By John McClaughry
Here’s an intriguing quote from last Wednesday’s Weekly Dispatch: “Freddie deBoer considers himself a democratic socialist, but he’s come to a conclusion that very few of his fellow leftists have. “It’s time for young socialists and progressive Democrats to recognize that our beliefs just might not be popular enough to win elections consistently. It does us no favors to pretend otherwise,” he writes for The New York Times.
“The idea that most Americans quietly agree with our positions is dangerous, because it leads to the kind of complacency that has dogged Democrats since the “emerging Democratic majority” myth became mainstream. Socialists can take some heart in public polling that shows Americans warming to the abstract idea of socialism. But ‘socialism’ is an abstraction that means little without a winning candidate. And too much of this energy seems to stem from the echo-chamber quality of social media, as young socialists look at the world through Twitter and TikTok and see only the smiling faces of their own beliefs reflected back at them. Socialist victory will require taking a long, hard road to spread our message, to convince a skeptical public that socialist policies and values are good for them and the country. Which is to say, it will take decades.”
This can’t be good news for Bernie Sanders, who hasn’t got decades to keep struggling on.
Well, I hope it takes decades — at least. Centuries would be even better.
John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.