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What is Democratic Socialism? - And Do You Support It?

Do you support democratic socialist policies?

by Countable | 2.20.19

What’s the story?

  • Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), a self-described “democratic socialist,” has announced he’s once again running for president.
  • At the same time, presidential contender Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) has announced “I am not a democratic socialist.”
  • While the tenets of democratic socialism vary depending on whom you ask, because the largest (and most well-known) organization is 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”).
  • 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 is Trump saying?

  • During his State of the Union speech, Trump said that “here, in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country."
“We are born free, and we will stay free. Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country,” Trump told Congress.
  • Trump’s pledge drew chants of “USA!” from GOP lawmakers.
  • 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.

What do you think?

Do you support democratic socialist policies? Or do you share Trump’s pledge that “America will never be a socialist country”? Take action and tell your reps, then share your thoughts below.

—Josh Herman


(Photo Credit: DSA)

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