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Conservative Pundits Continue Their Spectacular Self-Owns About Socialism

Socialism has long been a buzzword in the United States, but for a lot of that time, that’s because our citizens were taught that it was inherently bad in any form, along with communism. That messaging has increased on the political right in recent years, with Republican politicians advocating for ever more extreme cuts to what the government actually does for its citizens, but our younger population has still only become more open to the idea.

Not only did Democratic Socialists of America member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez absolutely terrify the right with her primary election victory ahead of her run to become one of New York’s members of the U.S. House of Representatives, but polling has found that over half of Americans age 18–29 have a favorable view of socialism. Despite many of the world’s developed nations having some form of socialism in place, that shift in opinion has resulted in the right doubling down on its anti-socialist messaging, often not stopping to consider whether their pushback is based in facts or not.

They love to bring up problems in Venezuela in order to paint socialism itself in a bad light, ignoring that whether or not socialism exists is only one factor in the state of a nation—much like they bring up Chicago to talk about the effectiveness of gun laws without considering whether that data is an outlier or what other factors may affect it. This has led to a number of ridiculous instances like the video above, in which Danish politician Dan Jørgensen brings actual facts to an otherwise knee-jerk propaganda fight with Fox Business anchor Trish Regan.

[Update: Regan later clarified that she never meant to imply that conditions in Venezuela and Denmark are exactly the same, which is far from the main issue with her comments, and she can’t deny trying to draw some parallel between the two as a scare tactic about socialism, which she still concluded “is not the way.”]

Watching him lay out how the “welfare state” in Denmark actually works and facts about how Denmark stacks up against the U.S.’s current performance—in terms of employment rate, education, and more—I can’t help but remember watching a Fox News guest describe how “uncomfortable” she was attending an event for Ocasio-Cortez and hearing about “education for your kids, health care for your kids, the things that you want,” while fretting over how our government is going to pay for it, even though they always seem to find money for war and tax cuts for the rich.

Or this clip from The View, in which Meghan McCain mentions Venezuela, demands that someone mention a single country where socialism has ever worked, and then tries to continue on loud enough that no one can hear Joy Behar rattle off a list of countries where, even if they’re not entirely socialist, they have programs that lean far more in that direction than the United States, and no one there has found reason to be “petrified,” as McCain says she is by the idea:

Then, though technically referring to communism, there’s this clip of Ainsley Earhardt in a rush to proudly discuss that time we defeated (non-existent) “Communist Japan” as a reason that we know America is great:

But at the end of it all, what I really can’t wrap my mind around is the moment in that very first clip, wherein Regan complains that all graduates in Denmark want to do is open cupcake cafes. Jørgensen of course points out that that’s nonsense, but he doesn’t even need to, because if it is true, her disdain for it proves her initial argument wrong.

She starts out arguing that Denmark’s social safety net limits citizens’ ability to achieve what they want, and then wraps up by complaining that they’re able to follow their dreams (cupcake cafes, apparently) instead of whatever Regan would rather see them pushed into doing by financial demands. It might just be me, but I find the intellectual dishonesty of trying to deploy both of those arguments at once particularly revealing.

(image: screengrab)

The original version of this article erroneously called Regan a Fox News anchor, rather than Fox Business.

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Dan is a video game modding hobbyist and secret ninja who lives in North Carolina with his wife, Lisa Brown, and his dog, Liz Lemon, both of whom are the best.