It is becoming clear Republicans will be using the words “socialist” and “socialism” as pejoratives against Democrats in upcoming elections. As the Democratic party embraces a platform which may be uncomfortable for middle-of-the-road Americans, education and explanation are clearly necessary.
It is heartening to see so many qualified candidates running for President in the Democratic Party. It’s disheartening to see their vision for America being expressed so poorly. Here are simple guides how to frame various issues:
Democrats on Day One
Day One – “On day one, I’m going to call the leaders of all of our historical allies and tell them, ‘You are our friend, the Constitution has won, and America is back.’”
Immigration – “We need strong borders to enforce legal immigration and we need to beef-up the administrative infrastructure to properly welcome these people to America.”
Economy – “Of course, the economy is strong. It had better be. Trump is putting it all on a $5 trillion deficit credit card. Your share is $15,000 for this economy. Your family of four now owes $60,000 for Trump’s economy in his first four years. Do you want four more years of this?”
Health Insurance – “We need a public option to compete against private insurance to manage runaway costs. We pay $700 billion a year more than we need to in order to achieve this level of health care. You’re paying $2,000 a year due to the lack of competition. Your family of four is paying $8,000 more than it should due to the lack of competition. Let’s keep private insurance. In fact, they have the administrative infrastructure in place to be part of the solution. But let’s allow a public option to compete and let the free market decide.”
Socialism – “Public schools, emergency services, and libraries are socialist because we contribute to them as a community and reap the efficiencies. Why shouldn’t we get more efficiencies and allow public banking if the community wants it? Or allow local governments to become internet service providers to compete against our most-expensive internet service in the world? Or community hospitals? I’m tired of legislation that protects the banks, internet companies, and others. Let’s open the markets to true competition.”
Antitrust – “You want small government? Then you need small business. If we have small government and unconstrained big businesses, then “We the People” have forfeited our power to the corporations. Big business needs to be checked by big government. Antitrust enforcement allows smaller government, greater competition, and economic opportunity.”
The list of issues continues in venues and spaces much greater than this article allows. But one can see the trend that Democrats must embrace: Social reforms do not lead into a rabbit’s hole of socialism. Social reforms enhance competition, affirm the free-market economy, create opportunity, allow financial prudence, and achieve justice for those who wish to participate.
Democrats, it’s not hard. Don’t fit the message to Democratic voters. We need to tailor the message for the majority to understand.