A few weeks ago MSNBC’s Chris Matthews accidentally embarrassed Hillary Clinton when he asked her to explain the difference between a Socialist and a Democrat. She couldn’t. Instead, she simply responded by saying she wasn’t a socialist. On Sunday’s episode of Meet the Press on NBC, Clinton once again ran afoul of the dreaded socialist question when host Chuck Todd told her that a plurality of Iowa Democrats consider themselves “socialists”. Clinton struggled with diplomatically, assuring those socialist voters while not alienating the non-socialists she’ll need to win a general election.
Chuck Todd: This was in the Des Moines Register poll this week: 43 percent of likely Democratic caucus goers identify as socialist. Only 38 percent of likely Democratic caucus goers identified themselves as a capitalist. You, in the last debate, said you were a capitalist. Bernie Sanders calls himself a Democratic socialist. If you don`t win Iowa, do you think that`s the reason?
Hillary Clinton: Oh, I don’t know how people take all this information, but I support a free market economy. I support the competitiveness that has created the greatest economic engine in the history of the world. What I’m worried about is that it’s not continuing to do what it used to do, which is to give the vast majority of Americans the chance to get ahead and stay ahead.
That`s why I’ve got a very vigorous jobs agenda; that’s why I put raising incomes at the center of my economic policy and I think what I know will work is to get back the good old-fashioned job opportunities that will help people get ahead through manufacturing, through infrastructure, through clean energy, through the kinds of plans that I’ve been putting out.
And, look, when we have a Democrat in the White House — a Democrat — we do that better economically. We saw that when my husband was president, we`ve watched President Obama dig us out of the huge ditch that Republican policies put us into, so I’m very confident that I know what will work if we have the right commitment as a nation and that`s what I want to do as president.”
The conversation is an interesting one, and Clinton does her best to praise capitalism while pushing a liberal version (that looks just like socialism). However, I think the most interesting part of this discussion is the fact that 43% of Iowa Democrats identify as socialists! If this kind of shift towards socialism is happening in a state like Iowa, I shudder to think what is happening in the Democrat Party in states like California, New York and Massachusetts. The Democrat Party our fathers knew is disappearing, and in its place is rising a new Socialist Party.
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