by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Has the socialist moment finally arrived in the United States? Increasingly, the Democratic party seems to think so. Capitalism has had a nice run for the past couple hundred years, but now it is time to let the technocrats take control of . . . pretty much everything — from health care to education to energy to banking.
This kind of view has long had a space in the Democratic party — recall Huey Long’s slogan, “Every man a king” — but it seems to be going mainstream. The wacky ideas of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are not limited to the lefty fringe of the House backbench but instead are being endorsed by major presidential candidates. And why not? Winning the Democratic nomination is going to require somebody to forge a coalition between minority voters and upscale white progressives, and the latter can’t get enough of AOC’s statist utopia. …
… I am worried that voters are willing to elect a would-be socialist over a president they have never actually liked. More important: I am worried that they won’t even recognize that this is what they are doing. That is how little confidence I have in the discernment of American voters — they won’t connect the dots and realize that the Democrats are calling for a government takeover of pretty much everything. I am worried that the people have ceded to the ideological fringes of both parties the power to select the two-party nominees, and then choose between them based on their view of the incumbent administration — whether that means electing a celebrity television star like Trump or a socialist like Bernie.