So­cial­ism spo­ken here

The Washington Post Sunday - - SUNDAY OPINION -

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.

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