What is “democratic socialism” in contemporary America? In November 2015, with the Iowa caucuses on the horizon, Bernie Sanders finally tackled the question head-on in a much-publicized speech at Georgetown University. Democratic socialism, he told his audience, is what Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal did. FDR’s unfinished vision of a second bill of rights, an “economic bill of rights,” “is my vision today,” Sanders remarked.
Now, two and a half years later, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has vaulted onto the national political scene on a platform that sounds unmistakably familiar to students of American liberalism: Medicare for all, a job guarantee, housing programs, a new Glass-Steagall Act, and a green . . . New Deal. Democratic socialism, apparently, is less Eugene V. Debs than it is a more successful Harry Truman.
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Socialism and the Liberal Imagination
As the silent film rolls, the president sits by his wife at an outdoor gathering. A beer mug rests on his table, and dozens of people lounge on the grass while he holds court.
His shirt sleeves are rolled up. He is wearing his pince-nez glasses and reading aloud from a book. At one passage he chuckles, reaches for his cigarette in its long-stem holder and flashes his famous smile.
His thin legs, damaged by polio, are barely visible under the table.
It’s President Franklin D. Roosevelt on Labor Day 1934.
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Henry Morgenthau III, a TV producer and documentarian who helped shape public television in its early days and provided a forum for the nation’s civil rights conversation in the 1960s, died July 11 at a retirement community in Washington. He was 101.
The cause was complications from aortic stenosis, his daughter Sarah Morgenthau said.
A scion of a prominent German-Jewish family, Mr. Morgenthau was a son of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s treasury secretary, a grandson of the U.S. ambassador to the Ottoman Empire under President Woodrow Wilson, the older brother of former Manhattan district attorney Robert M. Morgenthau, and a cousin of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Barbara W. Tuchman.
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