Kamala Harris and other “Democratic” presidential aspirants sure were quick to sign on to Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare for All Act of 2017” (above), but they cowardly run from democratic socialism.
This was predictable: Faux “News” asked Kamala Harris in New Hampshire today, “Senator Harris, one of the most popular Democrats in America right now is the guy who won here in 2016, Bernie Sanders, [who] describes himself as a democratic socialist. To compete in New Hampshire, do you have to — in the Democratic primary — do you have to move more toward the democratic socialist part of the party?” And Harris replied:
“Well, the people of New Hampshire will tell me what’s required to compete in New Hampshire, but I will tell you I am not a democratic socialist.
“I believe that what voters do want is, they want to know that whoever is going to lead understands that in America today, not everyone has equal opportunity to, and access to, a path to success, and that has been building up over the decades, and we’ve got to correct course.
“When we have an America where almost half of American families cannot afford a $400 emergency, we have to we know that we’ve got to do some course correction, When we have an America where [in] 99 percent of the counties in the United States of America, if you’re a minimum-wage worker working full-time, you can’t afford market rate for a one-bedroom apartment, we need to course-correct.
“And those are my commitments in terms of being able to be in a position where one, I see it, but also I intend to do something about it.”
Harris wasn’t directly asked if she considers herself to be a democratic socialist, but she immediately backed away from it nonetheless.
No doubt Harris wants no controversy and refuses — as is characteristic of her — to take any stance that might spook any centrist (or even center-right) voter.
What Harris prescribes, as does Elizabeth Warren (who also rejects the label of democratic socialist and calls herself a capitalist), is a mere tweaking of the capitalist status quo, but what we most likely would get under a President Harris (or even a President Warren) is what we got under President Barack Obama: more of the same, old capitalist status quo, where the rich continue to get richer and the poor continue to get poorer, only maybe a bit more slowly than under a Repugnican in the White House.
Capitalism is so deeply entrenched and so corrupt that we’re way beyond Band-Aids. We need a total overhaul of our socioeconomic system, and tepid attempts at reform aren’t going to cut it.
In politics, you always demand more than you’re probably going to get. Demanding only Band-Aids means you probably won’t even get Band-Aids. Aim much, much higher than for Band-Aids, and really push for it, and you might even surprise yourself at what you actually gain.
Of course, a huge factor in the “socialism” debate is that there are different definitions of “socialism.” The low-information definition — pushed by the plutocratic right wing, of course, since it serves their treasonous agenda of fucking over their fellow Americans — is that socialism is big-“C” “Communism”: totalitarianism, government ownership and control of everything, tyranny/oppression by the government, etc.
No, democratic socialism — which, by definition, must be democratically adopted by a majority of the people*, not forced upon them like Communism has been forced on those who have lived under it — is just the opposite of sociopathy: Its roots are a concern for other human beings, who are viewed as one’s fellows who are not to be exploited for craven personal gain. Sociopathy, on the other hand, views others as existing only for one’s own craven personal gain. And that’s also called capitalism.
It’s Orwellian that in the supposedly “free” United States of America, we’re not allowed to even discuss a socioeconomic alternative to capitalism (indeed, we’re not even supposed to think about it). We are to bow down to that golden calf, and if we have any thoughts that maybe the selfish, short-sighted pursuit of wealth for oneself that causes harm to others and to the entire planet isn’t such a great thing after all, we’re supposed to keep those “heretical” thoughts to ourselves or risk ostracism (or even worse).
Capitalism survives only because we let it, because we, the people, allow our capitalist masters — including cowardly and/or corrupt candidates for president who call themselves capitalist — to shame us from even thinking that a different, more fair and just socioeconomic system is even possible.
If you can’t even think that things could be better significantly and meaningfully, then they never will get better meaningfully and significantly.
Leaders fucking lead. They lead us toward that which will benefit the highest possible number of us, not toward what will continue to benefit the minority at the majority’s expense.
Leaders aren’t cowards and they don’t care what others, even if it’s a majority of others, think about them.** They press on anyway. They’re not trying to win a fucking popularity contest; they are trying to build a better world.
That is my litmus test for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential candidate.
Kamala Harris doesn’t cut it. Nor does Elizabeth Warren. Nor Joe Biden. Nor Cory Booker or Beto O’Rourke or the vast majority of the other “Democrats” who promise us that things would get better if they were president when no, if they president, things would stay the fucking same.
I don’t want yet another Democratic Party hack in the White House. I want a democratic socialist in the White House.
*Because it has to be democratically adopted, if the majority of the people under democratic socialism want a mixture of public and private ownership, then that’s what the people would get.
I’m fine with a mixed system in which human beings’ necessities (food, shelter, clothing, education, etc.) are provided by commonly owned production, whereas non-essentials and luxuries are provided by privately owned production.
**I find it funny that Bernie Sanders is so frequently criticized for not calling himself a Democrat, but an independent and a democratic (small-“d”!) socialist.
Faux “News” incorrectly called Sanders a “Democrat” in its statement/question to Harris today, but because Sanders always has caucused with the Democrats in Congress, he certainly is closer to being a Democrat than to being a Repugnican.
Sanders is the longest-serving independent in Congress in history, and it takes courage not to join the pack, but to stand outside of the pack, perhaps even all by yourself.
Cowards bunch in packs, so that you call yourself a Democrat to me means that you’re probably a fucking coward who only can feel safe in numbers. You can’t/won’t stand on your own, and you can’t/won’t think for yourself. Oh, bully for you!