In a recent MSNBC interview Chris Matthews asked Democratic Party Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton “What’s the difference between a socialist and a Democrat?” According to a Fox News article reporting on the MSNBC exchange Clinton “struggled to answer that question.”
Almost anyone who isn’t a Democrat or a socialist can answer that question without so much as a mumble or a stumble. A socialist admits to being a socialist; a Democrat lies about it. Democrats, in fact, have historically run the euphemism treadmill by calling themselves progressive, liberal, left-wing, reformers, enlightened, forward-looking, avant-garde, tolerant, inclusive, broad-minded, egalitarian, mainstream and finally full circle back to progressive again but very seldom “socialist” for the simple reason that the socialist brand just never could be sold to the American public under its real name “Socialist.”
Libertarians might be inclined to call both Democrats and socialists Demosocialcrats.
When Matthews repeated, “What’s the difference between a socialist and a Democrat?” Clinton sidestepped both the question and the treadmill with “I can tell you what I am.” She then proceeded to tell her audience every way in which she’s a socialist without ever using the dreaded “S” word.
In commenting on Clinton’s obvious awkward attempts not to answer the question the un-bylined Fox News article made a risible remark. When it reported that Mathews had previously asked Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz the same question and had gotten much the same response the unknown Fox article-writer speculated “Clinton and Schultz’ reluctance to answer the question could reflect a reluctance to rile the millions of Democrats supporting Sanders’ socialist-tinged campaign.
The libertarian response to that would be a derisive “Huh? Bernie Sanders is an openly avowed socialist. Calling his campaign “socialist tinged” would be like calling Hitler’s Third Reich “Nazi-tinged” or Mussolini’s Italy “Fascist-tinged” or the Soviet Union “Communist-tinged.”
After explaining how she’s a “Progressive Democrat” and using “we” repeatedly to explain how Progressive Democrats would get things done Matthews finally interrupted with “I think the difference is…” and then perhaps remembering that he is hosting the “not-socialist” progressive Democratic MSNBC cable show he began mumbling and stumbling himself.
To be clear libertarians would have no problem using “we” repeatedly to explain how they would get things done. The difference would be that libertarians never lose sight of the actual, physical, natural fact that all people are individuals and that “we” should refer only to voluntary, peaceful, mutually cooperative interactions and never to coercion, bullying or fraudulent statist methods that the Demosocialcratic form of “we” invariably takes.
Caveat: Before the political left starts whining about the political right being fascists let’s all agree that both Democrats and Republicans are statists. Democrats support Statist Socialism while Republicans support Statist Corporatism, which word itself is just a euphemism for a modern form of fascistic capitalism. Each is just as disingenuous and destructive as the other.
“As an economic system, fascism is socialism with a capitalist veneer.” – Sheldon Richman, Library of Economics and Liberty
Challenge: Before Republicans get all up in their superiority let’s see if they can be as honest about their fascism as Bernie Sanders is about his socialism.