The recent flap over a TV ad calling John Fetterman a “self-described democratic socialist” — an ad made by the super PAC supporting Conner Lamb, Fetterman’s principal opponent for the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination in Pennsylvania‘s upcoming primary — speaks volumes about the current state of American politics and its dominance by extremists.

I don’t know whether John Fetterman has ever called himself a “socialist“ in public or in private. I know of at least one instance in which he took a pass on the label — which, in the context of trying to kill this pro-Lamb ad, lawyers for Fetterman called “defamatory” — so it’s reasonable to quibble with the words “self-described.”

But let’s be clear: Fetterman is a socialist. If he’s not a self-described one, it’s only because he wants to deceive Pennsylvania’s voters because he looks and dresses like someone who stereotypically might vote for Trump.

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Fetterman was one of the earliest, most vocal, and most reliable supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders’ presidential candidacy in 2016. Sanders, of course, is a proud “self-described Democratic socialist.“

I suppose one can pretend that pleading and politically bleeding for a socialist to become president of the United States doesn’t necessarily mean one is a socialist oneself — but should anyone believe it?

Beyond that, there’s a simple matter of English rhetoric — what words actually mean — which used to count for something in political discourse.

Fetterman loudly and proudly supports “Medicare for all,” perhaps the defining position of Sanders’ presidential platform.

Nationalizing American healthcare, which is nearly 20% of our GDP, would push the total share of government spending as a percentage of the American economy to well over 60% — nearly two-thirds. The government would control the allocation of nearly two-thirds of every dollar produced and spent in our country.

That is, by definition, a socialist economy. And it’s the one Fetterman and his fellow travelers want.

Maybe that view is the right one. After all, many European nations live under this sort of economic system. They produce less wealth per person, less innovation, and a lower material standard of living for average folks, but they do have more public goods and benefits.

I personally wouldn’t make these trade-offs, but I am more than open to an honest and fair debate about the topic with candidates for the high office of U.S. Senate.

However, Fetterman doesn’t want that debate. It’s unfortunate that sloppy wordsmithing by a political consultant has kept the citizens of Pennsylvania from seeing and hearing fundamentally correct information which they ought to know about Fetterman in order to make an informed decision in the primary election.

I suppose one can pretend that pleading and politically bleeding for a socialist to become president of the United States doesn’t necessarily mean one is a socialist oneself — but should anyone believe it?

Meanwhile, over on the Republican side, we have a circus in the senate primary. Every candidate pays tribute to Trump and to the lie that the 2020 election was stolen from him, with all of the authoritarian effects of that lie.

In all likelihood, Pennsylvania, the state that has sent crucially important moderates to the United States Senate — from Hugh Scott (who helped talk Richard Nixon into resigning) to Richard Schweiker (whom Ronald Reagan wanted as a vice presidential running mate to balance his ticket) to John Heinz and Arlen Specter (who both often put country over party on key votes) — will now face a choice between a proponent of a lie and a socialist.

Perhaps no other election playing out across the United States better captures the extent to which American politics, and the major media institutions which shape it, are now in the hands of extremists who are truly unrepresentative of the views of a vast swath, perhaps an absolute majority, of all Pennsylvanians and Americans.

Snyder, a former Chief of Staff to Senator Arlen Specter, was a “Never Trump” candidate in the PA GOP Senate Primary earlier this year.

8 thoughts on “Craig Snyder: John Fetterman — socialist for senate”

  1. The current leaders in the Republican primary for Senate I strongly suspect are – as my Texan friends would say – All hat and no cattle. I have no clear understanding of the two leaders (Oz & McCormick). In my opinion they both practically parachuted into Pennsylvania a short while ago in order to run for the seat Toomey was vacating. At least one of them will lose the nomination. I predict that the person(s) failing to win the nomination will move out of the state within the ensuing 18 months. Should either Oz or McCormick win the nomination and the Senate election, he will be seen in Pennsylvania for fund raising events and at re-election time. I am a registered Republican and will vote for neither of those two.

    1. Forget about OZ! He is just in it for himself. He saw how his TV showing was dwindling and wants a cushy politician job to take him beyond retirement!!
      Also dis this throwback from the monolithic days. He is a socialist and his compadre, Shapiro are out to destroy PA and then the whole of the United States.



  2. Only in America does advocating for Nationalized Healthcare make you a socialist. Why doesn’t the US having Social Security and Medicare already make the country socialist then?

    1. exactly. people in America truly have no idea what words mean apparently. even Democrats are so far right wing that any measure to help the poor is considered socialist. most hand even know what capitalism means muchless socialism or communism.
      nationalized healthcare is literally just using tax money to hire/pay privately owned healthcare companies, much like Romney/Obama care/ACA, instead of individuals having to pay cases or insurance on of pocket.
      I can’t believe the author of this article is a Democrat, although with how far right the party (and entire country) has gone, I’m not that surprised.
      capitalist k-12 education instilling to lie that capitalism is freedom, and communism is tyranny, may be the downfall of humanity.
      I suggest “Soul of man” by Oscar wilde. for starters. then look into what the words socialism and communism mean, my to people who coined and developed them, instead of the rich who: 1. have a conflict of interest, and 2. motive and means of sabotaging “communist/socialist” nations via economic/political embargo, infiltration, undermining, and coups. just so they can then point and say “look kids, all these socialist countries failed, therefore socialism bad” , hoping they never look deeper or at the powerful class of people with a vested interest in convincing the working class that capitalism, despite having basically all cons and zero pros, is the only economic system humanity is capable of. that way they never ever entertain the idea that socialism would be optimal.
      anyway I could go on but it’s late
      first time passing out this site. sorry for my terrible line spacing and paragraphs.
      -a leftist

  3. Bernie Sanders is not a democratic socialist. nor has he called himself one. he’s a social Democrat. that’s all, easy mistake to make i guess. but
    socialism is already democratic by the way anyway so demsoc is totally made up redundant phrase, and dead giveaway for “doesn’t know what socialism is”
    its an important ​distinction, especially since your entire argument and assumption relies on it. but since neither of them are socialist, and since neither support worker owned means of production, they’re by definition​, not socialist, nor communist.
    words have meaning after all. socialism is the transition from capitalism to communism. and communism is worker owned means of production​, not state owned.
    state funded healthcare of private companies (Medicare for all) is not even socialism. since it’s just using taxes to pay privately owned companies.
    respectfully, stop calling neoliberal capitalists who don’t support socialism socialists, you’re only reinforcing GOP ignorance.
    -a leftist/communist

    1. You have communism totally backwards. In Communism the State runs EVERYTHING including production I.e. work.

      The main difference is that under communism, most property and economic resources are owned and controlled by the state (rather than individual citizens); under socialism, all citizens share equally in economic res resources as allocated by a democratically-elected government.

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