Here come the Democrats, and they're dragging behind them a big bag of socialism.
At noon on Thursday, Democrats officially take control of the U.S. House of Representatives. A short time later, the new majority will pick a Speaker, expected to be (once again) Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Californistan).
And a little while after that, they'll start work on a bold "new" agenda to expand government, blanket business with new regulations, raise taxes on all Americans and push a new socialism that will deliver "free" health care and college tuition.
In fact, socialism is literally coming to the new House as democratic socialists, such as outspoken Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Muslim Rashida Harbi Tlaib, join the 116th Congress. Their platform is increasingly similar to that of rank-and-file Democrats, including a “Medicare-for-all” program and "guaranteed jobs" programs, along with demands for a $15-an-hour minimum wage. Democrats will also push a “Green New Deal," which would create hundreds of new regulations on businesses and the energy sector.
Some, like Ocasio-Cortez, want to see the end of capitalism. "I do think right now we have this no holds barred, wild west hyper-capitalism," she said in July. "What that means is profit at any cost. Capitalism has not always existed in the world and will not always exist in the world."
Democratic voters are also embracing socialism. “An overwhelming majority of respondents, 76 percent, said they would not vote for a ‘socialist’ political candidate, while only 24 percent of those polled said they would,” finds a July 24 poll conducted by The Hill and HarrisX. And an August poll by Gallup found that 47% of Democrats view capitalism positively, down from 56% in 2016, while 57% of view socialism positively.
While the socialist ideas have always existed in the Democratic Party, they are now moving from the fringe to the mainstream. Several of the party's 2020 hopefuls, including Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Kamala Harris (D-CA) are embracing them.
A December 29 analysis by The New York Times showed that one-third of Senate Democrats — along with more than half of House Democrats — endorse the Medicare-for-all program.
A Medicare-for-all bill drafted by Senator Bernie Sanders, independent of Vermont, has been endorsed by 15 Democratic senators, including several potential presidential candidates: Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Kamala Harris of California and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.
In the House, Medicare for all is gaining new support with the election of a number of progressive Democrats. They include Sylvia R. Garcia of Texas, Jahana Hayes of Connecticut, Joe Neguse of Colorado, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Katie Porter of California, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.
Although Barack Obama shunned single-payer solutions as president, he praised Medicare for all in a campaign-style speech in September. “Democrats aren’t just running on good old ideas like a higher minimum wage,” he said. “They’re running on good new ideas like Medicare for all.”
Under the "Green New Deal," Democrats hope to guarantee every American a job, saying the program will "provide all members of our society, across all regions and all communities, the opportunity, training and education to be a full and equal participant in the transition, including through a job guarantee program to assure a living wage job to every person who wants one."
According to a draft plan, the program also plans to "mitigate deeply entrenched racial, regional and gender-based inequalities in income and wealth (including, without limitation, ensuring that federal and other investment will be equitably distributed to historically impoverished, low income, deindustrialized or other marginalized communities in such a way that builds wealth and ownership at the community level)." In other words, socialism.
The draft plan says paying for the massive program "shall be accomplished by the federal government, using a combination of the Federal Reserve, a new public bank or system of regional and specialized public banks, public venture funds and such other vehicles or structures that the select committee deems appropriate."
When she's not chugging beer, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), expected to run against President Trump in 2020, supports the Green New Deal.
"Senator Warren has been a longtime advocate of aggressively addressing climate change and shifting toward renewables, and supports the idea of a Green New Deal to ambitiously tackle our climate crisis, economic inequality, and racial injustice," an aide told Axios.
Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez last year called Ocasio-Cortez the “future of our party.” And in August, she held an event in Southern California intended to “mobilize communities across Los Angeles in pursuit of a better, socialist future.”
So brace yourself, people, socialism has arrived. So get out your wallets.