Are Democrats Socialist?

If I understand their philosphy right, they(democrats) think they are not smart enough to know what to do with their money. So they want the government which I guess they think is smarter than they are to tax them more and then let the gov’t dispurse the money where the(govt) sees fit. In otherwords, they want more gov’t in their lives and less freedom.

Republicans on the otherhand believe in interfering less in peoples lives therefor the taxes are less and people have more freedom in their lives.

Am I off on my assesment of the two parties?

A little off on the republican side, but close.

Go libertarian. The motto is “Leave me alone!”

In a word, yes. This has pretty much been covered before, here and here. Also here.

Damnit Gadarene. You beat me to it. Now how much you wanna bet someone (it’s GD so I’m refraining from using insulting profanities) comes back and posts something to the effect “yes they are” without reading the threads.

Whoops, guess this has been done(and done and done) before. Looks like I have alot of reading to do. “Nevermind” I will think up some other topic that we can argue pointlessly over. :smiley:

Yes they are!
No. No, wait, they’re not.

In his 1946 essay “Politics and the English Language” George Orwell said “The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies ‘something not desirable.’” He also said that “socialism” was one of several words with “several different meanings which cannot be reconciled with one another”. In the post-Newt era, I think he would have to agree that “socialism” has now been rendered as meaningless as “fascism”.

Good observation, MEBuckner. And that’s a great essay.

Well, IMHO, they (Democrats) aren’t smart enough to know what to do with my money. On the other hand, they (Republicans) aren’t smart enough to know what to do with my money, either. In fact, it seems that they (politicians) all aren’t smart enough to know what to do with my money. Hm. Maybe I can figure out what to do with it. Too bad I’ll never get the chance.


Good Point!

I have never voted for a Democrat for a high national office, but “socialist”? Hardly. Even the most left-leaning Democrat in the Senate doesn’t advocate nationalizing ANY industry, which means NONE of the Senate Democrats would be considered socialists in Europe!

Indeed, a Walter Mondale may SEEM like a far lefty here, but in England, he might well be regarded as a “wet” Tory.

Yepper, gotta watch out for them droolin’, ravin’ socialistic radicals…

In actuality, I’m not bone-commited to either party, but the comfy sound-byte labels repel me.

“The Party Of Lincoln” has morphed into a disgrace; it lacks the common sense, humanity and obligation of yore. “Conservative” used to mean something other than fear, hate and ‘got mine, screw you’. The “Reagan Miracle” amounts to nothing less than religious fear allied with big bucks. Seriously big bucks. Ain’t no welfare like corporate welfare. (See: George Bush Jr.)

The Demos lost track too, huckstering votes in exchange for entrenched, subsidized dependence; “money solves all” and the system is the solution; everybody’s a victim, and “they” owe all for every ramification of individual decisions.

But somewhere there’s a rational middle ground. Overall, I’m a Progressive. I choose to believe that big groups of people can live productively and humanely, without extortion (direct) by rich or (indirect) by poor. Guilt is as corrosive as greed.

But overall, I still choose to be a Progressive. Greed, laziness, whatever…it’s still the stance that allows the best societal solution. Predators are as repellent as free-loaders. Neither are societally productive, but Progressives, in the main, do the best job of harnessing both.

A hopeful cynic?

Wild Bill,

There is no need to apologise for revisiting a topic.
The Great Debates Forum was created so that the General Questions Forum wouldn’t be cluttered up with a bunch of long contentious threads about questions that don’t have satisfactory answers. Endless debate is expected. There is no need to abandon a perfectly good thread just because it has been covered before. All of the good topics have. It is helpful of the posters who link to previous threads on the topic because you can find out some of the arguments that have been made in the past and use this information to shape your own postition. Sometimes the former thread is so recent that you are unlikely to get many responses. But if people do post then you can argue; remember, it only takes 2.
It is nice to have a point, however.

Taxes in a democracy are not about the government deciding how you should spend your money. Tax laws are designed to apportion each person’s share of the cost of government. No one is saying that people are too stupid to know where to spend their cash. At least, no one who wishes to be elected. Taxes are needed because of the disparity of wealth. In a democracy, theoretically, every citizen has an equal say in the government. Perhaps you have noticed that wealthy people tend to feel that they shoulder an unfair amount of the tax burden?
Since all have equal say in how things are run ( still in theory ), the little guy can stand up to Big Money and demand that those who profit more from a system should pay more to maintain it.

For this Democrat, I wish that the party would concentrate on creating more democracy.
I feel Big Money runs this great land of ours for its own benefit.

Much too facile.

You believe in a publicly-funded police department? Then you’re a “socialist.” You believe in publicly-funded roads? That’s “socialism.” Pah. Name-calling. What kind of crap is it to say that one party or the other supports “the government trying to tell me how to spend my money”? Are you upset because some of your tax money goes for things like roads, police, public libraries, schools? You think those are all socialist?

There’s way too much tendency today to revert to name-calling that pushes everyone to an extreme. And sound-bites, meaningless pap.

Does it not make sense that there are some areas where the govenrment better knows how to spend “your money” than you do? I would not begin to think that I would know how to build roads, or set up a navy, or run a school. I am therefore willing to allow the government to spend “my money” (taken from me through taxes) on those things.

Does that make me a socialist? or a Democrat?

The other extreme is equally silly. No one is suggesting that government tell me how to spend my leisure money, or where to go on vacation, or which movie to see, or where to invest.

Some decisions are best made by the individual. Some decisions are best made by the group (read: government.)

Yes, I want some regulation. When I spend money to buy a prescription drug, I want to know that it’s been well-tested and tried, and is not a hoax or fraud or dangerous. So I consent to government putting requirements on food and drugs, for my own safety. I would not know how to monitor that on my own, so I suppose that’s the government restricting me from spending my money on some items (like, nuclear bombs are not on sale at K-Mart.)

If you must condense the difference between Republicans and Democrats to a sound bite, it is probably best to say that Republicans would have more decisions made by state governments and fewer made by the federal government; and would have fewer areas monitored or regulated (especially when it comes to big business), than would the Democrats.

But, frankly, the two leading candidates we have now are so centrist as to almost indistinguishable from the broader spectrum of communist (total rule by state) to anarchist (no government at all).

Yes. It’s certainly much more complex then how you describe. Tax policy is just one aspect. I could turn this around and, based on the abortion rights policy, say that Democrats offer more freedom and Republicans are more controlling.

But Phobos, that would mean that both parties are hypocritical and inconsistent! :eek:

Republicans believe in reducing taxes for the rich without decreasing governmental infrastructure - which automatically means the burden has to be taken up by the middle and lower class (who have to hope for the best of a trickle-down).

Any reduction in social program spending seems to be offset by increased poking around in people’s private lives - on the issues of drug use, abortion, homosexual rights, church/state separation for example.

[sub]what? this is GD right? I thought unreferenced claims were the order of the day?[/sub]


No, because whereas Republicans say, “we’re for less government control, except…”, the Democrats never said, “we’re for more government control”. Instead, the Democrats/liberals have said, “the system we’ve inherited has a lot of injustices built into it, such as racism and economic disparity (requiring some government regulations and programs) and too much religious-based interference in people’s private lives (requiring some old-fashioned rules to be overturned”.

There’s still plenty of room to quibble over details and unintended consequences, tho.

So, what you are saying is that democrats advocate a more centralized form of government and thus lean more towards the socialist side than republicans.

If that is correct, it could explain how Wildest Bill got the flawed impression that socialism and the democrat philosophy are similar ideologies.

As a poster who does favor centalization of government, it has been my experience that liberals do not favor centralization any more than conservatives do. Among Americans anyways.
Anecdotal, but there it is.