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  1. #21
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    Re: Difference between a Democrat and socialist

    Quote Originally Posted by GoldPhoenix View Post
    This is a rather confused response.

    A.) These seems to stem from an equivocation of all forms of Leftism. Democrats are not Leftists, they are at most (and I do mean, "at most") Left-Centrists, although most of them are just Centrists (given how Right-wing the American political ideologies are).

    B.) The ACA isn't a "democratic socialist program." A democratic socialist program would more likely have been at minimum the ACA with a public option. At best, the ACA just subsidizes healthcare for Americans in a manner no different than the various subsidies the government gives to US citizens and corporations for a variety of reasons. Considering that Mitt Romney enacted a much stronger version of the AMA locally in the state that he was governor of, I have a hard time taking seriously the idea that one particular kind of subsidy or regulation is "democratic socialism" vs. "run-of-the-mill capitalist regulation." Unless we're saying that any form of regulating that is a small attempt to help fix rapidly decaying industries or trying to help average Americans out is now suddenly defined as "democratic socialism", but I don't think that's a message neither the Republican nor the Democratic party wants to sell the American public during elections.

    C.) Democratic socialism is not something to trite as "There must be an all-powerful centralized, national government that controls everything." Sure, having a functional, well-regulating government at the central/national level is probably an important part of democratic socialism if it were to work in the American system, but given that having a strong, well-regulated Federal government at the level has become a staple of every post-1920's political ideology in both the far Right (with the exception of libertarianism) and the far Left, it seems like the pot calling the kettle black to assert that somehow Left-wing politics is the exclusive side looking to take "the power" to the national government. More realistically, George Bush and the entire Republican party have given extraordinary powers to the Federal government and given unprecedented authority to the Executive branch, which the Democrats have been more than happy to continue. But as it stands, there doesn't exist a party on the table, except for the totally incoherent Libertarian party, that actually wants to shrink the US government. The Republican party claims it would like to tear down social safety net programs (e.g. social security, medicare, medicaid, welfare programs), but they would almost certainly just replace the revenue given to these programs (Don't worry, the average American will still be paying the same in taxes) to tax cuts to corporations or to contracting work (e.g. the corporations that work for DARPA).

    D.) The main reason why people are calling themselves democratic socialists is because in our current society, only the people calling themselves democratic socialists are the ones who are publicly calling out multinational corporations, including those heavily involved skimming the cream off of the bloated military budget (and the rest of the incredible enormous corporate welfare programs), they are publicly advancing an agenda to functionally regulate the financial sector, they are the ones calling for publicly financed campaigns and prohibiting corporations from attempting (and succeeding) in buying local, state, and Federal elections, they are the ones who are saying that Social Security cannot be allowed to be touched (And contrary to the idiotic claims that Obama is a socialist, Obama is more than ready to throw Social Security onto the chopping block), they are the people who are talking about trying to increase money to the public education system and the public university systems, and so on. In other words, they're pretty much the only people concerned with the middle-class and the lower-class. So yeah, for some shocking reason, that message is resonating. No one's talking about converting the US into a planned economy, but they are talking about how steps can be taken to destroy America's current oligarchic triumvirate of the Big Business, Wall Street, and the bankers.

    Remember that the only popular movement in recent Republican history was the Tea Party, and the key popular message of the Tea Party was not "We don't want you to regulate the economy, we don't want a powerful national government, and please give big tax breaks to the rich." In fact, the key message was "Don't mess with my Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security." That was what resonated, that's what actual Joe-Blow Tea Party protesters were concerned about and waiving signs for. It's profoundly ironic given that they voted for a libertarian vice-president two years later, but it's not a coincidence or something random. Poor white (and usually racist) people are not confused about the fact that they're getting screwed out of their benefits, they just have been erroneously convinced that it's left-wing policies that are doing it. When, in fact, left-wing policies are the only reason that they are there. Eventually this contradiction in the Republican party has to play itself out.




    Right, and you can throw away your vote on whoever you like. It's the system we live in. Candidates aren't going to win unless they have the backing of large money interests. I defy you to find a candidate that actually will increase the power to local governments like you want --you can't, because that doesn't interest those with money. That's the opposite large, consolidated government contracts.



    Not really. Hilary isn't a socialist, and with the exception of a handful, none of the rest are socialists, either. The entire US is getting rather exhausted after the royal ass-ramming it took from the extreme Rightist policies (e.g. pro-Big Business/banking/financial industry policies via massive deregulation of the private sector, breaking up of unions, defunding of social safety net programs, en masse privatization of government services through government contracts, and profound tax cuts for the rich and corporations, increased allowance of corporate financing of public campaigns, etc) of Ronald Reagan administration, the Republican party, and onwards promoted and promulgated by Democrats.

    A large number of Americans aren't happy with Democrats or Republicans, and, as said above, they're tired of getting f***ed over in the name of handouts to Big Business, of helping financial analysts and bankers manipulate the economy to extract money from it, and of having their real wages never rise since these policies were put into place --all whilst the wealth gap increases every year. A growing number of people are sick of this ****, and if the name for this feeling is "democratic socialist", then they they'll take it if it means the .1% doesn't get to **** them over anymore. The rich and powerful have gotten overly arrogant in what they think they can cram down the John Q Public's throat, and as per the entire history of the last 150 years of the world, that means Leftist sentiments and sympathies start to brew. The tipping point is going to be when either a Republican or a Democrat actually gets rid of medicare and Social Security. That's when an actual full-stop Leftist movement will break out into the mainstream of the US politics (That's what it would take to combine poor whites, poor minorities, and the middle-class), and following the incredibly insane political decisions made in US politics, I can see this happening. Either way, the current arrangements of our political system are living on borrowed time, because eventually this is going to happen or be threatened to happen strongly enough that even Billy-Bob racist is going to look behind themselves and figure it out.
    You are making the classical argument that because two items aren't equivalent that they are absolutely different. Are Democrats full Socialists? No. Are they leftists? Well, if a leftist prefers greater socialism in government than a moderate, then yes. In the American system, Democrats are leftists. The point here is that Democrats tend to promote policies which bring America towards the democratic socialist model which is prevalent in Europe. Obviously, the democratic socialists in Europe had a much shorter road to travel than their American counterparts. However, American Democrats look at the democratic socialist model and, generally, gravitate towards it.

    The ACA is a program which brought America closer to a single-payer system than it had previously. Lots of Democrats, Obama included, preferred the single-payer model, but pragmatism led to compromise which led to the ACA. Still, I cannot imagine one would argue that the ultimate goal of Democrats was to bring America closer to the European model where healthcare is guaranteed by the government and where everyone enjoys "free" access.

    In response to point 'C', let me be clear; I believe both parties have trended towards the democratic socialist model. I consider George Bush to be just as much a Democrat/liberal/leftist as his replacement, President Barry. It is hard to compete politically when one party offers to give everyone free stuff. So, as a consequence, we now have two parties offering to give away stuff. The only differences tend to be how much stuff and to whom. Our government has essentially been spiraling down this hole since FDR. However, I think the Republicans tend to adopt these leftist policies as a matter of survival while the Democrats tend to adopt these policies as a matter of ideology. In other words, Republican voters can be persuaded to vote for people who don't offer them free stuff whereas Democratic voters tend to vote based on the free stuff they believe they are entitled to receive.

    Regarding point 'D', this is just silly. Lots of people from all over the spectrum are calling out companies for all sorts of things. The democratic socialists call out companies who they choose to single out just as the Republicans tend to call out companies who they choose to single out. Planned Parenthood receives billions of dollars of tax money. Republicans have gone after them because they do not like their social views. Democrats have gone after auto manufacturers, especially those who have sought to limit the power of unions. Let's stop being lazy and pretending some politicians are "going after" some group because they are on some particular crusade for justice. They are using their political power to choose winners and losers.
    The U.S. is currently enduring a zombie apocalypse. However, in a strange twist, the zombie's are starving.

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  3. #22
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    Re: Difference between a Democrat and socialist

    If a member of the Nazi party ran for President as a Republican, was allowed to do so by the RNC without any controversy, and was receiving 41% in a poll of New Hampshire Republicans, every Democrat would be claiming that as proof Republicans are the same as Nazis. And they would have a pretty good argument.

    So, with Socialist Bernie Sanders running for President as a Democrat with the approval of the DNC and currently beating Clinton in New Hampshire polls, it is pretty clear that there is no substantial practical difference between Democrats and Socialists in the United States.
    "If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth." - Ronald Reagan

  4. #23
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    Re: Difference between a Democrat and socialist

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    If a member of the Nazi party ran for President as a Republican, was allowed to do so by the RNC without any controversy, and was receiving 41% in a poll of New Hampshire Republicans, every Democrat would be claiming that as proof Republicans are the same as Nazis. And they would have a pretty good argument.

    So, with Socialist Bernie Sanders running for President as a Democrat with the approval of the DNC and currently beating Clinton in New Hampshire polls, it is pretty clear that there is no substantial practical difference between Democrats and Socialists in the United States.
    As long as we make a clear that socialist refers to the vernacular usage which is a democratic socialist rather than a Marxist or other type of socialist. In other words, it needs to be clear that we are not claiming that the dnc supports a totalitarian state type socialism.
    The U.S. is currently enduring a zombie apocalypse. However, in a strange twist, the zombie's are starving.

  5. #24
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    Re: Difference between a Democrat and socialist

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    As long as we make a clear that socialist refers to the vernacular usage which is a democratic socialist rather than a Marxist or other type of socialist. In other words, it needs to be clear that we are not claiming that the dnc supports a totalitarian state type socialism.
    What makes you think people supporting Sanders know the difference, or that they wouldn't support a totalitarian state?

    I'm not talking about the DNC platform, but rather the people who support democrats generally and Sanders specifically.

    I'd bet that if you explain this concept ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Totalitarian_democracy) to those supporting Sanders, tell them that it is the way to reach Sander's goals on major issues (https://berniesanders.com/issues/), almost all of them would support it.
    Last edited by evensaul; September 8th, 2015 at 09:37 AM.
    "If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth." - Ronald Reagan

  6. #25
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    Re: Difference between a Democrat and socialist

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    What makes you think people supporting Sanders know the difference, or that they wouldn't support a totalitarian state?

    I'm not talking about the DNC platform, but rather the people who support democrats generally and Sanders specifically.

    I'd bet that if you explain this concept ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Totalitarian_democracy) to those supporting Sanders, tell them that it is the way to reach Sander's goals on major issues (https://berniesanders.com/issues/), almost all of them would support it.
    Well, I am guessing that if Sanders proposed sending tanks down Main Street, rounding up people for re-education, making religion illegal, etc... he wouldn't get the type of support he is getting. More importantly, you are asking me to disprove your wild-ass speculation. No. If you truly believe Sanders would maintain his current support running as a Marxist socialist, then please support this. People may not be able to articulate the difference, however, they'd probably run away if they saw it.
    The U.S. is currently enduring a zombie apocalypse. However, in a strange twist, the zombie's are starving.

  7. #26
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    Re: Difference between a Democrat and socialist

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    Well, I am guessing that if Sanders proposed sending tanks down Main Street, rounding up people for re-education, making religion illegal, etc... he wouldn't get the type of support he is getting. More importantly, you are asking me to disprove your wild-ass speculation. No. If you truly believe Sanders would maintain his current support running as a Marxist socialist, then please support this. People may not be able to articulate the difference, however, they'd probably run away if they saw it.
    His supporters may not like the kind of totalitarianism you have in mind but, as I've pointed out, there are varieties of totalitarianism. As there are with Democrats + Socialism. You earlier described American leftists as Democratic Socialists. It is more accurate to label them as Social Democrats, regardless how they describe themselves. Sanders is a prime example. http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Social_democracy However, today any man can claim he's a woman regardless what's between his legs, so I guess liberals can put whatever word they want before or after "democrat" and it won't matter. And we can just call them all socialists, whatever they call themselves.
    "If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth." - Ronald Reagan

  8. #27
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    Re: Difference between a Democrat and socialist

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    His supporters may not like the kind of totalitarianism you have in mind but, as I've pointed out, there are varieties of totalitarianism. As there are with Democrats + Socialism. You earlier described American leftists as Democratic Socialists. It is more accurate to label them as Social Democrats, regardless how they describe themselves. Sanders is a prime example. http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Social_democracy However, today any man can claim he's a woman regardless what's between his legs, so I guess liberals can put whatever word they want before or after "democrat" and it won't matter. And we can just call them all socialists, whatever they call themselves.
    Let's go back to your earlier claim. If a GOP candidate was a Nazi, then we'd associate the entire party with Nazism.

    You have not shown that anyone is running as a Marxist. However, Sanders is running as a Democratic Socialist or Social Democrat (the difference between them is minor) and it is fair to say that the Democrat party has a strain which desperately wants that brand of government. Certainly, we can associate the Democrats with collectivism and we can argue this more benign version of socialism is a gateway drug to the more virulent version. However, as a matter of association, we cannot just jump to Democrats are Social Democrats therefore they are also Marxists.

    What this has to do with gender identity is beyond me.... Ohhhh language is relative. Got it. Except that the words we are using are descriptive and meaningful and describe actual political ideologies. I get to choose my ideology, don't I? So, yes, if Sanders believes in larger government, some collectivist principles, but also believes in a robust democracy, then it is fair that he calls himself a Democratic Socialist. I mean, it is one thing to call someone with a penis, a girl, such that the label loses its descriptive value and based solely on the target person's feelings. It is another to use a label that has been created within an academic field to describe a set of traits or beliefs. You are just being silly here.
    The U.S. is currently enduring a zombie apocalypse. However, in a strange twist, the zombie's are starving.

  9. #28
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    Re: Difference between a Democrat and socialist

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    However, Sanders is running as a Democratic Socialist or Social Democrat (the difference between them is minor) and it is fair to say that the Democrat party has a strain which desperately wants that brand of government. ... So, yes, if Sanders believes in larger government, some collectivist principles, but also believes in a robust democracy, then it is fair that he calls himself a Democratic Socialist.
    Social Democrats accept capitalism while Democratic Socialists reject it. That is not a minor difference. It is huge. Sanders appears to accept capitalism. So if all the other differences between SD and DS are minor, then Sanders is clearly a Social Democrat, no matter what he calls himself.

    But I think those supporting Sanders don't understand or care about the nuances of socialist positions. They just want to reach income equality etc, no matter what vehicle takes them there, or what it is called. They embrace socialism generally, without concern for any distinctions you or I might make.
    "If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth." - Ronald Reagan

  10. #29
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    Re: Difference between a Democrat and socialist

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    But I think those supporting Sanders don't understand or care about the nuances of socialist positions. They just want to reach income equality etc, no matter what vehicle takes them there, or what it is called. They embrace socialism generally, without concern for any distinctions you or I might make.
    And??? You think GOP voters are more nuanced or sophisticated? Whatever he is, he is not a Marxist and I doubt few in the Dem party would accept totalitarianism.
    The U.S. is currently enduring a zombie apocalypse. However, in a strange twist, the zombie's are starving.

  11. #30
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    Re: Difference between a Democrat and socialist

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    And??? You think GOP voters are more nuanced or sophisticated?
    Not at all. Socialism = BAD. Capitalism = GOOD.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    Whatever he is, he is not a Marxist...
    Agreed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    ...and I doubt few in the Dem party would accept totalitarianism.
    I suspect there are more than you think, though probably less I do. I don't think it can be measured unless a prominent liberal rose to advocate for it and got enough media attention for polls to be accurate. So, I'll drop the issue. You can have the last word.
    "If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth." - Ronald Reagan

 

 
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