Hope rests not with conventional strategies but with adopting a clear agenda that includes but is not limited to Medicare for all, a guaranteed basic income for all people, affordable housing, strengthening Social Security, student loan debt forgiveness, free college tuition and an aggressive response by our government to global warming. All these initiatives are genuinely possible despite the claims of some establishment Democrats, such as U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
The real, prevailing tension is between the obscenely wealthy people in the world—a relatively few thousand capitalists reaping all the rewards of an unfair financial system along with their surrogates—and the masses of people struggling to get by and living in financial insecurity. For example, income inequality and lack of basic opportunity is an issue that concerns many nationalists on the right and all democratic socialists like myself in the U.S. on the left. The two groups have serious and important moral disagreements, but people on both sides believe citizens of their countries should be able to make a livable wage.
One thing Facebook has in common with old-school capitalism is the immoral idea of making money no matter what the social or political or human cost. There’s really nothing new here in the treachery caused by greed. What’s new is the magnitude of the advertising lie and the fact it was based on selling nothing physically tangible to people, just mostly generic “likes” or, to put it another way, fleeting moments of temporary acceptance. That’s hardly worth the demise of democracy.
If corporations like Ford paid their fair share in taxes, maybe San Francisco, Oakland and any city could afford to operate their own completely free bike share program and maybe BART could be improved to make it good enough and easy enough for one its managers to actually use it.
The desperate struggles for existence on a daily basis under an uncaring, authoritarian presidential administration and Congressional and Senate GOP majorities owned by corporate money don’t get the sensational media treatment granted to a typical outlandish Trump tweet or his most recent impulsive move, but the backlash simmers and it will come eventually.
A uniquely democratic American socialism is not only the embrace of equality for all people regardless of skin color, nationality, gender and sexual orientation but also the embrace of equal access to a livable wage, universal health care, tuition-free college education and the ballot box.