Don’t dismiss democratic socialism
Republicans had better not dismiss the democratic socialists as “a fringe movement,” said John Hart. The Democrats’ “socialist surge has the potential to reshape not just the party but American politics for generations to come.” Last week, the country’s two leading democratic socialists, Sen. Bernie Sanders and New York City congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, parachuted into Kansas, the heart of red-state America, for political rallies in behalf of progressive congressional candidates. Conservatives who laugh off Ocasio-Cortez and other democratic socialists should remember how a small band of activists who called themselves the Tea Party became a major factor in national politics, pulling Republicans and the country to the right. “We live in an age of movements, not parties,” and disgust with incumbents of both parties is widespread, particularly among Millennials. Democratic socialists are actually asking important questions about income inequality and poverty, and conservatives must be willing to debate this issue rather than scoff at it. The U.S. is now entering into “a long-term generational and worldview conflict” over the direction of the nation, and the democratic socialists will be a force to be reckoned with.