MANCHESTER, New Hampshire — A member of the Democratic Socialists of America explained the philosohpy of “democratic socialism” to Breitbart News at the victory rally for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) as the results of the New Hampshire primary began to arrive.
Evan S. of Massachusetts had come to New Hampshire to canvas for Sanders. They — and they noted that “they/them” is their preferred pronoun, or “she” if absolutely necessary — walked through the philosophy of “democratic socialism,” as Sanders himself had explained it:
You listen to Bernie explain it, and it’s always so relatable … This isn’t Soviet communism, this is policies that meet human needs, like “Medicare for All” … canceling student debt, getting rid of people’s medical debt — these are policies that are popular! Majorities support these. So, for me, democratic socialism is about building a movement of ordinary people that can demand change. So I don’t think it hurts Bernie at all.
They also argued that the “democratic socialist” label would help, not hurt, in the campaign:
I’m a socialist, I stand by this brand 100%, you can see I’ve got my Democratic Socialists of America jacket. I think that this is really just the beginning. …. I think what people really respond to is big programs that generate wins and change their lives. And I think as Bernie’s movement starts to put the pressure to really improve things for people — these high-deductible health plans, going away; this medical debt that ruining people’s lives, going away … I think it’s really important that Bernie talks about democratic socialism while he does those things so that people can come to understand the opportunities of this whole set of politics, and this whole movement-building approach, which Bernie has, uniquely, in the primary.
Bernie is so good at coming out, and saying he’s a democratic socialist, but also talking about being the “organizer-in-chief,” and “Not me. Us,” and how he’ll use the presidency to build a movement of ordinary people to change things for themselves, right — just like Eugene Debs did at the turn of the century.
Eugene V. Debs was the presidential candidate for the Socialist Party from 1900 to 1920, winning 6% of the vote in 1912.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.