The following is taken from a recent letter to the editor in my local, hometown newspaper:
Norman Mattoon Thomas was a leading American socialist, pacifist, and six-time presidential candidate for the Socialist Party of America. As a candidate he said this in a speech in 1944: “The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But, under the name of “liberalism,” they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program, until one day America will be a socialist nation, without knowing how it happened. I no longer need to run as a presidential candidate for the Socialist party. The Democrat party has adopted our platform.”
Mr. Thomas made this prediction in 1944. Nineteen forty-four! Unbelievable. This shows us how long it takes for social change to occur. It’s a slow, insidious process that ultimately takes on a life of its own. But he was right: Being a democrat today is not the same as having been a democrat forty years ago. I know many people who don’t understand this. This past weekend I was out with some friends, one of whom votes democrat. He is not a modern liberal at all: This man own guns; he’s a traditionalist; and he would not favor individual rights at the expense of the societal good. Yet he has no idea that this is what his supposed party has morphed into. He’s under the impression that being democrat is still a good thing.
I had an old neighbor once who was just as in the dark. She was (is) a lifelong democrat and would never consider voting otherwise. Like my friend, she’s a kool-aid drinker. Honest, independent-minded Americans can’t possibly defend being a democrat in the 21st century.
Obama has spent the better part of two years claiming he’s a centrist. A reasonable guy. He even eschews the word socialist, despite the fact that he embodies everything it stands for. (If it walks like a duck…) It stands to reason, Mr. President, that if you can’t call something by its name and feel good about it, then you’re admitting there’s something wrong with the term itself. One of these days you’ll have to fess up that you’re a socialist. I know it’s hard to come to terms with the fact that you stand virtually alone (with a few other lost souls) in this regard – but the truth is that you can’t call your party the Democratic party anymore. As Norman Mattoon pointed out so astutely, the Democrat party has adopted the Socialist platform.