Opinions & Editorials

The Left’s biggest issue is branding

They say fascism would come to America wrapped in a flag and a bible, so I don’t see why socialism couldn’t be the same.

The branding for leftist ideas absolutely sucks. Mostly due to the fact that ideas like “socialism” and “welfare” have been demonized in this country. Socialism isn’t the Soviet style communism that it’s popularly equated to nor does welfare just mean unemployment and food stamps.

 Socialism is an economic school of thought and social theory that advocates for heavy regulation of industries along with a strong working class through unions and other organizations. Other examples of bad branding are in the buzzwords and phrases used such as “defund the police.” 

The phrase “defund the police” is extremely aggressive and pushes people away from the movement. The phrase makes it seem like leftists would just remove the police from existence and have the people fend for themselves. This is a far cry from the police reform leftists would advocate for. While we would divert most of the police funding toward things like education spending and investments in the communities directly, it wouldn’t mean that the police system would be abolished. The police system I’d advocate for would have higher requirements to join, such as a minimum of one year of police training and a focus on community engagement rather than militarization. However, the branding surrounding “defund the police” only serves to push people away from a cause they’d otherwise agree with.

This is why I propose leftists ditch terms that have bad branding like “socialism” and “communism” and instead create new ones so we can dupe people into voting for policies that would fall under these namesakes. Instead of calling it “socialized healthcare,” call it PatriotCare: providing healthcare to all the patriots in the country free of charge.

I have to give props to Andrew Yang for the branding of his campaign. He wanted to implement a universal basic income, which seems like it would be a socialist policy, but he didn’t get labeled a socialist. This is due to the fact that, instead of calling himself a socialist, he called himself a “human centered capitalist” and advocated for “human centered capitalism” which is just socialism that sounds more American. The only reasons his campaign didn’t take off was due to his relative obscurity and the fact that he didn’t capitalize on his endorsements. How do you get Donald Glover to endorse you and I don’t hear about it?

Therefore, I think the future of branding for the Democratic Party is to use the Yang strategy. That is to say branding oneself not as a socialist, but as a super-capitalist. Instead of trying to change the stigma around words such as “socialism” and “communal ownership of the means of production,” they should instead disguise it as the future of capitalism and so much private ownership that everyone privately owns part of their business. It’s much easier to explain to a steel mill worker, “Hey, under super-capitalism you would own a part of the steel mill you work for,” as opposed to having them unlearn American Cold War propaganda by getting them to read 30 books written by dead Russian dudes. 

This way, you could advocate that you’re so into the free markets that you’d seek the abolition of service-based industries from market forces such as transportation and healthcare. You could provide things like free public transportation and socialized healthcare due to the fact that their industries just don’t work in a free market. The supply and demand curves are inelastic, so they would actually obstruct the free market. We’re actually promoting capitalism in order to sneak in socialist policies. This way we could minimize the amount of people pushed away by buzzwords with garbage branding. Instead, I encourage leftists to advocate for the same policies we’ve been trying to pass, but instead make sound super patriotic and capitalistic. 

The future for the democratic party isn’t socialism its Super Capitalism 

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