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2018 Elections: Is this the time for socialists in the US?

2018 Elections: Is this the time for socialists in the US?


The rise of the left wing in these interim elections has started since the presidential elections of 2016 with the candidacy of Bernie Sanders.

Saturday, September 15, 2018 1:17 PM

Alexandria Ocasio Cortez is the new sensation of the Democratic Party. This 28-year-old girl defeated Congress's candidate in New York District 14 in the June premiere. establishment Joseph Crowley, who had won 10 consecutive periods since 1999. What attracted voters to Ocasio? Apparently her progressive ideals and that she herself has identified as democratic socialist principles.

"There is an internal struggle within the forces of the Democratic Party and the victory of Alexandria Ocasio as that of other representatives has gained some strength, a certain change in that trend," explained the lawyer and international analyst, with residence in Washington, Mariano de Alba.

But for this analyst this is not new, brews since the 2016 elections with the candidacy of Bernie Sanders.

This label of Socialist Democrat with which she has been called has caused controversies in a country like the United States, where the word 'socialism & # 39; historically seen as an insult. In other times – not very far away no candidate running a public office would have identified himself as a socialist. But Ocasio is not the only one, with her a group of candidates for public office in the coming midterm elections (midterms) to be held in November, accepts the label publicly.

The Alba explains that what politicians such as Sanders and Ocasio propose is not socialism in the classical sense, of state intervention in all sectors of the economy and market control policy. The expert emphasized that "more is being launched into the socialism of Michelle Bachelet." With great emphasis on government policy, spending on education, healthcare and government is very strong, perhaps exaggerated, for the benefit of the population's problems.

The bad word

Talking about ideals from the left has a negative connotation in American culture and is even interpreted as non-patriotic by citizens. However, the professor and internationalist at the University of Chile, Gilberto Aranda, clarifies that the left has always existed within American societybut they are isolated trends.

Within the same Democratic party there is a wing from the left called the Socialist Democrats of America, but which is marginalized, however, according to surveys and experts that seem to be changing. The newspaper The New York Times confirms that since 2016 the membership of the socialist democrats has risen from 5,000 to 35,000 across the country.

According to a Gallup poll of August 2018 people who identify themselves as democrats see socialism better than capitalism. Their perception of leftist ideals has not improved over time, but their discontent with capitalism has increased. Currently, 57 percent of Americans consider socialism with good eyes, while 47 percent do not have a good perception of capitalism. Especially in people between 18 and 29 years old.

The Alba commented: "in the United States there are different populations that are dissatisfied regardless of their ideology, they feel that they have no chances, they believe the direction of the country is not right and that explains the victory of Donald Trump, while at the same time explaining that these new tendencies arise in the Democratic Party. "

This is possible for the Gallup pollster the fall of the Democratic's positive views on capitalism is related to the presidency of Donald Trump. They declare that the president is an enthusiastic capitalist and that the efforts of his government to reduce the regulations for business and industry, as well as the tax reduction laws that are beneficial for companies and businesses, have led democrats to see capitalism with less positive eyes.

"I do not want to say it's Trump's business, this phenomenon was already there before he became president, what Trump has to do is that his future power clearly makes people think differently in response to what they see something radically different. , something that is totally opposed to what they do, something that does not necessarily have to be the political answer in the United States, "said the lawyer.

Turn left

The big question for the Democratic Party in the midterm elections, for which it is essential to retake the Senate and Congress, is that if they actually save it, thanks in part to these candidates, would this mean the party before the presidential election? from 2020 may take a left turn and leave the center.

For De Alba, this movement could make significant progress, apparently in recent months, but it will not be so clear that this will lead to the Democratic presidential candidate of the elections in 2020 having a socialist character.

The international analyst added that "if these forces develop to a great extent in these interim elections, let's look at steroids what we saw in the 2016 campaign"When it comes to this, the lawyer explains that we could see that a Democratic party left the center and turned more to the left in some of their proposals.

Aranda thinks that if there will be an important representation of progressive and socialist candidatesthey leave their irrelevance behind, but the next elections will be more dependent the center forces of both parties. "It is the systemic center that can change the composition of the congress in these part-time elections, thus changing the configuration of the North American political map."