A fierce debate over socialism has erupted among Democrats, with several centrist presidential candidates warning that progressive proposals on health care and the environment that have dominated the primary are a surefire way to get President Trump reelected.
Three low-polling contenders — former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Sen. Michael Bennet (Colo.) and former Rep. John Delaney (Md.) — are unloading on socialism or taking shots at “Medicare for All” and the Green New Deal, which have gone mainstream in the Democratic Party since being embraced by Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren(Mass.), as well as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.).
Hickenlooper and Delaney made waves with their warnings about socialism and Medicare for All at the California Democratic Party convention over the weekend in San Francisco, where they were booed mercilessly by the liberal crowd.
Now they’ve become targets for the party’s energized left wing, including Ocasio-Cortez, who encouraged Delaney to “sashay away” from the race after he said that Medicare for All would result in hospital bankruptcies and cost 150 million Americans access to health insurance.
Biden was noticeably absent from San Francisco over the weekend, where progressives, such as Sanders and Warren, took shots at him as the “safe” choice whose centrist leanings are ill-suited for the times.
“Some Democrats in Washington believe the only changes we can get are tweaks and nudges. If they dream at all, they dream small,” Warren told the crowd of delegates. “The time for small ideas is over.”
Liberals have found Hickenlooper’s speech from that event particularly infuriating, with many viewing his remarks on socialism as an ad hominem attack that is irrelevant to the debate going on among the left.
Hickenlooper was booed for saying that “if we want to beat Donald Trump and achieve big progressive goals, socialism is not the answer.”
[A] different Gallup survey from 2018 found that a majority of Democrats have a positive view of socialism for the first time ever. That phenomenon is largely driven by young liberals, who are more likely to have a favorable view of socialism.