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Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press
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Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Nancy Pelosi have long been political adversaries, going tooth-and-nail, particularly since Democrats took the House majority and elevated Pelosi once again to speaker.
However, it appears that they’ve finally found some common ground: both are unreservedly rejecting socialism as an element of American politics and economics.
For instance, nearly a decade ago, 68 percent of young people, 18 to 29 years old, said they approved of capitalism, while 51 percent said they approved of socialism, according to a Gallup survey. But by 2018, moods changed to supporting socialism over capitalism, 51 percent to 45 percent.
Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, a self-identified democratic socialist, did much to expose Americans to–and win them over to–socialism when he first ran for president in 2016. Sanders may have come in second that year to Hillary Clinton, but he did garner 12 million votes.
He’s established himself as a front-runner this year in an increasingly crowded field, as he takes another run for the Democratic nomination.
Moreover, several new members of Congress who identify as democratic socialists were elected in the 2018 midterm elections. They are informally led by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), known in the media as “AOC.”
“The numbers of blue-collar jobs have recently grown the fastest rate in more than 31 years, so that’s what we’re talking about. They can talk all they want about socialism. All socialism is, is a method into the poor house,” Trump said. “Socialism is not so easy to beat when an economy is really doing well like ours.”
Asked during an interview with the 60 Minutes news program about Trump calling all Democrats “socialists” as a political attack to paint them as too extreme, Pelosi responded that Republicans have been trying that tactic for decades.
“You know that when Medicare was done in Congress at the time, under [President] Lyndon Johnson, Ronald Reagan said Medicare would lead us to a socialist dictatorship. This is an ongoing theme of the Republicans,” she said.
“However, I do reject socialism as an economic system,” Pelosi added. “If people have that view, that’s their view. That is not the view of the Democratic Party.”
Asked during the same interview about Ocasio-Cortez and her ideological allies in the House, Pelosi dismissed that group by saying, “That’s like five people.”