Americans like a lot of things including hamburgers, beer, television, and money. They also like the idea of living in a country where no matter how tough you might have it today, you could win the lottery or invent something and be rich tomorrow. Americans relish their freedoms, whether they are good for them or not. Conversely, there is no word that is more contrary to the American way of life, than “socialism”, and no matter how you try and dress it up, people are repelled by it.
The truth is socialism already exists in our society in many forms. Social Security, Medicare, Food Stamps and Welfare all forms of socialism. Even our police and fire departments are social services. Democrats will correctly point out that bank bail outs and farm subsidies are also forms of socialism. The question is not whether we should or shouldn’t be a socialistic society; we already are. The question is to what degree. Should college and medical care be guaranteed for all Americans? How about food and housing? Where do you draw the line? What is not in question is whether the term socialism is a good one politically. It’s a terrible one politically, and a loser for Democrats. I love bold ideas whether they come from Republicans or Democrats. Right now, the progressives are putting ideas on the table that challenge the status quo more than any other political faction, but if they don’t sprint away from the term “socialism” they will lose big in 2020 and beyond. Americans hate socialism and they will never embrace the term. I doubt that will ever change.