It’s almost never a good sign when the word “socialism” is trending on Twitter — especially as we are on the brink of a new year and a new White House administration. This time, (to little surprise) it’s former governor Nikki Haley who unleashed a flurry of takes about socialism when she tweeted her (outraged) thoughts on Monday.
“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,” Haley wrote.
But just as quickly as Haley’s bad take came, so did backlash for the politician’s empty statement. “Please elaborate on how Medicare and Social Security ruined countless lives, Nikki,” responded Mike Drake, a combat veteran and former worker for Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Others responded saying that if socialism was actually mainstream, then everyone in the country would have actually been paid stimulus checks and unemployment more frequently this year. Some even retorted by asking her to elaborate on what would be so awful about everyone having exactly what they needed, to which it appears Haley has no response yet.
But of course, this isn’t the first time that Haley has come after socialists — and surely it won’t be the last. During her speech at the Republican National Convention earlier this year, Haley railed against socialism and how a Biden-Harris administration would bring chaos, in between lying about other things. “A Biden-Harris administration would be much, much worse. Last time, Joe’s boss was Obama… this time, it would be Pelosi, Sanders, and the Squad. Their vision for America is socialism. And we know that socialism has failed everywhere,” Haley said. In addition, she’s also attempted to remain relevant by feuding with democratic socialists like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — a league that is very, very much outside of her own.
What is perhaps most obvious here is that Haley’s critique of socialism as mainstream is flawed on many levels. On one hand, she’s clearly using socialism as a scapegoat to try to scare Americans. Specifically, she’s using socialism to increase fear-mongering among and embolden the same people on the right and Trump supporters who have been made to believe socialism is a bad thing — and that socialists are taking over the country and taking away their rights. This fear narrative that’s been created and pushed by Republicans about socialists and antifa (which quite literally just stands for anti-fascists) has produced terrorist groups like the Proud Boys, the Boogaloo Bois, and those like Kyle Rittenhouse. And Nikki Haley is simply too smart to not know what she’s doing when she ignites this sort of “Bat Signal” for people on the right who want to restore “law and order” to the country. It’s not ineptitude, and it’s not an accident.
Beyond that, Haley’s assertion that socialism is somehow “mainstream” is simply not the case. Although politicians like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Bernie Sanders, Rashida Tlaib and other major players have popularized democratic socialism and opened many people’s eyes, there’s still plenty of stigma around socialism as a philosophy and as a political system that could actually work.
Haley could perhaps stand to check the differences between socialism and communism, but obviously no one gifted her any Marx for the holidays. And unfortunately, it seems her trusty fact-checkers, whoever they may be, have checked out of the building.
Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?