24 February 2016

Notes from Norm: Socialism’s Future in the Democratic Party

Throughout the years we’ve seen some version of the following quote: “If You Are Not a Liberal at 25, You Have No Heart. If You Are Not a Conservative at 35 You Have No Brain.”

Now, according to results of a poll by American Action Network there may be another version of the quote that describes Democratic voters in America that reads like this: “If you’re not a socialist before you’re twenty-five, you have no heart; if you are a socialist after twenty-five, you have no head.”

The quote, found on the website www.quoteinvestigator.com  is especially relevant if you happen to be a Democrat of any age who more and more have grown comfortable with the notion that there is a legitimate place in American society, life, politics and government for socialism

According to a poll conducted by the American Action Network of 1,000 likely Democratic primary voters 43% of them had a Very Favorable or Favorable impression of Socialism.

When asked whether Socialism had a negative or positive impact on society those same Democratic primary voters felt by a margin of 57% to 27% that Socialism had a positive impact on society.

And, 40% of Democrats said they agree more with socialism versus 25% of them who said they agreed with capitalism.

It might explain why nearly 50% of Democrats in the poll favor ending the private health system with a government run system and 52% of Democratic respondents believe that the government should take control of certain industries, such as the airline industry, rather than allow them to be operated by the private sector.

Yet, before one assumes that those finding positive things to say about socialists are nothing more than wild-eyed college students, it’s important to understand the following:

The highest percentage of Democrats finding good things about socialism were between the ages of 46-55 – with 50% of that age group having a favorable impression of socialism. 

And, while the next largest age category Democrats finding socialism to be positive were under the age of 45, a very close runner-up were those Democrats between the ages 56 and 65.

The findings explain nearly everything about why Bernie Sanders continues to have an enthusiastic following among Democratic voters and Hillary Clinton is sounding more and more like a socialist while out on the stump.

There have been those throughout his Presidency who have tried to claim that Barack Obama was, in reality, not a liberal Democrat but a centrist.  Yet, there’s little evidence to accept those arguments as valid.

ObamaCare is a prelude to a government takeover of our nation’s health care system.  It wasn’t a middle-ground step; it is a first-step towards a government-run health care system espoused by Bernie Sanders. 

Yet, believing that Bernie Sanders is the only socialist in the Democratic Party is like suggesting that Hillary Clinton is a centrist.

According to a poll conducted by Kaiser Health Tracking in December 2015 nearly 81% of Democrats support a single-payer (government run) health care plan.

While Hillary Clinton on the stump today says there will never be a single payer health care plan in America, in 1994 she made it clear that it would ultimately find its way into American life and public policy.

The lurch to the left within the Democratic Party didn’t happen when Bernie Sanders decided to run for President.

It’s been around for decades.

It got a shot in the arm with the election of Barack Obama and the policies he has pursued, embraced and acted upon by Democrats in Congress who are more liberal than ever before.

Regardless of which Democratic candidate is nominated to be the standard bearer of their party, the Democrats will run on a liberal platform so imbued with socialism that George McGovern will look like a Conservative.

We live in a day and age where people are angry at the institutions in our lives.  Business, church and government to name a few.

Truth be told there are places where our democratic form of government has not lived up to its purpose or promise for all Americans.

But, that is exactly the point.  Government is not the end all, be all for what ails us.  In fact, more often than not, government is exactly the wrong solution to the challenges, problems and the opportunities our society faces.

The solution to solving those challenges and problems, and taking advantage of those opportunities, isn’t less democracy in our lives.

It is more democracy and more self-determination.

In 1947, Winston Churchill said: “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”

Almost 70 years later democracy, being the worst form of government, is still the best form for America’s future.