Democratic Socialists number 25,000
Democratic Socialists have just announced that they have 25,000 members, while the Democratic Party is still lamenting the loss of a ridiculous number of Governors and state legislatures to the Republicans during the tenure of Debbie Wasserman Schultz as head of the Democratic National Committee. It was Bernie Sanders’ ideology that brought many of these 25,000 on board. This is all happening at a time when Donald Trump’s favorability is plummeting and the Republican Congress hasn’t produced one piece of meaningful legislation in a seven-month period where they literally have owned the U.S. government.
Some of the Progressive agenda
You have to ask the question: What could Progressives have done in that period of time? Rather than trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act, they would have worked on ways to improve it. They would have reached across the aisle and come up with immigration reform. Progressives would raise the debt ceiling reasonably without threatening a closure of the government. They would pass a $15.00 minimum wage. They would push republicans in their fight against income inequality and generally improve the middle class. A free college education for all and make the elimination of poverty a priority. And pass reasonable gun control. There are more, of course.
Democrats lose significantly at state and local levels
In the meantime, the West Virginia Governor switched Parties to Republican, once again reminding Democrats of their complete failure at the state and local levels. Here are the overwhelming facts…
- “Republicans now hold 34 of the 50 governorships, tying the record for the most ever for the GOP. Democrats, who at the beginning of the Obama presidency held 28 governorships, have seen their ranks dwindle to just 15. At some point over the past decade, according to the Republican Governors Association, there has been a Republican governor in 46 of the 50 states.”
Bernie Sanders on Democratic Socialism…
But here come the mid-terms
It becomes even more unbalanced when you include state legislatures in the mix. “According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Republicans now hold the governor’s office and control of the legislature in 25 states.” The Dems have the total control in only six states. We can expect GOP losses during mid-terms both due to the fact Trump is a new president and also because his popularity has plummeted taking many of his supporters with it. Add to that the fact that the Republican Congress has gone nowhere, the stakes are high in 2018 and the momentum appears to be with the left.
We Progressives aren’t Democrats’ enemy
But the problem still exists where Democrats consider Progressives their enemy, there to tear down, not build up. And Salon’s Keith Spencer even said, “Peter Daou [Clinton adviser] is wrong when he says that Berniecrats are hijacking the party.” I agree and taking that further, what the Bern is really looking for is some cooperation from Democrats in order for the two factions to work out acceptable ideology that can get voter approval. Is that asking too much Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi? But hanging with what used to work seems to be their choice, which is exactly what the party did in 2016 with Hillary Clinton and lost miserably to…a Donald Trump.
Berniecrats are shaping their ideology
25,000 may not sound like much but when you consider the odds under which this membership has built, it is a giant step in the Progressive movement. Democratic Socialists are the core group from which the Berniecrats can shape their ideology, and my gut tells me that for every new Democratic Socialist there is one new Progressive. I base this on the fact that currently there is one Progressive for every Democratic voter in the U.S. There is no doubt that Bernie Sanders kicked off a revolution that has gained strong legs and is of concern to both Democrats and Republicans. Now if we can only get the Democrats on our side.
In case you don’t know, or didn’t remember, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a Democratic Socialist and served an unprecedented four terms in office. Bernie Sanders is a Democratic Socialist but only wants to serve two terms as President. That’s what the law says now, and it is probably as good for the person in office as it is for the American people. It is interesting how Presidents age while serving, most evident by their hair turning grey during their tenure. Bernie Sanders doesn’t have to worry about that.
In a Politico article, it reported that “…Roosevelt implemented a series of programs that put millions of people back to work, took them out of poverty, and restored our faith in government.” Sanders added, “He transformed the country, and that is what we have to do today.” Do you see the parallels between the political philosophy of these two men. Each is for the working man, the impoverished and the middle class.
“And, by the way, almost everything he proposed, almost every program, every idea, was called ’socialist,'” Bernie proudly exclaims. It is obvious that Bernie Sanders has removed the tarnish from the once forbidden “S” word, and transformed its meaning so that, even back in 2010, a Gallup Poll found that 36% of Americans have a positive image of socialism.
So, those of you out there that are old enough to remember or who have studied FDR and think Sanders can’t win because he is a Democratic Socialist, think again.
Did you know that Ed Asner is a Democratic Socialist?
Sen. Bernie Sanders is running for President as a Democrat, when actually he is an independent from Vermont whose political philosophy is Democratic Socialism. Finally, a Progressive. An MSNBC article says it is important that he run, even if he can’t win. I think he can win. Progressives have ultimately realized that the only way we can get what we want is to come out and vote to elect the President and Congress that will get it done. Actually there were 70 Democratic Socialists counted in the Congress in 2010, among them Raúl M. Grijalva of AZ, Dennis Kucinich, OH, Elijah Cummings, MD, John Lewis, GA, Ed Markey, MA, Charles Rangel, NY, Maxine Waters, CA, and of course Bernie Sanders. You can see them all here. Now that’s pretty impressive and a good number to start with for 2016. What you Progressives have to understand is that you are not alone. Our views aren’t anti-American like some conservatives would have you believe. They are right for this country and it is time that they are expressed nationally.
Okay, so I’m a Democratic Socialist who believes in spreading the wealth. Apparently I and that philosophy have failed miserably when a man can work for the U.S. Senate, earn only $360 a week, and is homeless. We’re not in a 3rd -world country and this is taking place on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol, a symbol of equality for all. So much for symbols and so much for the founders of this country who couldn’t possibly have imagined this would happen. Why is it the norm to neglect others on your way to being successful and wealthy? So here’s my solution to the whole mess. Total annual U.S. income is around $13.5 trillion. There are 116.7 million households in this country. If my math is correct, that is $114,000 for each family. I can hear the mansion and yacht folks screaming now but I can also see the smiles on those kids’ faces who haven’t eaten in a couple of days.
According to Wikipedia, a Democracy is a form of government in which all eligible citizens participate equally—either directly or indirectly through elected representatives—in the proposal, development, and creation of laws. But we all knew that since we have lived in what is supposed to be a democratic society for all our lives. Democratic Socialists believe that both the economy and society should be run democratically to meet human needs, not to make profits for a few. Sounds like both sides agree, sorta, but the differences arise in the implementation of the political philosophy. If there is anyone in the U.S. that believes the people are in control of our government, then they simply have their head in the sand. The elected representatives of the United States Congress have one common goal in what they do…get reelected. Canada is a social democracy and so is Great Britain, as well as many other European countries. Many have modified the philosophy to fit their needs but it works.