In the state of the union address, president Trump rejected calls for the US to adopt socialism (never mind all the socialism that had been proposed and celebrated during the preceding hour!). The term “socialism” is one he had, up to that point, studiously avoided using since commending his campaign in the summer of 2015. Employing it in the SOTU was a reactionary move in the literal sense of the word. In the ascent of Ocasio-Cortez, self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist who is less popular than is often assumed, Trump correctly identified a rhetorical opportunity. The DSA may be the driving force on the left but it is nearly as unpopular with the center as it is with Republicans.
From a recent Reuters-Ipsos poll, the percentages of respondents, by sex and party affiliation, who identify or strongly identify with the Democratic Socialists of America. “Don’t know/refused” responses, constituting one-third of the total respondent pool, are excluded:
Perhaps the most surprising result from the survey is the greater affinity for the DSA among men than among women. That Republican women are the least supportive of all isn’t particularly surprising. They tend to be married and have children and correctly perceive that socialism means taking their husbands’ earnings to give to other children instead of their own. Why male Democrats identify more strongly with the DSA than female Democrats do is a head-scratcher, though.
The DSA goes marching through the institutions, particularly institutions of higher education:
As the generations that fought national socialism and then international socialism die off, socialism will take center stage in America. Things are going to get ugly.