Socialism spoken here
The July 3 Tuesday Opinion columns by Richard Cohen [“Democrats, dump that socialist label”] and Eugene Robinson [“This is no time for timidity”] squared off against each other powerfully. Mr. Cohen strongly warned Democrats against identifying with the long-dreaded s-word; Mr. Robinson advised Democrats to boldly claim it.
Mr. Cohen described the agenda of such young political challengers as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez favorably, as “the avuncular socialism of Bernie Sanders: universal Medicare and free higher education. It needs no label. Sign me up.” He had a point about calling it socialism. But what if progressive candidates, rather than abandoning that label, lay out its meaning loud and clear? Yes, universal Medicare and free higher education. Also, roads. Social Security. National parks. Even police. (If you were a crime victim, would you like police to charge you a fee to investigate?) The “democratic” part also deserves liberals’ emphasis. Democratic socialism is not the communism of your parents’ Cold War. What if we shout loud and clear our support for democracy — in contrast to the current autocracy-leaning leadership in Washington?
Christine Edwards, Harrisonburg, Va.