The Long Arm of Socialism
DSA joins the political firmament
It can’t be said these are heady days for American socialism anymore. Inflation and stubbornly high gas prices have put all left politicians on the defensive. The problems of mainstream Democrats are the problems of democratic socialists too. A red wave can drown all kinds of boats.
Before 2016, the Democratic Socialists of America, the most active and influential arm for modern socialist thought in the United States, was mostly irrelevant. Several major politicians, including David Dinkins, had belonged to the organization at one time or another, but this was more trivia than anything else. The DSA members who happened to get elected were not governing like socialists. DSA could not exert any kind of pressure on them and the socialist strategy, at best, was an afterthought. When I started covering politics in the early 2010s, there was no public interest in who DSA would endorse in a particular race. Few activists, operatives, journalists, or voters considered a democratic socialist group that had devolved into a debate society for a handful of baby boomers and theory-obsessed college students. Why would they?