“2020 was the year socialism went mainstream,” the Republican politician tweeted, adding that it was a “dangerous ideology, which has failed everywhere it has been tried & ruined countless lives.”
With the Biden administration taking the reins, “now is the time to renew the fight for capitalism,” Haley added.
The take appears to lump into a single word things as different as publicly funded welfare programs and a full ban of private capital. It also ascribes to the Democratic party a brand of supposedly “radical” ideas, like single-payer healthcare coverage, cancelation of student debts and free college education, which were quashed during the primaries. Unsurprisingly, it was not taken well online.
“I kind of know socialism and I am not seeing anything resembling socialism from our Democratic Party,” responded Martina Navratilova. The veteran tennis star and advocate of LGBT rights had fled to the US from her home country of Czechoslovakia, a member of the Soviet bloc, in 1975.
“Socialism” has long been interchangeable with “communism” in US politics and routinely used to tarnish US geopolitical enemies and domestic policies that favor the working class over the interest of the wealthy. Many responses to Haley’s remarks were all about how outdated and untrue the trope was today.
According to different surveys, younger Americans are increasingly rejecting the negative connotation of “socialism” and see examples of it in Scandinavian Europe, where high taxes are used to fund robust social safety networks. Many consider universal healthcare – a feature that most industrialized countries have and the US lacks – emblematic of socialism.
Coming amid the worst health and economic crisis that the US has seen in decades, Haley’s criticism seemed particularly disingenuous to many. Especially since her former boss, President Trump, was hardly averse to government handouts, when they suited his policies, like subsidizing farmers hurt by his trade war with China.
Contrary to what Haley suggested, this election cycle the Democratic Party leadership has rejected a path towards some socialist reforms suggested by Bernie Sanders, maneuvering behind the scenes to ensure his defeat in the primary. President-elect Joe Biden is an avowed centrist touting his ability to strike deals with the GOP as a major strength. His proposed cabinet is dominated by corporate-type figures who will likely make good on his campaign pledge that “nothing will fundamentally change” for America.Inc.
The so-called Squad, a group of progressive Democratic lawmakers who are depicted as dangerous radicals by the Republican side, seems content with gradualism, which does not upset the status quo too much. It’s informal leader, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, refused this month to pressure Nancy Pelosi into holding a House vote on Medicare for All, a universal healthcare bill, by leveraging her reelection as speaker.
So, in real life Democrats remained moderate, Haley critics argued. Many Republicans on the other hand failed to challenge Donald Trump’s “authoritarian” tendencies and, according to some responses, “is closer to fascism than the Democratic Party is to adopting socialism”
Some suggested that Haley’s attack was simply a pitch for being the GOP nominee for president in 2024.
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