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Why I'm not a Socialist (Original Post) OnDoutside Jul 2018 OP
Why I'm a Progressive, Not a Liberal populistdriven Jul 2018 #1
He is technically right LiberalLovinLug Jul 2018 #2
I agree with you that Social Democrats is the much better (and accurate) term to use. I disagree OnDoutside Jul 2018 #5
Horseshit. murielm99 Jul 2018 #3
Erm...the title is "Why I'm not a SOCIALIST" OnDoutside Jul 2018 #4
Sorry. murielm99 Jul 2018 #6
No probs, I saw Post 1 myself after I replied to you ! OnDoutside Jul 2018 #7
I couldn't fix it. murielm99 Jul 2018 #8
I agree that the people don't care (well maybe the RW knuckle scrapers apart who like buzzwords), OnDoutside Jul 2018 #9
That JFK guy sounded pretty smart. xor Jul 2018 #10


(5,644 posts)
1. Why I'm a Progressive, Not a Liberal
Thu Jul 19, 2018, 01:46 PM
Jul 2018
Be progressive, Democrats, not merely liberal

When I was elected to the House of Representatives in 2002, the American left found itself in the wilderness. George W. Bush's approval ratings topped 80 percent. Republicans controlled both chambers of Congress, and the Clinton administration felt like a distant memory. Far from debating whether we thought of ourselves as "liberals" or "progressives," most Democrats were debating how to win an election and become relevant again.

Our congressional sweep in 2006 and President Barack Obama's election in 2008 raised questions we'd put off during the Bush years: What does it really mean to be a Democrat? What is the Democratic vision for the country? The Obama years, for all the gains they produced, did not definitively resolve those tensions.

They did, however, clarify the ideological landscape in important ways. Some argue that Democrats should chart a "liberal" as opposed to "progressive" course for the midterm elections and beyond. Anyone tempted to take that advice should consider recent history.

Marriage equality, long championed by progressives and once opposed even by Democrats such as President Bill Clinton (who signed the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996), is now the law of the land. The progressive-led opposition to Bush's invasion of Iraq, formerly considered irresponsible by would-be guardians of "serious" liberal politics, has been vindicated. Progressive ideas once treated as unrealistic — the need to more strictly regulate big banks, for instance, another area in which Clinton was on the opposite side — are now largely treated as common sense.


(14,165 posts)
2. He is technically right
Thu Jul 19, 2018, 02:25 PM
Jul 2018

And Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are not true Socialists either.

But its all just semantics right now. Democratic Socialist, or Social Democrat. I do think that the latter term is one that SHOULD have been adopted by more progressive Democrats, but either way, it amounts to the same thing, if only because it is misunderstood as being the same thing. So I think it is pointless and distracting to parse this so minutely. Believe me no Republican pundit is going to care whether it is called DS or SD. And the MSM are clueless and almost as frightened about saying the word "socialist" as the Democrats.


(19,949 posts)
5. I agree with you that Social Democrats is the much better (and accurate) term to use. I disagree
Thu Jul 19, 2018, 03:36 PM
Jul 2018

that "it is pointless and distracting to parse this so minutely". I'm glad Pakman is addrssing this and I hope he does more on this. I see a couple of issues

1. To hell with the Republicans, they'll do what they do, and just make shit up. Democrats need a clear vision of who they are, what they aren't and what they want to get across to the public.

2. There are hard leftists hiding under the name Democratic Socialists. I see it here in Europe where the astute ones have moved on from calling themselves the Socialist Party or the Communist Party, to cuddlier names. So much so that it's hard to tell who is who anymore.

3. Once Centrist Democrats have found their feet again (which I believe they are starting to do), it will be important to distinguish between Social Democrats and Democratic Socialists. As I said in another thread, nothing good can come from a party within a party. Ultimately, I do believe they will be a reckoning.

I don't know enough about AOC, but my guess is that Sanders is old school socialist, but not so socialist as being unwilling to indulge in the benefits of capitalism.


(30,720 posts)
3. Horseshit.
Thu Jul 19, 2018, 02:39 PM
Jul 2018

Last edited Thu Jul 19, 2018, 04:01 PM - Edit history (1)

Once again, someone takes the term "progressive" and defines it any way they please.

"Progressive" no longer has meaning as a defined term. It is instead a purity test.

I am a liberal. I don't care how many ways conservatives try to use this word as a slander, I am a liberal. They do not get to define me or change the language. Neither does anyone else.

"But if by liberal they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people -- their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights and civil liberties -- someone believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our polities abroad, if that is what they mean by a "Liberal," then I'm proud to say I'm a "Liberal."

John F. Kennedy

If you try to twist this or qualify it, go talk to someone else. I am not going to split hairs.


(30,720 posts)
8. I couldn't fix it.
Thu Jul 19, 2018, 04:10 PM
Jul 2018

I would like to add something. This may sound stupid, but I do a lot of work on the ground here. I have been canvassing with and for a couple of candidates. I phone bank too, although I hate it. I only do that for about 2.5 hours at a time, or I burn out.

People don't care. They don't want to debate the difference. They want jobs that pay well. They want health insurance. They want the hate to stop. They are frightened. I find that we lose the Democratic voters we want to turn out if we start debating this.


(19,949 posts)
9. I agree that the people don't care (well maybe the RW knuckle scrapers apart who like buzzwords),
Thu Jul 19, 2018, 04:17 PM
Jul 2018

but within the party, politicians, activists, volunteers like yourself (well done btw), it's a conversation that really should be had.

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