Listening to Elizabeth Warren and others, it is easy to get the impression that what distinguishes capitalism from socialism is the presence of markets with capitalism favoring them and socialism having no place for them. But that’s not so. Socialism isn’t allergic to markets.
Bravo to Nancy Pelosi for taking impeachment off the table for now. She is a strategic thinker who understands the importance of timing, mass moods, and what it will take to defeat Trump. She’s no small circle thinker nor someone who throws Trump and gang softballs to hit out of the ballpark. Her aim is to win the war, and not just a battle here and there. The new freshman class wouldn’t do themselves any political harm if they observed how she carries herself in what is a very turbulent time.
We should not assist Trump in his effort to turn next year’s election into a referendum on socialism. To do so is a fool’s errand. Thumping Trump and robust reforms — health care, climate, voting rights, jobs and higher wages, immigration, gun violence, and much more — should frame the agenda and constitute the main talking points now and next year. That doesn’t mean pushing the mute button on socialism, but it does mean that it shouldn’t command center stage.
Today’s Democratic Party will be a little fractious, but I don’t worry much about that. It’s inevitable, especially with the recent influx of new members who come from diverse backgrounds, experiences, and political traditions. And in most instances it is a positive thing, especially when Democratic legislators and the larger coalition resisting Trump keep in mind that the main — the strategic — task facing them is to thump Trump next year. From my experience in a much smaller pond, keeping a lid on things may succeed for a while, but will come back to bit you in the longer run.
Oscar Wilde once wrote, “The truth is rarely pure and never simple.” Didn’t always embrace this notion, but do now. And, actually, have for a while. I’m much more suspicious of theories and practical actions that rest only on abstractions, generalities, and timeless assertions.