“Bernie Sanders’ revolution is happening,” declared Eve Peyser, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, following the victories of 15 of her fellow avowed socialists Nov. 7 – including a former Marine who vaulted into the Virginia House of Delegates.
Branko Marcetic, from his office in New Zealand, wrote in Jacobin, which calls itself a “leading voice of the American Left,” that Election Day “was a good day” because of socialist victories.
Now, 15 victories in all of the elections that were held across America Nov. 7 does not seem like much. But Heather Dockray opined in Mashable that the socialist successes have to be seen in historical context.
“The DSA saw a 75% increase in elected officials last night, as well as something of a spiritual rebrand. It’s a percentage that shouldn’t be ignored, especially when you consider the group’s unexpectedly diverse geographic appeal,” Dockray wrote.
Most of the 15 socialists who won captured local city council and school board seats.
Two DSA members knocked off incumbents to win seats as aldermen in Somerville, Mass. Socialist Seema Singh Perez won a spot on the city council of Knoxville, Tenn.
Voters chose other candidates who identified themselves as “democratic socialists” for local offices in Ohio, Montana, Connecticut, Minnesota, New York State, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
“The success of unapologetically socialist candidates and the prominent role of left-wing platforms in victorious campaigns suggest that a left message is, at worst, no recipe for electoral apocalypse — and, at best, a positive vote-winner,” Marcetic concluded.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) celebrated, too. He took particular note of the victory that Lee Carter, a 30-year-old former Marine, claimed over Jackson Miller, the Republican majority whip of the Virginia House of Delegates.
“Lee Carter’s victory…shows beyond doubt that the American people are ready for change,” Sanders posted on his Facebook page. “This is our path forward. Real change will come from the bottom up.”
Miller and the GOP did their best to defeat Lee. They even sent out a mailer tying Lee to the most notorious communist leaders in history.
Carter told the Richmond Times-Dispatch the mailer that had the word “socialism,” printed in white across a red background, and a picture of him smiling, in line with Mao, Lenin, Stalin, Marx and Engels, showed how worried the GOP was about losing to him.
“Desperate men will say anything, and it just shows that he’s desperate,” Carter said. “I am a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. I volunteered in the middle of two wars. And I’m trying to make sure that every Virginian has healthcare similar to what I had when I was on active duty.”
While he wasn’t writing specifically about what was to come on Election Day, Dave Nammo, the executive director and CEO of the Christian Legal Society, did warn in National Review that “Socialism’s Rising Popularity Threatens America’s Future.”
Nammo cited an American Culture & Faith Institute poll that showed 40 percent of Americans preferred socialism to capitalism.
ACFI researcher George Barna called the survey results “alarming.”
“That is a large minority – and it includes a majority of the liberals – who will be pushing for a completely different economic model to dominate our nation,” Barna said. “That is the stuff of civil wars. It ought to set off alarm bells among more traditionally-oriented leaders across the nation.”
A YouGov study commissioned by the Victims of Communism, released in October, showed 44 percent of millennials would prefer to live in a socialist country and another 7 percent like the idea of living under a communist regime.
Only 42 percent of the millennials who responded to the Victims of Communism survey said they would choose to live in a capitalistic country like the United States.
Nammo said it’s obvious where the blame should fall.
“Little did we know that the fires of socialism were being stoked in corners all across America where it is held in higher regard than in nations that have suffered under it. It is obvious where such thinking abounds and continues to spread: in our colleges and universities,” Nammo wrote.
“The ideologies of professors and educators have proven stronger than facts: The ‘benefits’ of socialism and communism are taught from the Ivy League to the local community college,” Nammo added. “A generation has been taught a lie, and they now believe it.”
But for all the conservative hand-wringing and the socialist celebrations, which included Lee Carter singing an old union song, “Solidarity Forever,” Dockray pointed out that 15 local election victories “does not a socialist revolution make.”
“Still, it’s a pattern worth watching. The workers of the world may not be uniting, but at least they’re starting to vote,” Dockray wrote. “In some parts of the country, at least — socialism is no longer a dirty word.”