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August 14, 2018

Should Democrats Change Their Name to 'Democratic Socialists'?

 

Gallup just released a poll that only confirms what has been obvious to most observers for some time: Democrats are becoming socialists.

 According to the poll:

  • 47% of Democrats view capitalism positively, down from 56% in 2016
  • 57% of Democrats now view socialism positively, little changed from 2010
  • Republicans very positive about capitalism (71%); 16% positive on socialism

The only question now is whether the Democratic Party should change its name to the Democratic Socialists. Doing so wouldn’t conflict with the already existing Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), since the DSA makes it clear it is not a political party. 

And the fact is that Democrats’ policy proposals—especially the party’s far-left wing, which has increasingly become its policy shop—are almost identical with those of the DSA. For example, here’s a list of “vital services” the DSA believes should be “publicly provided to everyone on demand, free of charge.”

 Policybyte DSA table 1 

While Democrats haven’t exactly made the case for shelter and transportation free for everyone, they certainly want it for lower- and perhaps middle-income people.  

And there are several other areas of alignment:

Policybyte DSA table 2

While this checklist demonstrates just how close Democrats are to embracing a full-blown socialist agenda, let’s not overlook Gallup’s finding that Democrats increasingly oppose capitalism. Or as the DSA puts it: “DSA’s analysis of the interrelationships among many different forms of oppression under capitalism suggests that the only democratic socialist strategy capable of effective resistance to capitalism is one that links together antiracist, feminist, LGBTQ, labor, anti-ableist, and anti-ageist (as well as other) movements by ‘connecting the dots’ between them.” 

Any astute observer will recognize that the DSA’s policies and principles don’t represent the Democrats of the future—but  the Democrats of today. It’s time for the Democratic Party to own up to the transformation and become the Democratic Socialist Party.


 

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