In The News

Elizabeth Warren: I’m Not A Socialist

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by Joe Simonson

  • Elizabeth Warren is preparing to differentiate herself from other potential candidates in the 2020 Democratic primary.
  • Warren says she’s a believer in “markets” rather than socialism.
  • Supporters fear Bernie Sanders will always appear more authentic.

Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren distanced herself from the Sanders wing of the Democratic Party by saying she was not a socialist in an interview with BuzzFeed News published Thursday.

The answer arose after Warren was asked to explain the difference between her and Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, a lingering question as Democrats are already discussing potential challengers to President Donald Trump in 2020.

Throughout the Obama years, as BuzzFeed notes, Warren was seen as the de facto leader of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. With Sanders’s primary challenge to Hillary Clinton in 2016 as an open socialist, that position is in the air.

Yet Warren seems to have her line when asked to differentiate herself from Sanders.

“He’s a socialist,” Warren said, “and I believe in markets.”

Such a break with Sanders could prove significant as the Democratic Party continues its march leftward.

Whether a belief in markets is enough to convince her party’s base that she’s authentic enough has yet to be seen — as has whether conceding that markets are preferable over central planning is enough to not scare away independents.

Warren has also told other interviewers that she, unlike Sanders and others, is not interested in entirely remaking the American economy.

In a July interview with CNBC, Warren gave more evidence of how she’ll continue separating herself from Sanders in the years ahead.

“I am a capitalist,” she told an interviewer. “Come on. I believe in markets.”

An an aide to Warren supported her position to BuzzFeed, saying, “She believes in markets. She loves markets.”

Of course, a mere belief in markets does not necessarily mean Warren would not be in favor of implementing tremendous changes to the safety net or regulations. Many on the left point to Scandinavian countries like Norway and Sweden as models for a social democratic United States.

In those countries, markets still exist besides a robust welfare system.

Despite her efforts to distance herself from Sanders and the “socialist” label, supporters of Warren see an overlap of her base with the Vermont senator’s.

“There’s gonna be a splintering of support for candidates,” Draft Warren co-founder Charles Lenchner told BuzzFeed. “The question I’m asking is how do you cultivate maximum unity between supporters of Bernie and Warren so that they will enter the race planning and hoping to be on the same side in the final run.”

Still, her supporters worry that Sanders will always be able to trump Warren when trying to seem authentic.

While in general identifying as a socialist might come as a liability, distancing oneself from the label could prove an asset in a competitive Democratic primary.

“There’s a looming danger of Bernie supporters saying she’s just as bad as the corporate Democrats,” Lenchner said. “She’s our best hope if Bernie can’t do it.”

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2 Comments

  1. I asked an Australian recently if he knew what socialism is – and he admitted he didn’t know. Whatever Australia calls itself, it IS a Socialist “Common Wealth”. Like Canada.

    I’m convinced most people simply do NOT know what socialism is. That is born out by the recent (since the fall if the USSR) “decline” of Communism almost to a four letter word. As usually communist socialists LIE thru their teeth! Communism and socialism are one and the same except for ONE tiny detail; HOW each are implemented! Socialism is accepted by choice of the voters – particularly in Democracies! In other words the only real difference is the level of VIOLENCE!!!

    In the end both wind up being the same thing – an Oligarch where a few “Natural Superiors” dictate the very life of every individual, much like the Medieval Feudal Estate!

    There are really only two viable types of government these days; Socialism and Constitutional REPUBLICA! You are either a Socialist that believes in Government – the bigger the better – or Americanism that believes in Rugged Individualism (SMALL necessary government)!

    Elizabeth Warren is CERTAINLY one thing – a LIAR. She is of the SAME ilk as Bernie Sanders – the same self- appointed “Natural Superior” who believes she alone knows best how to take care of all of us thru god all mighty GOVERNMENT!!

    The key thought we all need to grasp about the REAL difference between Americanism and Communism is the size and roll of Government – NOT Markets (rolling on floor laughing my ass off!!!!!!!)!

  2. She not be a Cherokee either….Another lost soul in search of identity…I bet it’s darn uncomfortable sitting on fences to see what direction the wind is blowing

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