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Mon Nov 13, 2017, 07:40 PM

Democratic socialism is having a very good year at the ballot box [View all]

When Lee Carter realized that he had defeated an entrenched Republican incumbent and been elected to the Virginia House of Delegates on November 7, the 30-year-old Marine veteran claimed his upset victory.

The Virginian was one of many candidates who were inspired by the 2016 presidential campaign of another democratic socialist, Bernie Sanders. The senator recognized the Virginia result by declaring that "Lee Carter’s victory shows beyond doubt that the American people are ready for change."

Lee Carter’s unapologetically socialist and passionately populist candidacy unsettled establishment Democrats in Virginia, to such an extent that Richmond Times-Dispatch political writer Patrick Wilson reported in late October that the challenger had been “abandoned” by the party brass.

That had a lot to do with corporate power, and its influence on both major parties.

But his victory was critical for Virginia Democrats, who picked up enough seats - at least 15 - to be on the verge of taking charge of the House of Delegates for the first time in almost two decades.

Carter recognized something that elite Democrats did not: Voters are far readier for a politics that pushes to the left on economic and social policy. And they are not particularly bothered by the word “socialist.”

His Republican opponent sent voters a pre-election mailer that juxtaposed the Marine veteran’s image with those of Soviet leaders and China’s Mao Zedong. The word “Socialism” was splashed across the front of the red leaflet.

The attack fell flat. Carter won with ease, securing almost 55% of the vote - and he was not alone. After the November 7 election, Democratic Socialists of America announced that its membership “now includes 15 new elected officials. This is in addition to 20 elected already in offices around the United States.”

At: https://www.thenation.com/article/democratic-socialism-is-having-a-very-good-year-at-the-ballot-box/

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sandensea Nov 2017 OP
lapucelle Nov 2017 #1
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NCTraveler Nov 2017 #3
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lapucelle Nov 2017 #95
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greeny2323 Nov 2017 #5
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