Some Americans are quick to dismiss the thought of a socialist president. A Gallup poll in June 2015 revealed that 47% of respondents would vote for a socialist president while 50% would not. Yet I suspect that many in that group who decline to consider this possibility of a socialist president do not even understand what it means to be a socialist.
Relatively few understand that the core purpose of socialism is the orderly redistribution of wealth. Our current capitalist system has created a situation where a few people control the vast majority of wealth in this nation through large corporations. One tenth of one percent own more than the total financial resources of the entire bottom half of the population. The Democratic Socialists of America group “fights for reforms… that will weaken the power of corporations and increase the power of working people”.
A century ago 6% of American voters were active socialists. Today only about 6,000 people are registered dues-paying members of the Democratic Socialists of American party. Yet in 2015 more than a million have registered their support and financial contributions to the Democratic Socialist candidate running for the Democratic Party nomination for the office of the President of the United States. Apparently this is more than any other candidate has previously achieved in a similar situation.
Some of the most respected minds in modern society actively promoted socialism: Albert Einstein, Hellen Keller, Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde, George Orwell, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr., and Francis Bellamy (Author Of The Pledge Of Allegiance). They criticized capitalism and called for the redistribution of wealth. Many suffered consequences for their beliefs.
MLK said “There must be better distribution of wealth and maybe America must move toward a democratic socialism” because “One-tenth of 1 percent of the population of this nation controls almost 50 percent of the wealth.” Einstein criticized capitalism and praised socialism in his essay “Why Socialism?”. Francis Bellamy who wrote our country’s Pledge of Allegiance was a Christian socialist. As a minister he preached that the teachings of Jesus were socialist. He advocated a more equal distribution of wealth.
As a financial adviser for upper middle class Americans – mostly self-employed business owners – I see the disastrous effects of our current political system every day. I’ve concluded that the current path of unbridled capitalism will certainly lead to our economic and environmental collapse. I’m writing this essay with the hope that at least one person will overcome their Socialist phobia and begin to take a fresh hard look at the big issues that face us ahead.