by Countable | 2.6.19
What’s the story?
“Here, in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country,” Trump told Congress. “We are born free, and we will stay free. Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.”
- Trump’s pledge drew chants of “USA!” from GOP lawmakers.
What are both sides saying?
- Trump’s admonition of socialism was tied to the political unrest underway in Venezuela, where the U.S. is siding with opposition leader Juan Guaido over President Nicolas Maduro.
- “We stand with the Venezuelan people in their noble quest for freedom—and we condemn the brutality of the Maduro regime, whose socialist policies have turned that nation from being the wealthiest in South America into a state of abject poverty and despair,” Trump said.
- Numerous outlets also reported that Trump’s comments were meant as “a clear rebuke of a new generation of Democrats and socialists like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY),” as the right-leaning Washington Examiner wrote.
- Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT), a self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist, responded with a not-quite-as-clear rebuke. The one-time presidential candidate quoted Martin Luther King Jr. as saying, “'This country has socialism for the rich and rugged individualism for the poor.'”
What is Democratic Socialism?
While the tenets of democratic socialism vary depending on whom you ask, because Ocasio-Cortez is linked to the Democratic Socialists of America, we’ll use DSA to explain the term:
Policies the DSA supports
- “Social and economic decisions should be made by those whom they most affect” with the end goal of meeting public needs instead of turning a profit.
- Nationalizing the entire healthcare industry through a single-payer system (“Medicare for All”).
- A Green New Deal
- Ending “the influence of money in politics.”
- Strengthening unions.
- A federal jobs guarantee.
- Abolishing ICE.
- Restoring Glass-Steagall protections.
- Free and legal abortions.
- Tuition-free college.
- Rent control because “housing is a human right.”
- Equal rights and protections for all those who identify as LGBTQIA+, including rights to jobs, education, housing, and healthcare.
- Restructuring “gender and cultural relationships to be more equitable.”
What do you think?
Do you share Trump’s pledge that “America will never be a socialist country”? Or do you support socialist policies? Take action and tell your reps, then share your thoughts below.
(Photo Credit: Screen Grab of State of the Union Address)