• HuffPo: The Silent Majority of Americans Are Socialists

    Socialism has long been associated in the minds of many Americans with the poverty, scarcity, and endless bread lines of the Soviet Union and has been considered a dirty word for much of the 20th century. But, thanks to an increasingly leftward-shifting major political party, socialism today seems to be repairing its reputation.

    Avowed socialist Bernie Sanders raised roughly the same amount of money in the third quarter as former Secretary of State and frontrunner Hillary Clinton.

    A new poll proves that the silent majority of Americans are actually Socialist, according to the left-wing The Huffington Post:

    “It took the excitement generated by the political campaign of a self-described socialist, Bernie Sanders, to put into stark relief the extent to which the United States political system fails to reflect and respond to the aspirations of most Americans.

    That’s because decades of income stagnation have transformed political attitudes in ways that don’t appear reflected in Washington. A recent Marketplace-Edison poll suggests that though they might not know it, many Americans, at one time hostile to socialism, have become democratic socialists. Their socialism is not the version that called for the public ownership of the means of production. Rather, what they support are programs that reduce the risks that accompany life in a market society.

    The survey, released late last month, asked a representative sample of Americans about their attitudes toward seven different “safety net” programs — the kind that characterize democratic socialism in Europe and are espoused by socialists elsewhere. As Bernie Sanders has put it: “20 years ago when people here thought about socialism they were thinking about the Soviet Union, about Albania. Now they think about Scandinavia.”

    The results of that survey were astonishing in their consistency across age groups, gender and ethnicity. More than 80% of respondents supported unemployment benefits for people who have lost their jobs, food stamps for the poor, college assistance for low-income families and job training programs.

    We frequently hear from the mainstream media how far right the Republican Party has moved during President Obama’s tenure, but polls consistently show it is the Democratic Party that has moved increasingly farther from the historical center of American politics.

    No wonder DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz struggled to explain the difference between a Democrat and a socialist.

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