“Today we are engaged in a final, all-out battle between communistic atheism and Christianity.”

Ok, I’m rooting for “communistic atheism”.

Why are Americans warming to socialism? Because capitalism has failed them
by Arwa Mahdawi, The Guardian
Tue 3 Mar 2020

It would be inaccurate to say that the US is embracing “socialism”, because the word has become amorphous: boomers associate it with Stalinism, millennials associate it with Scandinavia. In many ways, the S-word is a red herring. The country has not so much warmed to socialism as it has cooled on capitalism. This is hardly surprising when you consider how the latter has failed ordinary Americans. The poorest men in the US have the same life expectancy as men in Sudan. Maternal mortality more than doubled between 1991 and 2014. The middle class has shrunk. People are desperate for an alternative to an increasingly dismal status quo.

Capitalism is central to the US’s national identity; conservatives view the country’s move towards socialism, as personified in the rise of Sanders, as nothing short of an existential crisis. “America v socialism” was the official theme of this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), an annual gathering of US conservatives. “Our view is it’s not capitalism versus socialism, because socialism isn’t just about economics,” a CPAC organiser told attendees earlier this week. “Socialism … gets to the very core of violating the dignity of the individual human being that has God-given rights. And that’s got us pretty fired up.”

Centrist Democrats are equally fired up. They see Sanders’ success as an existential threat to the party and are fighting harder to defeat him than they are to defeat Donald Trump. The polls may suggest the US is ready for a president who calls himself a democratic socialist, but the establishment clearly thinks otherwise. Parallels have been drawn with George McGovern, a senator who advocated for universal health care, railed against corporations and had enthusiastic support from the young. McGovern beat the odds and won the Democratic nomination in 1972; he lost the general election to Richard Nixon in a landslide.

I am not sure there is much to be gained by these comparisons. For one, income inequality in the US was far lower in the 70s
than it is now. Also, Sanders does not have Brexit complicating matters. But if we are going to invoke cautionary historical precedents, why not look at 2016, when Hillary Clinton, the most centrist of centrists, could not beat Trump? Honestly, I don’t know if the US is ready for a socialist president, but it may be more ready than it has been before.