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.
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.
The corporate media, sustained for years by advertisements filled with falsehoods and misinformation, fuels the breathless drama of their own creation. The inane talking-head cable shows with overwrought commentary spliced between crass commercialistic harangues have lowered the political discourse in this country as much as anything else and that includes reductionist social media.
The philosophy of socialism is rooted in equality and that includes embracing the ideas of livable incomes and opportunities for all people. Equality and income fairness will never happen under the oppression and unfairness demanded by unfettered capitalism. There will never be widespread opportunity for people in this country when a company that makes $5.6 billion in annual profits doesn’t have to pay a share for the common good at all.