But Democrats have been successful in perpetuating the zero-sum myth as the basis for most debate. When capitalism fails — because of criminality, abuse, or even because it must (such as creative destruction) — there is an indictment of the entire of system. Then liberals tell us this ‘failure’ necessitates less freedom or perhaps some anti-market reconfiguration (green economy and so on) of the real thing.
Liberals like to claim that if a person supports any government program it means that person enjoys the benefits of socialism. You’re a fan of Social Security? You love socialism! You like public education? Yep, you guessed it. You’re a fan of alternative energy — or whatever euphemism we’re using now for state-subsidized energy schemes — you need socialism to get it done. But of course, all of that is propped up by a productive markets. If you’re a fan of the subsidized electric car, thank the capitalist for allowing you to be a hobbyist.
Now, Donald Trump might be a clown, but his brand of showman populism doesn’t rest on any coherent ideology. Certainly in most ways it doesn’t represent the party. Bernie Sanders, though, who in a smaller field of Democrats can claim to be far more successful in his party, brings with him an ideology that has a long track record. Yet, what major player on the Left has voiced concern that an extremist is running strongly in a dominant American political party — or, for that matter, that most Democrats are starting to sound just like him?