Whether you agree with Pete Buttigieg at a policy level or not, he said something critically important last night. The debate went the way I expected, but that was a surprise. It betrayed a point of self-awareness that the Democratic Party is usually not at.
Mayor Pete said, don’t worry what republicans say. They will call us, whoever wins the primary, socialist. And bravo for Mayor Pete! He said on the stage what I have said for years. Republicans do not care what Democrats run on. They could be to the right of Republicans for all I care. Democrats are Socialists, RUN FOR THE HILLS!
This has been a Republican tactic for decades. Social Security was socialism. So was Medicare or the Rural Electrification Administration. For that matter, the Affordable Care Act was pure socialism, or for that matter the Federal Insurance on your savings account. Democrats are Socialists, Commies even. And Republicans are taking advantage of a severe lack of political education of the American voting public.
As Republicans have moved right, they pulled Democrats along. Why after 1980 with the New Orleans Declaration, Democrats became very friendly to Wall Street. This has led to the corporate capture of Washington and State Governments. Yet, they are still Socialists.
Yes, Bernie Sanders, to a lesser extent Elizabeth Warren are Democratic Socialists. Oh, the horror! That word again! And Republicans benefit when people have no clue what the term means. When Warren states that she is a capitalist, she fits the definition of a Democratic Socialist. Incidentally, so does Norway. This brand of socialism is by definition a mixed economy. One that regulates so you do not have monopolies rise, with predatory capitalism. It is a much healthier form of capitalism, that still allows for innovation. Even though it has higher taxes than the United States, and has a more expansive role for government. See a medical system that serves everybody, where people do not go bankrupt due to oh cancer.
This is not socialism. It is common sense. We spend far more than every other advanced nation and get the worst results. Well, except if you are an insurance executive. Those guys and gals are making out like bandits. We also have higher rates of childhood mortality, and overall, our results are lousy.
Don’t get me wrong. You got the money, you will get state of the art medical care. In the meantime, Remote Area Medical is running clinics in rural America, and cities alike. Why? People in the millions still cannot afford to see a doctor. This is happening in both blue and red states. It should shame us. And you’d think voters in these states would vote to implement Medicare for All, but propaganda is a powerful thing. It’s better when RAM does it than when the evil democrats do it from Washington.
Like Social Security, which Republicans still rail against, if and when implemented, it will become the third rail in American politics. How do we know? The ACA, warts and it has many, already is in the third rail category.
So Mayor Pete did state a reality, and one Democrats must embrace. Republicans will define them as Socialists. Well, it is time to not worry about that one. State your policies, move and, and define the other party. What are Republicans? This is not what they say, but how they act.
Republicans are corporatists.
They are authoritarians.
Some are self-avowed Nazis, and also white supremacists.
Many of them fit the actual textbook definition of fascist.
Donald Trump is all of the above, and the worst president in recent memory. At least Richard Nixon has the god-given sense to state some of his worst views on tape. We only know because of that system. With modern-day Republicans, it is getting depressing.
Mayor Pete stated a reality on the stage that makes both the Democratic Party elite and pundit class cringe. Neither is used to plain speaking and this reality. It makes them very nervous. However, we might be reaching a breaking point when national elites realize just how much trouble we are in.
Education is part of the solution. Americans lack a deep knowledge of history and politics. However, in the age of propaganda, we need to call things as they are and not flinch.