“Democratic socialism means that we must create an economy that works for all, not just the very wealthy.”
– Bernie Sanders
On Wednesday California added its voice to the Democratic Primary. As they say—in the primary you vote with your heart and during the general election you vote with your head.
As a proud democratic socialist, I am often confused and frustrated with the organized vitriol in the Democratic Party against any who dare to claim the same mantle. I believe this is largely the result of the successful conflation of Democracy with capitalism by those with the loudest voice. Those with the loudest voice, of course, are usually those with the most money. And, not surprisingly, those with the most money are usually those who have benefited the most from the fruits of capitalism.
But, what does that have to do with Democracy? Capitalism after all, is an economic system. Socialism is an economic system. Whereas, Democracy is a form of government.
In a Democracy, authority is supposed to lie in the hands of the people not just rich people, but all people. The question should be whether the U.S. is truly a Democracy. Do we really have one person, one vote when party officials can overrule the will of the people? When an electoral college supersedes the raw vote count? When a state like Montana with a population of 1.062 million (2018) carries the same weight in the U.S. Senate as a state like California with a population of 39.56 million (2018).
Initially, this Democracy was the exclusive providence of White men of means and not much has changed in nearly 250 years. If anything, political power has accrued to fewer and fewer hands on both sides of the political spectrum.
Something is wrong in a system that appears designed to leave people behind. If the voters of America could truly have a voice in how this nation is managed, the outcomes might be different—more people might have more access to opportunities for success.
We live in a nation where racism remains at the forefront of everything in this country; such as, where you live determines how long you live, and where the country is being led by a science/climate denier.
The country is changing. More and more people are tired of working harder and harder for less and less. Something must change. No longer the well-respected leader of the free-world America, must regain its footing and part of that could include reimagining a nation—whether rooted in capitalism or socialism—that works for everyone not just those who are White, wealthy, and/or well-connected beyond the hand full of people of color sprinkled in for measure. It’s been 244 years and counting. We need an economic system that works for everyone.
Of course, this is just my opinion. I’m keeping it real.