Progressive voters won’t abandon you because you said this isn’t a socialist nation or Marxism doesn’t have any place in America. Where are they going to go? They are certainly not going to do a complete 180 and vote for the candidate who doesn’t think Americans should have access to health care, believes climate change is a hoax, and doesn’t see systemic racism in everything from education to the criminal justice system.

Joe Biden’s successful candidacy makes this point. He repeatedly told reporters, “I beat the socialist” when asked his views on socialism or the supposed leftward lurch of the party. Why shouldn’t every candidate be doing that?

We are not a socialist nation. We are a compassionate nation. The two should not be confused, and it pains me to see candidates dance around slogans that are out of step with their own policy platforms for fear of progressive retribution.