My politically middle of the road buddy Chaz (centrist does not seem to really fit) has a piece on education falling apart in Venezuela, the socialist country conservatives love to point to when they want to scare Americans about Bernie Sanders being elected President of the United States. Why is Chaz doing a "Venezuela education is collapsing" piece? It's not normally his domain. It could be because socialism is doing better in the polls here than in the past. It was great to see Norm Scott (Ed Notes) leave a comment on the Chaz Venezuela piece.
I then went over to EdNotes where my left leaning friend Norm Scott has a piece citing a conservative New York Times columnist, Ross Douthat, making a case for Bernie.
From Ross Douthat via Norm:
The state of the Democratic field reflects the weaknesses of the individual candidates, but it also reflects the heterogenous nature of the Democratic coalition, whose electorate has many more demographic divisions than the mostly white and middle-class and aging G.O.P., and therefore occasionally resembles the 19th-century Hapsburg empire in the challenge it poses to aspiring leaders.
I like the Hapsburg analogy. That can be a bit of a warning about our future also as that Austrian Empire didn't end too well but that is a story for another day.
Back to Douthat:
If you are a wavering Democrat concerned about both party unity and ultimate electability, about exciting all the diverse factions of your base while also competing for the disaffected, both the relative breadth of Bernie’s primary coalition and his decent polling among non-voters and Obama-Trump voters are reasons to give him another look.
He’s still a social liberal, of course, and he isn’t in the culturally conservative/economic populist quadrant where so many unrepresented voters reside. But for the kind of American who is mostly with the Democrats on economics but wary of progressivism’s zest for culture war, Sanders’s socialism might be strangely reassuring — as a signal of what he actually cares about, and what battles he might eschew for the sake of his anti-plutocratic goals. (At the very least he’s no more radical on an issue like abortion than a studied moderate like Mayor Pete.)
This is why, despite technically preferring a moderate like Biden or Amy Klobuchar, I keep coming back to the conservative’s case for Bernie — which rests on the perhaps-wrong but still attractive supposition that he’s the liberal most likely to spend all his time trying to tax the rich and leave cultural conservatives alone.
I would like to say to my conservative, middle of the road and apolitical friends and family that what Bernie is offering is really a return to the working and middle class friendly Franklin D Roosevelt tradition of the Democratic Party.
As for the we are going to become Venezuela crowd, how about comparing us to democratic socialist Norway as an alternative?