And while they may not see the difference, they have deep convictions that socialism is not a form of government that fits with their vision of America. In places like Big Spring, Texas – two hours west of Abilene on the way to Odessa -- “socialism” is the exact opposite of what generations of people have come to view as the American spirit and the American dream. There, and in so many communities across the country, people believe that hard work earns an honest day’s pay, and they don’t believe in government “hand-outs” and “freebies,” even if you were to tactfully point out that many residents depend on Medicare and social security. Independence – or perhaps, more specifically, non-dependence – is a very proud and defining element in the genetic code in these parts.
“Here, in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country. … Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.”
Hey, Bernie, how does it sound to hear that from the Over-Simplifier-in-Chief? Trump is going to take your big branding idea and weaponize into a Gatling gun of twitter outrage, pasting “socialist” onto every single candidate in the Democratic party.
Please don’t create the mechanism that enables Donald Trump to finally figure out that his very best re-election message is that he is sitting on a roaring capitalist economy, and his opponents all want to make the United States a “socialist country.”
It's too late for Bernie to turn his back on “Democratic Socialism.” He created it, he owns it, and he will ride it to yet another round of primary defeats. And if there is one great big juicy irony in all of this, it is that Bernie Sanders is not even a Democrat. He is an independent. Dear heaven, don’t get me going on what Donald Trump could do with that.
But AOC, think twice before jumping on this particular bandwagon. You have a bright future. Don’t chain it to a terrible branding gimmick.
As for the rest of you – Beto, Kamala, Biden, Booker -- Bernie is right about the issue. It is not impeachment, Mueller, Putin, lying, the Wall, or the terrible haircuts on Don Junior and Kim Jong-Un. It is figuring out how to get the engines of a strong economy working for all Americans… not just the sliver at the very top.
There’s already an enormous amount of good thinking on policy to achieve that goal.
And it is a very good idea to market your ideas, beliefs, and specific policy proposals under a meaningful, powerful, and believable brand identity.
But “Democratic Socialism” is not it.
Perhaps give “Progressive Capitalism” a try.