With the election of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, many on the right have been having heart attacks and ripping their hair out over the perceived rise of socialism in the United States. As conservatives dust off their fallout shelters and start hoarding bread in preparation for the inevitable food riots, educated people like me just sit back in their chairs and laugh because we know what they don't: if the right really wants to fight against socialism in America, they're too late.
America is already a pretty socialist country, and it has been for decades.
Now, if you understood what socialism really means, you would know this. Many think of socialism as no private property whatsoever, complete equality and the government controlling everything. That's communism - socialism is government control of only certain industries such as healthcare, education, or energy.
In a socialist country, people privately own most things, but the government owns some other things. While communism promotes complete equality, socialism works to curb inequality with higher taxes on the wealthy, for example. This is very similar to the America that we all know and love, and I can give you examples, too. Oh yeah, I came prepared.
I can point to lots of different things that America does that are inherently socialist. One of the biggest examples of this is actually a very popular government program: Social Security. In theory, social security should be despised by conservatives - it is literally the redistribution of wealth by the government. However, the majority of poor people in the United States are white and conservative, so this helps them. This is the same case with government-funded healthcare like Medicare and Medicaid. This leads to a hilarious dichotomy in which conservatives hate big government, but love it when it gives them money. This is illustrated perfectly by a conservative at a town hall debate who famously and hilariously said: "Get the government out of my Medicare."
This is the biggest, but far from the only example of socialism in America. Socialism is the reason that you don't have to bring your own highway with you every time you go to work. Why? Because the government built them using taxpayer money. Socialism is the reason that you don't get fired from your job because you got sick or injured, or if you had a child. Why? Because the government protects the rights of workers. Socialism is the reason that food manufacturers are only allowed three milligrams of animal poop per pound of food (which should probably be reduced, by the way). Why? Because the government decided that protecting public health was a good idea. Even the military is a giant socialist machine. We buy weapons that the Pentagon doesn't even want; it's a giant public works program!
Ranting aside, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is not a radical. In fact, she's far from a radical - all she's doing is following in the footsteps of FDR and LBJ and other social democrats in our history (all of whom happen to have catchy initials). The fact that conservatives hate her so much, apart from the fact that women in politics are attacked more frequently (a topic I hope to expand upon in a future article), is the fact that they assume socialism is something that happens somewhere else, but it's not. Socialism is here, and it works.