Socialism vs. America
Sanders tellingly refers to “democratic socialism.” But just as with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the German Democratic Republic, the word “democratic” is misdirection. “Democratic socialism” starts as a well-intended idea, but ends as an oxymoron. Socialism is antithetical to democracy, and democracy is the heart of America.
Let’s ponder Trump’s hope of facing Sanders. Couldn’t the overlap of their supporters mean the old socialist appeals in the Rust Belt, where Trump secured his victory last time?
I once heard a European expressing perplexity that Americans don’t regard socialism as just another political choice, as Europeans do. What he didn’t see is that socialism, whether of the Soviet or any other variety, is anti-American or, to put it unfashionably, un-American.
The answer is in the word “socialist.” Young voters, for whom the Cold War is antediluvian history, like the idea of socialism and “free stuff.” Shouldn’t Trump be careful what he wishes for? Democrats yearned to run against him in 2016, and look how that turned out. But Trump sees a perfect antipathy between his own message of American renewal and socialism’s incompatibility with what made America great.
Sanders dismisses references to communism as “cheap shots,” as he did to Mike Bloomberg in the Nevada debate. But they’re not wrong. Trump will assuredly deploy that rhetoric if, as he hopes and looks likely, Sanders is the last Democrat standing this summer.