Democratic Socialism and Thin Mints

I have been seeing a lot of people posting memes and ideas about socialism over the past few weeks, and the one thing I can clearly say without any doubt is that there seems to be a fundamental lack of understanding of what Socialism looks like in a Democratic country. So let me point out a few things:

Socialism is not:
– Taking half from the haves and giving it to the have-nots
– Government control of all business and trade
– “A pie in the sky” impossible pipe-dream
– Rewarding the lazy
– Punishing the hard working

All of those things are communism. Which, believe it or not, is very different from Democratic Socialism. Let’s take a look at an analogy here. As I am currently digging into a glorious box of thin mints, let’s use Girl Scouts for an example.

Let’s say that there are 100 boxes of cookies, and 4 girls to sell them. Imagine that for each box sold, that girl scout gets points towards a prize.

Amanda sells 50; Bethany sells 9; Christina sells 7; and Debbie sells 34.

Capitalism would say that each girl gets a point for each box they sold. A perfect 1 for 1 exchange.

Communism would say that 100 boxes were sold, so each girl gets 25 points. They all share the rewards, regardless of how well they sold their cookies.

Socialism would only let Amanda and Debbie sell 25 cookies in the first place, preventing them from depleting the resource before Bethany and Christina had a chance to sell their share.

In our society right now, the upper class (the majority of whom are there because of priviledge, access, and lineage) are in a position to retain more wealth. Their money actually makes more money. Whereas, the lower class in America, is forced to fight for the same small percentage of low paying jobs, government assitance, and access to things that are automatically provided for the rich (e.g. higher education, healthcare, housing, connections for high paying jobs, etc.).

I am a Democratic Socialist. I do not want to take your money. I do not want to take anything that you earn. But I demand an opportunity to earn it for myself. I demand access to higher education that prepares me for the work force without having to spend a lifetime in debt to pay off. I demand a program that prevents an emergency appendectomy from causing a decade of financial ruin. And I demand equal treatment for myself and every other human.

(This story was originally posted on March 10th, 2016, on Facebook)

‪#‎handsoffmycookies‬ ‪#‎feelthebern‬ ‪#‎maybeIshouldhavesharedmycookies‬

Superdelegates

There. Do I have your attention?

If you have posted, or just simply read one of the hundreds of posts out there right claiming that superdelegates just stole New Hampshire for Hillary, or that they turned a tie in Iowa into a landslide for her, please read this post.

That. Is. Not. How. Superdelegates. Work.

For those who don’t know, a superdelegate is a term given to UNPLEDGED delegates. These are elected representatives (past and present), DNC workers, or other important party figureheads. They make up about 20% of the overall delegate pool when voting for a candidate at the convention. But there are a few more things about why they are important (in theory) and why they don’t really matter (yet).

First, The big thing I have been hearing is that NH superdelegates just gave Hillary the edge to win New Hampshire. No. Hillary did not win New Hampshire, but furthermore, other than momentum and image, at this point there is no benefit to actually winning a state in the primary. Delegates are awarded via proportional votes (this changes by state and depends on when they happen, and differ between parties). But right now, the “winner” is a media soundbite. What you should really be taking away from yesterday is that Bernie took 60% of the popular vote in NH, and that he DID take more delegates from NH (15-9).

Now, onto why superdelegates are important. Imagine in a backwards world, where Trump ran for president as a Democrat (but stayed as he is on the issues). In theory, he could pull in Independent and Republican voters to the DEMOCRATIC primary, and cause a lot of damage. However, superdelegates could help sway the party back to where it belongs. This is self-preservation of the party. We as a country have voted in thousands of democratic candidates to positions ranging from our current president to city council office. The party is bigger than one person, and the superdelegates are there to ensure that one person doesn’t throw the whole thing on its side.

However, this means that the system inherently is also built to keep out people like Sanders. Someone who wants to change (albeit not as drastic as my Trump hypothetical) the direction of the Democratic party. This is why many like me support him. Not because I think he is the best Definition Democrat, but because I believe he is the best CANDIDATE, and the Democratic party is his way towards getting elected.

So the issue ISN’T with superdelegates. In fact, they are doing EXACTLY what they are supposed to be doing. Preserving the Democratic party from an outside takeover. This is good for the system. The issue isn’t with superdelegates, the issue comes with the two-party system itself!

Bernie is trying to fight against that system. That is why I support him, but dear fellow Bernie supports. STOP with the misunderstanding of what is happening. We are trying to overhaul a corrupt process from the inside. We can’t attempt to break into a fortress and then cry foul because they thought ahead to place a few guard dogs on the lawn. WE KNEW THEY WERE THERE.

Finally, just because someone needs to say it, superdelegates DO NOT MATTER in this election. They just don’t. Superdelegates are nothing more than endorsements at this point, and they can (and have many times) change before the convention. They have no worth until July. If Bernie starts winning states and taking more “regular” delegates, the superdelegates will follow. Everyone wants to endorse a winner. If it remains close all the way to July, Bernie will have already lost, and not because of superdelegates. This is, and always has been, a win big or go home race for Bernie. Don’t let his growing support tell you that he is going to just barely squeak out a win. He isn’t. He is either going to breakout or fizzle. I am all about the former being true, but don’t delude yourself into thinking it is going to be easy. And STOP with feeding the news cycle about how supderdelegates gave Hillary the win. THEY DID NOT. They have done nothing for her except diminish Bernie’s landslide victory, and will do nothing for her until July 25th.

(This story was originally posted on February 10th, 2016, on Facebook)

Origin Story

When it comes to politics, policies, and social awareness, I have always been quite vocal about my views. In previous election cycles, most notably 2004 and 2008, most conversations and observations were conducted via phone calls or face to face since Facebook wasn’t really a thing that I had access to, nor had it grown to be the mecca of communication and idea sharing that it is today. However, in today’s environment, especially with the current social, economic, and ideological debates going on, I have found myself posting more and more, in an almost desperate plea to anyone reading, with the hope that people will stop standing behind memes, outdated beliefs, or vague talking points, without first considering the bigger picture, or in many cases, the facts (or lack thereof) seen across the internet.

Whether it be a confusion of what Superdelegates really do, what ideas make up Democratic Socialism, the remaining delegate math, or how in the world someone like Drumpf can rise to the level he has, and even more shockingly, why anyone would support him, I find myself trying to filter my posts so that only the most relevant topics are discussed, and, in turn, I have been left wanting a place to organize my thoughts. Where I can flesh out some ideas and, hopefully, create a medium for civil, and most of all, logical, debate.

I have no desire to claim that my opinion is better than anyone else’s simply because it is my belief. I plan on using deductive reasoning, data (when available), and a dash of entertainment to explain how my opinions are formed. With that said, I highly encourage any of my readers to challenge my views, as I will surely challenge many of yours, but I do ask that you come at it with a level of reason and thoughtfulness that invigorates discussion yet refrains from uncivil discourse.

I admit here, for all to see, that I am human, and I will most certainly be wrong from time to time, and you will disagree with me on many other occasions. I only ask that you open your mind to understand where myself and others are coming from before you put up your own wall of dissonance.

To start this blog off, I will be reaching back to a few old posts. Posts from FB over the past few weeks, that had this blog been created, would have been posted here first. I look forward to growing in my knowledge of the world around me and hearing from many of you in the process. Happy reading.

-Samson