Even the most far left pundits on MSNBC would not be able to plausibly criticize a conservative writer who describes Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont as a socialist. Why not? Because Sanders describes himself as a socialist and has run in the past with that label in Vermont even though he sits with the Democratic caucus in the Senate.
In 1930, Upton Sinclair lost a race for Congress in California when he ran on the socialist party ticket. But only four years later in 1934, Sinclair was the Democratic nominee for governor of California and ran on the same socialist platform but dressed up in the Democratic label.
Yet Democrats often claim to be offended when conservatives correctly and accurately describe their platform as socialist. The reason? Democrats understand that the word "socialist" still has a negative connotation, with many voters even including many families who have a history of voting for Democratic candidates.
At a hearing of the Joint Economic Committee on May 7, the socialist senator from Vermont asked the new Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen this softball question: "Are we still a capitalist democracy or have we gone over into an oligarchic form of society in which incredible economic and political power now rests with the billionaire class?"
Why would Sanders ask a question that way? To set up a straw man argument for the evils that socialists see in what they call "income inequality." They use that term with a completely straight face because they think "inequality" is the worst social evil in America. But they never dare to define what exactly they mean by complete equality and how it could be measured even if it were the goal of all social policy.
Do you think that Sanders or Yellen or President Obama would be willing to give away all of their wealth to someone who is poor in order to achieve equality? I doubt that also. They don't really want a level playing field for themselves and their friends. They only want government to steal your money so they can give your money to others in order to feel good about themselves and their ideals.
So the "noble" goals of the socialists really boil down to arbitrary thievery on the part of their class to impoverish you and your friends to benefit their pals. This is why the center of gravity in the Democratic Party is light years to the left of where it was when President Jimmy Carter was in office.