I was listening to the State of the Union yesterday. I didn’t agree with a lot of what Trump said, but I thought he was decent in his delivery of his speech. One thing struck me that I have a feeling is going to cause a lot of future arguments with conservatives: Trump’s implicit smear that somehow all Democrats are socialists.
I’m a liberal Democrat. I can tell you that there is a big difference between liberal Democrats and socialists. Liberals want to reform the capitalist system. Socialists want to replace capitalism. Liberal Democrat Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal saved capitalism during the 1930s. Most liberals ascribe to the philosophy of the New Deal: that the federal government has a responsibility to help its most vulnerable citizens from the worst effects of the free market system.
I have quite a few socialist friends. Just as I have conservative Republican friends. I think one of the great strengths of this nation is the debate of ideas of the Left and Right, between liberals and conservatives, between socialists and libertarians. So long as the Left and Right are sane, I think the debate in ideas are beneficial to our democracy.
Many in the Right criticize Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocassio-Cortez for being Democratic Socialists. But I actually admire them. I’m not as far to the Left as they are. But they are trying to enact change through the electoral process and not through violent revolution. They are going through the democratic process to try to persuade the public of the rightness of their ideas.
A video explaining Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. The New Deal’s first objective was to alleviate the suffering of the nation’s huge number of unemployed workers. Such agencies as the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) were established to dispense emergency and short-term governmental aid and to provide temporary jobs, employment on construction projects, and youth work in the national forests. Before 1935 the New Deal focused on revitalizing the country’s stricken business and agricultural communities. To revive industrial activity, the National Recovery Administration (NRA) was granted authority to help shape industrial codes governing trade practices, wages, hours, child labour, and collective bargaining. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) granted government insurance for bank deposits in member banks of the Federal Reserve System, and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was formed to protect the investing public from fraudulent stock-market practices. The farm program was centered in the Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA), which attempted to raise prices by controlling the production of staple crops through cash subsidies to farmers. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) supplied cheap electricity, prevent floods, improve navigation, and produce nitrates. The Wagner Act of 1935 strengthened the organizing power of labour unions, establishing the National Labor Relations Board. Legislation was passed to refinance shaky mortgages and guarantee bank loans for both modernization and mortgage payments. Social Security measures provided old-age and widows’ benefits, unemployment compensation, and disability insurance.