging that reality, maybe even referring to these programs as democratic socialism (or whatever term we might choose,) is that it educates people, motivates them to at least realize the fact that their government is right there in their lives, owning or at least responsible for the very social welfare programs making their lives better, that government can be their friend and is not necessarily their enemy. It's socialism in action, to one degree or another. A huge part of the problem is that people just can't come to grips with that idea that this is in no small part, a country with real socialist traits.

So, I think you're wrong on this word thing. The words used actually do make a difference. We can agree, however, that referring to these programs as "grilled cheese" won't contribute much to the discussion, not that I don't enjoy having a grilled cheese sandwich now and then.

Here's an article dealing with the concept of Sanders' democratic socialism.

http://www.commondreams.org/views/2015/10/28/what-democratic-socialism-american-style

Norman Bernstein
11-06-2015, 08:42 AM
A bunch of people have their head up their collective butts, around here.... sheeesh!

This is a polarized country.... remarkably evenly divided, politically, between conservative and liberal impulses.

Unfortunately, for the next 12 months, we're going to see a few thousand threads, and an even larger number of posts, in which partisans of one side or the other are going to seize on any damn piece of internet fluff that comes along, which purports to argue that THEIR side has the momentum and advantage.... and for every one of those threads and posts, we'll see a comparable number of threads and posts denying it.

Nobody knows what is going to happen... we've been surprised before. Nobody can say with any assurance that one side or the other has any sort of edge or advantage. The final outcome can, and will, be affected by everything that happens between now and election day.... so any 'snapshot' of political sentiment today can be blown away by something that some candidate says or does tomorrow.

I believe, and hope, that the country as a whole is not willing to accept strident conservatism.... but it would be stupid, as well as foolish, to state this as some sort of fact... it's not, it's just a hope and belief.

Instead, I'll leave stupid and foolish statements like that to others.... specifically, the rabid, panting, drooling, mouth-breathing hard core partisans on both the left, and the right, who infest the bilge.

SullivanB
11-06-2015, 08:46 AM
Bernie has been crafting a major speech on democratic socialism as he believe it is. He better give it soon.

He needs to at least get it out there before the next debate, a week from today if I've got it right.

Keith Wilson
11-06-2015, 08:51 AM
Thinking a bit more about this, I may be more of a problem with language than anything. Many things vary smoothly along a continuum, but it's convenient when we talk about them to divide them up into discrete categories. An obvious example is color, where the frequency of light varies continuously, yet we talk about yellow and orange and red as if they were discrete things. Red and orange do indeed look different, but there are frequencies in the middle that are hard to identify as either. Making the discrete categories smaller (reddish-orange) just moves the problem over a little. But the real problem is that we're arbitrarily describing a continuously-varying quantity as discrete entities, and unless we actually describe it using a continuously-variable term (a number for frequency, for example) we're always going to have that boundary problem - is it red or is it orange? This sometimes creates confusion, because our description is not an accurate reflection of reality.

I suspect something similar is happening here. One way to look at how democratic societies are organized is to look at how much of human needs are 'socialized' - run by the government, paid for through taxation, enforced by law. At one extreme would be Hobbesian anarchy, no government at all. At the other would probably be something like the world of 1984, where 'everything not forbidden is compulsory'. One can also imagine less dystopian extremes; the purported Libertarian paradise where the government does nothing but defend the borders and enforce minimal laws, mainly contracts, and the dream of early Socialists where a benevolent central government organizes and runs most everything efficiently and well. Looking at examples in the real world (confining it to more or less democratic governments) one end of the continuum might be something like the US or England in the late 1800s, and the other end like Sweden in the 1960s. But to a first approximation, it can be considered along one continuously-varying axis.

Many of our current political disputes are about exactly where along this axis we want to be. For example, most civilized countries provide heath care as a tax-funded public service, although exactly how they do it varies a lot. The US is an exception, and once recent political argument has been whether we ought to move a bit in the 'leftward' direction (for lack of a better term). The problem is that it's a continuously-varying measurement (although composed of discrete laws) and terms that categorize various parts of the spectrum, which convenient are essentially arbitrary and convention, and run into the same boundary problem as red and orange.

Now 'socialism' has generally been a pretty loaded term. The old-style communists called themselves 'socialists (the USSR) and built some of the more unpleasant societies ever known on earth. For US conservatives, 'socialist' has sometimes been just an insult, analogous to 'fascist', applied to anything on their left they don't like. You can see this today among the ranters on the radio, Beck and Limbaugh and their ilk.

(More in a bit)

SullivanB
11-06-2015, 08:59 AM
Sullivan B, recall that I also argued that Larry Lessig should have been included (http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthread.php?197916-The-Citizen-Equality-Act-of-2017&highlight=), if only because silly candidates like Chafee and O'Malley got a lectern.

I could not (and still cannot) see the justification for those fake candidates getting a lectern but Larry Lessig shouldn't get one because he's a fake candidate?

Answer: his platform runs head-on into Hillary's Clinton Wall Street patronage, and the DNC isn't going to allow anyone to go off message. It is a sham.


SB, your keen sense of justice and fair play is duly noted. And you're right about the heavy handedness still going on at Dem Party Central, though rather than laying it at the feet of the DNC, it's looks more like DWS has essentially neutralized the DNC and made it a "committee of one".

RonW
11-06-2015, 09:00 AM
Yep the country is just flocking towards socialism and democrat progressivism under the great leader's guidance, aka (berry).

http://webmail2.cincinnatibell.net/service/home/~/?auth=co&id=75120&part=2

http://webmail2.cincinnatibell.net/service/home/~/?auth=co&id=75120&part=3

SullivanB
11-06-2015, 09:48 AM
Thinking a bit more about this, I may be more of a problem with language than anything. Many things vary smoothly along a continuum, but it's convenient when we talk about them to divide them up into discrete categories. An obvious example is color, where the frequency of light varies continuously, yet we talk about yellow and orange and red as if they were discrete things. Red and orange do indeed look different, but there are frequencies in the middle that are hard to identify as either. Making the discrete categories smaller (reddish-orange) just moves the problem over a little. But the real problem is that we're arbitrarily describing a continuously-varying quantity as discrete entities, and unless we actually describe it using a continuously-variable term (a number for frequency, for example) we're always going to have that boundary problem - is it red or is it orange? This sometimes creates confusion, because our description is not an accurate reflection of reality.

I suspect something similar is happening here. One way to look at how democratic societies are organized is to look at how much of human needs are 'socialized' - run by the government, paid for through taxation, enforced by law. At one extreme would be Hobbesian anarchy, no government at all. At the other would probably be something like the world of 1984, where 'everything not forbidden is compulsory'. One can also imagine less dystopian extremes; the purported Libertarian paradise where the government does nothing but defend the borders and enforce minimal laws, mainly contracts, and the dream of early Socialists where a benevolent central government organizes and runs most everything efficiently and well. Looking at examples in the real world (confining it to more or less democratic governments) one end of the continuum might be something like the US or England in the late 1800s, and the other end like Sweden in the 1960s. But to a first approximation, it can be considered along one continuously-varying axis.

Many of our current political disputes are about exactly where along this axis we want to be. For example, most civilized countries provide heath care as a tax-funded public service, although exactly how they do it varies a lot. The US is an exception, and once recent political argument has been whether we ought to move a bit in the 'leftward' direction (for lack of a better term). The problem is that it's a continuously-varying measurement (although composed of discrete laws) and terms that categorize various parts of the spectrum, which convenient are essentially arbitrary and convention, and run into the same boundary problem as red and orange.

Now 'socialism' has generally been a pretty loaded term. The old-style communists called themselves 'socialists (the USSR) and built some of the more unpleasant societies ever known on earth. For US conservatives, 'socialist' has sometimes been just an insult, analogous to 'fascist', applied to anything on their left they don't like. You can see this today among the ranters on the radio, Beck and Limbaugh and their ilk.

(More in a bit)


I agree with every word. The term "socialism" continues to be a loaded term. The folks who say the label negatively affects Sanders' candidacy are right. It's one of his weaknesses as a presidential candidate, if only because the concept is widely misunderstood and/or because Sanders has yet to well explain what it means and what he's about. Discussions like the link in #17 are fine but the concept and how it's long been benefiting the lives of all Americans needs to be broken down into short and simple explanations that even us lazy and uninformed Americans can understand, and will bother to think about.

Getting the country to embrace rather than fear the idea is important enough to the future of the country that it's worth the trouble it brings. This concept of democratic socialism is where the heart of the country is, even if they don't understand it. I think that's the message of the article in the OP. Here's the bottom line for me. It's where the country has to go, if we want something better, for the only sure thing is that the status quo is taking us to oligarchy. I want better for my children and theirs.

Norman Bernstein
11-06-2015, 09:50 AM
The folks who say the label negatively affects Sanders' candidacy are right. It's one of his weaknesses as a presidential candidate, if only because the concept is widely misunderstood and/or because Sanders has yet to well explain what it means and what he's about.

He isn't going to be able to explain it. The very idea presumes a level of subtlety and sophistication in the general electorate that simply doesn't exist... and it's the weak link in his presidential ambitions. No amount of interviews, speeches, or explanations is going to negate a word so loaded with negative connotations.

If the word 'liberal' is received by a big chunk of the electorate as an epithet, how in hell does the word 'socialist' get received? It's hopeless.

Ted Hoppe
11-06-2015, 09:51 AM
Such fiddlesticks. Corporate interests, Wall Street and the one percent that run the country will never let this happen. The laws and rules which are based on the command and control of economics, legal structures and property that provide for stable society will tweak small benefits to offset any movement to socialize democracy. People will always vote for against their long term socio economic interests in hopes that a short gap measures to improve current economic news.

all we have to do is look at Obama care to see how our future is less bright. We will always pay more, get less and vote to profit corporate interest with ever increasing profits in as we do with less basic services.

Keith Wilson
11-06-2015, 09:57 AM
Continuing:

So 'democratic socialism' is sometimes used to describe a part of the continuum where more rather than less of basic human needs are publically-controlled, and tax-financed. Where does 'liberal democracy' or 'democratic capitalism' end and 'democratic socialism' begin? Who the hell knows? Is it orange or red? These terms are normally very ill-defined, with multiple overlapping meanings. So we play language games.

Here's how it works: Someone proposes a reform "The US should have single-payer health care."

R: "Single-payer health care is a really bad idea; it's socialism! "
(Note that 'socialism' here is just a insult, intended to make an emotional association with Very Bad Things, Soviet Russia or North Korea.)

L: "Don't be silly; we already have Medicare, and that's not socialism.
(Trying to take the loaded word out of the discussion)

LL: " A majority of Americans actually support democratic socialism; look at these polls that show how many people like Medicare."
(Trying to defuse and and reclaim the word 'socialism' by associating it with something people like.)

The common thread here is that all of these hypothetical characters are just playing games with language and the meaning of the world 'socialism'. None of them are addressing the issue at all, and any discussion of the merits of single-payer health care gets lost in the fog of words. People think in language, and often make decisions in not-very-rational ways; this is all too often how arguments or elections are won. But playing with language like this often contributes little to understanding or progress.

RonW
11-06-2015, 10:04 AM
Keith -
So 'democratic socialism' is sometimes used to describe a part of the continuum where more rather than less of basic human needs are publically-controlled, and tax-financed.

We don't live in a democratic socialistic society, we live in a representative republic and that as well as personal freedom is what the constitution is based upon.

Keith Wilson
11-06-2015, 10:10 AM
Ron, we live in a country that has government by and for the people, however imperfect. That means that we can have whatever kind of system we want, if enough of the people support it. Both the laws and the Constitution have been changed many times, when the people decided that changing them was a good idea.

SullivanB
11-06-2015, 10:52 AM
He isn't going to be able to explain it. The very idea presumes a level of subtlety and sophistication in the general electorate that simply doesn't exist... and it's the weak link in his presidential ambitions. No amount of interviews, speeches, or explanations is going to negate a word so loaded with negative connotations.

If the word 'liberal' is received by a big chunk of the electorate as an epithet, how in hell does the word 'socialist' get received? It's hopeless.


Well, it's been talked about over and over. The truth is that the American people love their socialism, at least their brand of it. Indeed, they insist on it. It is, as has been discussed here, all a matter of semantics.

There's nothing subtle or sophisticated about it. Either they'll accept the truth about themselves or they won't. You may be right that the American people are too stupid to appreciate and/or acknowledge the irony, that they (at least, some) are badmouthing the very same programs they insist on, even rely on to get by. Sanders' run may tell us whether or not the voters are ready to acknowledge the truth about themselves. It may not work, but we already know that they love their American version of socialism, even as they deny it. We're halfway there already.

Gerarddm
11-06-2015, 11:11 AM
Much of the electorate is, I am afraid, flat out stupid. However, if one reduces a concept to the most basic terms that even they can understand, personalize the argument ( " I feel your pain", etc. ), and keeps hammering away at it, then it has a hope of breaking through. The current antipathy among a large swath of the electorate for the term 'socialism' howver, is perhaps not Bernie's greatest obstacle. It is in fact his current almost zero appeal to minorities despite espousing policies very much in their favor. If he can't fix that, he will barely get out of the gate when actual voting starts.

Keith Wilson
11-06-2015, 11:28 AM
Much of the electorate is, I am afraid, flat out stupid. Well, half of the population is below average . . . But basically, I disagree. Many people aren't stupid at all, but just don't pay that much attention to politics. They're busy making a living, raising their kids, and doing all the things that people do with their lives. The fact that they can do this, because things in the US have generally worked sort of OK regardless of the outcome of elections, is quite a testament to the success of our system.

Jim Mahan
11-06-2015, 12:00 PM
Such fiddlesticks. Corporate interests, Wall Street and the one percent that run the country will never let this happen. The laws and rules which are based on the command and control of economics, legal structures and property that provide for stable society will be tweak such small benefits to offset any movement to socialic democracy. People will always vote for against their long term socio economic interests in hopes that a short gap measures to improve current economic news.

all we have to do is look at Obama care to see how our future is less bright. We will always pay more, get less and vote to profit corporate interest with ever increasing profits in as we do with every basic services.

You might want to read that back aloud.

Ted Hoppe
11-06-2015, 12:12 PM
Well, half of the population is below average . . . But basically, I disagree. Many people aren't stupid at all, but just don't pay that much attention to politics. They're busy making a living, raising their kids, and doing all the things that people do with their lives. The fact that they can do this, because things in the US have generally worked sort of OK regardless of the outcome of elections, is quite a testament to the success of our system.

History is a strange teacher. This american system you point is based on past performance departing from a century of global multinational state sponsored war is now entering a new world of globalization of the marketplace bent on labor sector replacement, corporate capitalism, statistic modeling of short term profit taking and narrowing economic pyramiding all which can not sustain past free-er democratic practices and keep our society secure from economic displacement.

Keith, you are way to optimistic for me. I hope we turn as you think rather than speed our rush to the bottom. I know that we are at our limit when it comes to property taxes, rising healthcare cost (despite granting poor people food stamp style medical care), serious questions on helping my son get through college, increasing large number employers who no long contribute to any retirement all the while living under stagnating wages and dwindling job futures. I see many who want to help the situation think that short term fixes and temporary burdens on the middle class (folks like me) are just damaging this old goose to a point where we may have to eat the bird. They have no choice but to put more and more until the middle class breaks into when most break into the 80% low income citizenry and have less quality of living and health standards. I see in the end game for most here will be bleak.

Ted Hoppe
11-06-2015, 12:30 PM
You might want to read that back aloud.

I'll find and fix my dyslexic posts in post. There is always time to rewrite intention over facts.

Norman Bernstein
11-06-2015, 12:47 PM
Well, it's been talked about over and over. The truth is that the American people love their socialism, at least their brand of it. Indeed, they insist on it. It is, as has been discussed here, all a matter of semantics.

We have all heard the quote, "Keep you government hands off my Medicare".... but, apparently, some people haven't learned the lesson of the quote.

When it comes to politicians and elections, it just doesn't MATTER whether the prevailing sentiment is oxymoronic or not.... the simple fact is that the words 'liberalism' and 'socialism' have factually incorrect, but nonetheless pervasive negative connotations...

...and THAT is the problem that Bernie Sanders is trying to overcome.

He won't be able to do it.

Ted Hoppe
11-06-2015, 12:58 PM
We have all heard the quote, "Keep you government hands off my Medicare".... but, apparently, some people haven't learned the lesson of the quote.

When it comes to politicians and elections, it just doesn't MATTER whether the prevailing sentiment is oxymoronic or not.... the simple fact is that the words 'liberalism' and 'socialism' have factually incorrect, but nonetheless pervasive negative connotations...

...and THAT is the problem that Bernie Sanders is trying to overcome.

He won't be able to do it.

That and Wall Street just doesn't like him.

SullivanB
11-06-2015, 02:53 PM
Much of the electorate is, I am afraid, flat out stupid. However, if one reduces a concept to the most basic terms that even they can understand, personalize the argument ( " I feel your pain", etc. ), and keeps hammering away at it, then it has a hope of breaking through. The current antipathy among a large swath of the electorate for the term 'socialism' howver, is perhaps not Bernie's greatest obstacle. It is in fact his current almost zero appeal to minorities despite espousing policies very much in their favor. If he can't fix that, he will barely get out of the gate when actual voting starts.


I agree that his biggest obstacle to the nomination is his minimal showing with the minority vote. I think relating to minorities has been the least effective part of his campaign.

PeterSibley
11-06-2015, 06:08 PM
Yes, certainly on some level, but the voters in the end will be pulling the levers. An interesting aspect of this is what is happening in the states, which have trended to the right, dramatically, and continue to do so. Locally, the Republicans are really getting it done right now.

I do love it when SB cracks a little joke.