Donald Trump’s former UN envoy Nikki Haley has come under fire for what is perceived as “recycling” well-worn scaremongering tactics, by declaring that ‘socialism’ is the future policy of America's Democrat Party.
The Republican politician went on Twitter to claim that the current year had witnessed socialism “go mainstream”, adding that the “dangerous ideology” had failed wherever it was implemented.
2020 was the year socialism went mainstream. The dangerous ideology, which has failed everywhere it has been tried & ruined countless lives, is on its way to becoming the default economic policy of the Democratic Party. This terrifying trend threatens the future of every American— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) December 28, 2020
On the eve of the Joe Biden administration taking over the White House, she emphasised that it was imperative to “fight for capitalism”, as Haley posted an article from Stand for America - a website and advocacy group she launched.
In a posting, entitled 2020 In Review: Socialism Rising, the Republican expounded on socialism, writing:
"With the Biden administration set to take power, now is the time to renew the fight for capitalism and opportunity for all — and against socialism and its suffering."
Haley’s take on socialism as espoused by the Democrat Party drew a plethora of responses.
Veteran tennis star Martina Navratilova criticised the statement from the point of view of someone who “knows socialism’, setting off a thread of approving comments.
Can you please give a concrete example? Because I kind of know socialism and I am not seeing anything resembling socialism from our Democratic Party…— Martina Navratilova (@Martina) December 29, 2020
Thank you Martina for delivering a devastating backhand to Nikki Haley.— Richard Neffson (@NeffsonRichard) December 29, 2020
Some, however, disagreed with that take and offered a “concrete example".
No problem: 1) 1/3 of our GDP is spent by federal, state and local governments, 2) education controlled by the state, 3) zero consumer choice in healthcare with ObamaCare a federal takeover, 4) Medicare and SS government run, 5) student loans run by government. I’ll keep thinking— GeorgiaProud (@GeorgiaProud4) December 29, 2020
Socialism is where everything is owned by the government/people. In your examples, there are private schools, the government doesn’t dictate your healthcare choice, you don’t have to have Medicare, you can have a 401K/IRA, & have a private student loan or no loan at all.— Vote! Baseball & Apple Pie (@BrettPo54473841) December 29, 2020
Some went online to slam Haley’s remarks as outdated, underscoring that “socialism” has long been interchangeable with “communism” in US politics.
Why don’t you come up with a new scare tactic? The right has been pushing this one since the 50s.— John Sipher (@john_sipher) December 28, 2020
Read #heathercoxrichardson. The right has been pushing this since the 1850s.— Bill Flarsheim (@billflarsheim) December 29, 2020
Many netizens suggested that Nikki Haley “get her facts straight”.
We elected a moderate and threw out a radical. Get your facts straight, Trikki.— Leslie - 22 to 46.🇺🇲 (@Leslieoo7) December 28, 2020
What's terrifying is the attempted rise of the Fascist Fourth Reich in the USA, which you embrace.
You are disappointing and scary AF, but I can sleep at night knowing you'll never be president.✌️
Biden is the quintessential centrist and they’re about to find out again they can’t label him or the party. Most Americans are in the center sad they’re going to see even more Biden understands them.— Lauren Macchia💛 (@Laurenm57) December 29, 2020
Please elaborate on how Medicare and Social Security ruined countless lives, Nikki.— Michael Drake (@mikedrake178) December 28, 2020
Guess it’s radical to want every American to have healthcare 🙄— Dante Hudson, Esq 🇸🇱🏳️🌈🧢 (@hudson_dante) December 29, 2020
Others offered their vision of a “pure capitalist system”.
In a pure capitalist system, there would be no public schools or public parks, no government programs such as Social Security and Medicare, and maybe not even any public highways or police.— Defynormal71 💙🇺🇲🏳️🌈 (@Defy_Gravity71) December 29, 2020
Some comments expounded on their perception of “democratic socialism”, as many regard universal healthcare as “emblematic of socialism”.
I guess you haven't been to the socialist countries of Sweden Norway and Denmark that have higher living standards longer life expectancy, lower poverty rate and higher happiness levels than the US? Honestly stop saying dumb crap https://t.co/zMOxoTU7Vl— Danny Blanchflower PhD DLitt (*2) DSc CBE (@D_Blanchflower) December 29, 2020
Democratic Socialism works super well in the Northern Europe. A MARKET ECONOMY built upon a foundation of taxpayer supported healthcare and education. Leveling the playing field, enabling all to thrive. Visit Denmark, see for yourself.— Tabitha Plover (@redtailredux) December 28, 2020
Some comments on Twitter seemed to suggest that Nikki Haley’s verbal tirade might be a sign she was gearing up to pitch herself as the GOP nominee for president in 2024.
The exchange on Twitter comes amid a debate regarding the future of the Democrat Party. During the 2020 presidential campaign, some Democrats were perceived as resisting policies typically associated with socialism.
Independent Senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders, had defended what he referred to as his take on "Democratic socialism", at the same time decrying the more “moderate” stance on healthcare espoused by the Democrats' then-presidential candidate and former vice-president Joe Biden, after Sanders urged a Medicare for All policy.
Meanwhile, according to a recent Heartland Institute/Rasmussen poll, when questioned whether the free-market economy or socialism was better, 75 per cent of likely voters chose capitalism, and 11 per cent backed socialism. Another 14 per cent said they were “not sure".