["Every single policy proposal that we have adopted and presented
to the American public has been overwhelmingly popular," Rep.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Most surveys show Trump losing in a matchup
against a democratic socialist named Bernie Sanders.]
[https://portside.org/] 

 SOCIALISM IS MORE POPULAR THAN YOU THINK, MR. PRESIDENT;
OCASIO-CORTEZ SAYS TRUMP ATTACK SHOWS PRESIDENT 'SCARED' OF POPULAR
PROGRESSIVE POLICIES   [https://portside.org/node/19308] 

 

 John Nichols; Jake Johnson 
 February 6, 2019
The Nation
[https://www.thenation.com/article/socialism-sotu-donald-trump-bernie-sanders/]


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 _ "Every single policy proposal that we have adopted and presented to
the American public has been overwhelmingly popular," Rep. Alexandria
Ocasio-Cortez. Most surveys show Trump losing in a matchup against a
democratic socialist named Bernie Sanders. _ 

 Bernie Sanders campaign rally, A Future to Believe In, credit:
Reuters / Lucy Nicholson // The Nation 

 

Socialism Is More Popular Than You Think, Mr. President - John Nichols
(The Nation)
Ocasio-Cortez Says Trump Attack on Socialism Shows President 'Scared'
of Popular Progressive Policies - Jake Johnson (Common Dreams)

 

SOCIALISM IS MORE POPULAR THAN YOU THINK, MR. PRESIDENT

Most surveys show Trump would lose in a matchup against a democratic
socialist named Bernie Sanders. 

By John Nichols; Jake Johnson

February 6, 2019
The Nation
[https://www.thenation.com/article/socialism-sotu-donald-trump-bernie-sanders/]

Donald Trump’s State of the Union Address
[https://www.ajc.com/news/national-govt%E2%80%94politics/text-president-trump-state-the-union-address/aQigG5kw2bUh2xEkJpPSKI/] did
not feature a musical soundtrack. But, if it had, surely the
orchestral accompaniment would have soared when he got to the line:
“We are born free, and we will stay safe. Tonight, we renew our
resolve that America will _never_ be a socialist country.”

But, just as surely, the music would have quieted down as the camera
shifted to the assured countenance of newly elected US
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez [https://ocasio2018.com/],
the New York Democrat who was elected last fall after campaigning as
“an educator, organizer, Democratic Socialist, and born-and-raised
New Yorker running to champion working families in Congress; or that
of US Representative Rashida Tlaib
[https://www.rashidaforcongress.com/] (D-MI), who won her 2018
primary and general election races as a member of Democratic
Socialists of America and was endorsed by DSA’s muscular chapter in
the Detroit area [https://www.metrodetroitdsa.com/]. And the music
would have stopped when it got to Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who
is often referred to as “America’s best-known socialist
[https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2018/1/7/1730590/-There-is-nothing-wrong-or-hypocritical-about-socialists-having-nice-things],”
and whom a lot of people would like to see challenge Trump in the 2020
presidential race.

The president might have wanted the joint session of Congress, and the
American people who bothered to listen in, to believe
[https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/02/05/us/politics/trump-state-of-union-speech-transcript.html] that
“Here, in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt
socialism in our country. America was founded on liberty and
independence—not government coercion, domination and control.”

But every recent national poll of prospective 2020 voters has Sanders,
the democratic socialist, beating Trump, the socialism basher.

A PPP survey 
[https://www.publicpolicypolling.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/PPP_Release_National_12219.pdf]released
January 22 had it Sanders 51 to Trump 41. That was an improvement on
the nine-point lead a PPP survey gave the senator last June
[https://www.publicpolicypolling.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/PPP_Release_National_61318.pdf].

When CNN
[https://www.cnn.com/2018/01/23/politics/2020-trump-biden-sanders-winfrey/index.html] polled
prospective 2020 voters last year, it was Sanders 55 to Trump 42.

In the battleground state of Michigan, which Trump narrowly won in
2016, a new Detroit News/WDIV-TV poll
[https://www.clickondetroit.com/michigan-politics/wdivdetroit-news-poll-trump-faces-uphill-re-election-battle-in-michigan] has
Sanders leading by 11 points.

A PPP survey of North Carolina voters, which was conducted
[https://www.publicpolicypolling.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/PPP_Release_NC_10919.pdf] last
month, put Sanders ahead 48-45 in another state that the
Republicans won
[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_United_States_presidential_election_in_North_Carolina] in
2016.

Sanders has not announced that he will challenge the president. But
the senator, who won 23 primaries and caucuses as a contender for the
2016 Democratic presidential nomination
[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_Democratic_Party_presidential_primaries],
generally polls
[https://www.monmouth.edu/polling-institute/reports/monmouthpoll_US_020419/] near
the top of the Democrats and independents who will judge the wide
field of 2020 Democratic prospects. (He’s behind former vice
president Joe Biden but ahead of all or most of the other announced
and prospective candidates.)

Biden often polls a point or so better against Trump than does Sanders
in hypothetical matchups for a 2020 general election contest. But
Sanders tends to run better than other Democratic prospects.

So it doesn’t seem like the “s” word is dragging the senator
down.

Perhaps that is because, while Trump may think “socialism” is a
scare word, and while many prominent Democrats may get scared when it
is referenced, Sanders is comfortable discussing the ideology. “Do
they think I’m afraid of the word? I’m not afraid of the
word,” says Sanders
[https://www.thenation.com/article/bernie-sanders-speaks/].

On Tuesday night, the senator trumped Trump’s “born free… stay
safe” rhetoric with a simple observation
[https://twitter.com/SenSanders/status/1093004220054323200]: “People
are not truly free when they can’t afford health care, prescription
drugs, or a place to live. People are not free when they cannot retire
with dignity or feed their families.”

That’s how Sanders does it. He’s not defensive. He’s aggressive.
While Trump equates the humane democratic socialism that millions of
Americans embrace with “government coercion, domination and
control”—in a desperate attempt to narrow the discourse—Sanders
makes honest comparisons that expand and enhance the dialogue.

“I happen to believe that, if the American people understood the
significant accomplishments that have taken place under
social-democratic governments, democratic-socialist governments, labor
governments throughout Europe, they would be shocked to know about
those accomplishments,” the senator told me several years ago
[https://www.thenation.com/article/bernie-sanders-speaks/]. “How
many Americans know that in virtually every European country, when you
have a baby, you get guaranteed time off and, depending on the
country, significant financial benefits as well. Do the American
people know that? I doubt it. Do the American people even know that
we’re the only major Western industrialized country that doesn’t
guarantee healthcare for all? Most people don’t know that. Do the
American people know that in many countries throughout Europe, public
colleges and universities are either tuition-free or very
inexpensive?”

The numbers don’t tell us that America is a socialist country. But
they do suggest that Americans are intrigued by socialism as an
alternative to capitalism. Thirty-seven percent of Americans now view
socialism positively, according to a Gallup survey from last year. And
among the rising generation of voters, the numbers are substantially
higher. “Americans aged 18 to 29 are as positive about socialism (51
percent) as they are about capitalism (45 percent),” explains the
Gallup analysis. “This represents a 12-point decline in young
adults’ positive views of capitalism in just the past two years and
a marked shift since 2010, when 68 percent viewed it positively.”

Another set of numbers may be even more telling. Membership in
Democratic Socialists of America has spiked from 7,000 members in 2016
to over 55,000 today. And dozens of democratic socialists now serve in
elected posts, from the US Senate to the US House to state
legislatures and municipal governments and school boards across the
country.

Take note, Mr. President, the “s” word isn’t as scary as you
think. Indeed, says Ocasio-Cortez, “I think he’s scared.”

“He sees that everything is closing in on him,” says the
democratic socialist
[https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-trump-socialism_us_5c5a6288e4b087104758a831],
who is advancing a Green New Deal plan and proposing tax hikes for the
rich. “And he knows he’s losing the battle of public opinion when
it comes to the actual substantive proposals that we’re
advancing.”

_[John Nichols is The Nation’s national-affairs
correspondent. He is the author of Horsemen of the Trumpocalypse: A
Field Guide to the Most Dangerous People in America
[http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/titles/john-nichols/horsemen-of-the-trumpocalypse/9781568587790/],
from Nation Books, and co-author, with Robert W. McChesney, of People
Get Ready: The Fight Against a Jobless Economy and a Citizenless
Democracy
[http://www.amazon.com/People-Get-Ready-Citizenless-Democracy/dp/1568585217].]_

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REPRINTED WITHOUT
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OCASIO-CORTEZ SAYS TRUMP ATTACK ON SOCIALISM SHOWS PRESIDENT 'SCARED'
OF POPULAR PROGRESSIVE POLICIES

"Every single policy proposal that we have adopted and presented to
the American public has been overwhelmingly popular, even some with
the majority of Republican voters."

by Jake Johnson

February 6, 2019
Common Dreams
[https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/02/06/ocasio-cortez-says-trump-attack-socialism-shows-president-scared-popular-progressive]

"He sees that everything is closing in on him. And he knows he's
losing the battle of public opinion when it comes to the actual
substantive proposals that we're advancing to the public," said Rep.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.)
Photo: Julissa Arse/Twitter  //  Common Dreams
While Republicans and many Democrats rose and enthusiastically
applauded President Donald Trump's attack on socialism during his
State of the Union address Tuesday night, Rep. Alexandria
Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.)—who, along with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)
[https://twitter.com/davidsirota/status/1092990525630599170], remained
seated—said the president's remarks showed he's "scared" of the
progressive policies that most Americans are embracing
[https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/02/04/not-left-wing-fantasy-mainstream-and-really-popular-poll-shows-enormous-public].

"He sees that everything is closing in on him. And he knows he's
losing the battle of public opinion when it comes to the actual
substantive proposals that we're advancing." 
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Speaking to reporters after Trump proclaimed that "America will never
be a socialist country," Ocasio-Cortez said the president felt the
need to lash out at socialism because bold progressives have gotten
"under his skin."

"I think he's scared," said
[https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-trump-socialism_us_5c5a6288e4b087104758a831] Ocasio-Cortez,
a self-identified democratic socialist. "He sees that everything is
closing in on him. And he knows he's losing the battle of public
opinion when it comes to the actual substantive proposals that we're
advancing."

While right-wing pundit Peggy Noonan criticized Ocasio-Cortez for
remaining stoic during most of Trump's address, the congresswoman
later explained Trump gave her no reason to feel "spirited and warm":
 

Two hours after the speech, loved by 241K, being talked about by 81K
people
In an interview with _MSNBC_'s Chris Matthews late Tuesday following
Trump's address, Ocasio-Cortez argued Trump's swipe at socialism
demonstrates that he's "losing on the issues."

"Every single policy proposal that we have adopted and presented to
the American public has been overwhelmingly popular, even some with
the majority of Republican voters," said the New York congresswoman.
"When we talk about a 70 percent marginal tax rate on incomes over $10
million, 60 percent of Americans approve it."

"Seventy percent of Americans believe in improved and expanded
Medicare for All. A very large amount of Americans believe that we
need to do something about climate change, and that it is an
existential threat to ourselves and to our children," she continued.
"What we really need to realize...is that this is an issue of [an]
authoritarian regime versus democracy."
 

 

America's socialists joined Republicans and Democrats in applauding
Trump's anti-socialism "screed"
[https://www.thenation.com/article/trump-sotu-green-new-deal/]—but
for entirely different reasons.

"I love it when the president helps me make the case that it's
socialism or barbarism," wrote
[https://twitter.com/onesarahjones/status/1092986232513155072] Sarah
Jones of _New York Magazine_.

Branches of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA)—whose
membership has soared to record levels
[https://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-democratic-socialists-20170308-story.html] since
Trump's election—said they expect a nice membership bump after the
president's address.

"We look forward to seeing the new members who come to our next
meeting after the presidential insistence we will never live in a
socialist country," declared
[https://twitter.com/DSA_Eugene/status/1092989337891856390] DSA's
Eugene, Oregon branch.

_[Jake Johnson is a staff writer for Common Dreams. Follow him on
Twitter: @johnsonjakep Email: [log in to unmask] On Twitter:
@johnsonjakep [http://@johnsonjakep]]_

_This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share
Alike 3.0 License_

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