Apparently the reason we have so many white male Democrats running for the nomination is socialism. Or their fear of it. It's the only reason I can imagine for their unique (?!) propensity to lecture the entire Democratic party about what the mythical middle America Trump voters want if they are to jump the broom and vote for a Democrat in 2020.
Witness former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, who came to Rachel Maddow's show to scold all of us who want to combat climate change, or make health care a right the likes of Donald effing Trump can't screw around with the way he has the ACA.
But Hickenlooper insists that "socialism is not the answer." I guess the fact that Social Security and Medicare are two of the most successful programs in the history of the country doesn't matter because for Hickenlooper, there's a "crisis of division" which has to be fixed. And the only way to fix it in the Gospel According To Hickenlooper is to run toward Trumpers.
Rachel cut to the chase. "But why identify socialism as the alternative? I feel like the Republicans are trying to define the Democrats as a socialist party or are you just saying Bernie Sanders would be a bad nominee?"
Here is his answer in its entirety, mansplaining and all:
Aw. A dreamer and a doer. Where has Hickenlooper been? Does he really think those hardcore Trumpers in Ohio and Michigan and North Carolina will run into his dreamer-doer-pragmatist-but-not-progressive (God, no, he is not that) arms? GET A CLUE.
Rachel tried to give him a little bit of a reality check, reminding him that even with all his dreamer pragmatism and kumbaya reaches across the aisle, there's a problem.
"If you were the Democratic nominee...Donald Trump will run against you and the entire Republican Party will run against you as a socialist," she warned, "You've just used that to disparage some of your candidates running on the Democratic side. but that will be the moniker they put on everybody no matter what you do."
"Why play into that by saying socialism is the problem?"
He danced right past that with the Howard Schultz Shuffle, though. That's the soft shoe where he tells everyone he's "laying out real solutions," pragmatic ones that "don't include large expansions in government" because EVERYONE KNOWS GOVERNMENT IS BAD, RIGHT??? RIGHT? (These kinds of answers make me stabby. Real stabby)
"I think that we -- if we're not careful, if we don't distance ourselves from socialism, I think we're going to allow, we're going to turn the election over, a victory over to the worst president in the history of this country," he replied.
Rachel pounced. "You think that the key to beating Donald Trump is making sure you don't seem socialist?" she asked, incredulous at the very thought.
"I think it's part of defeating Donald Trump in swing states is to make sure we are seen as real pragmatic solutions," he insisted. "What we're suggesting and promoting are active solutions that bring people together and get big challenging solutions to our problems."
So, for starters, someone should tell Hickenlooper that the pathway to victory doesn't roll through Republican-lite. People will vote for Republicans who are real ones if that's their choice. He should also understand that socialism is that thing which is keeping seniors from falling into abject poverty or dying in the streets. Many of us are hanging on by the skin of our teeth until we're eligible for Medicare. All of us are vulnerable to the kinds of disasters we're seeing as a consequence of global heating.
But mostly, if you're a Democrat, stop behaving like a Republican. That's not how we're going to win in 2020.