The Thinker: Rich Galen


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Democrats and Socialism

Rich Galen

Monday March 11, 2019

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  • It is an axiom of Presidential politics that you have to run toward the edge - left if you are a Democrat and right if you are a Republican - to win the nomination and then race back to the middle to win the general election.

  • I'm not certain this was ever true, because the "middle" shifts back and forth depending upon a bunch of factors: Whether there is an incumbent in the White House running for re-election or if the chair behind the Resolute desk is empty; how the economy is doing; whether the mood of the country is swinging Liberal ('60s and '70s) or Conservative (80s), and so on.

  • The candidates of the non-incumbent party, for obvious reasons, tend to try and draw the greatest possible distinction between themselves and the sitting President.

  • In the 2020 cycle, though, the Democratic candidates are not only trying to draw the greatest possible distinction between themselves and Donald Trump, but between themselves and each other.

  • And, for most of the Democratic candidates the way they are trying to differentiate themselves is to run farther and faster to the left. Socialism is no longer a four-letter word in Democratic politics.

  • As of this writing there are 14 announced candidates or greater or lesser stature, and another ten (or so) ranging from former VP Joe Biden on down who are still considering a run as a Democrat. Howard Schultz still appears to be gearing up for a run as an independent, to further confound the betting line.

  • Keep in mind it is only March of the odd-numbered year and the first caucuses and primaries (Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina) are about 11 months away. Even at that, the national political press corps is reporting hourly how time may be running out for Biden to join the race.

  • We are in an era of anti-capitalist rhetoric. Every time you turn on a cable chat show, it seems, some candidate is holding forth about how much CEOs of major corporations make as compared to the worker who monitors the machines on the overnight shift.

  • It sounds dramatic, but it has always seemed to me that it was like complaining that people who play IN a Major League Baseball game make oh-so-much more than the people who work AT a Major League Baseball Game.

  • Let's say an usher at Nationals Park (I am guessing at this) makes $15 per hour. A typical game goes about three hours and let's also say you have to report two hours before game time and stay an hour after for a six-hour ($90) day.

  • For that same game (assuming the Philadelphia Phillies are in town), Bryce Harper would be paid $156,700 - about 1,700 times more than an usher. And the ushers don't get to sit in the dugout every half inning.

  • Put another way, an usher would have to work 21.5 seasons worth of home games to make what Harper makes in one game.

  • Does anyone really believe an usher - as necessary as they may be for fan enjoyment - should make as much as a Major League star player?

  • The metaphor might not be perfect, but you see where I'm going with this.

  • Many, if not most, of the Democratic candidates for President will keep running to their left in order to capture the base vote until their arguments completely blow right by Bernie Sander's version of Socialism and begin rubbing economic elbows with Marxist Communism.

  • Democrats worried about re-electing Trump? Quit worrying about Howard Schultz and start worrying about where your candidates say they want to lead the country.


  • As you may have read, I attended Marietta College, Marietta, Ohio 45750. The mighty Pioneer men's basketball team made it all the way to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Division III basketball tournament before losing to Wheaton (Illinois) College 91-87 Saturday night.

  • A kid named Aston Francis scored 35 points in the first half. I was going to Tweet: Marietta's going to win. No way a D-3 player can repeat that first half performance.

  • I was correct. Martin scored only 27 points in the second half for a total of 62 points for the game.

  • Another reason I'm not a sports writer.

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to CNN's current listing of who's in and who's out of the Democratic Presidential race, to my go-to website on which primaries are when, and to the gamer via the Parkersburg (WVa) News on Saturday night's Marietta basketball game.

    The Mullfoto is another in our series of interesting license plates.

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