House Resolution Denouncing Socialism Distracts from GOP’s Real Authoritarian Agenda

Tim Libretti, PhD
5 min readFeb 17

Recently House Republicans introduced a resolution that “denounces socialism in all its forms, and opposes the implementation of socialist policies in the United States of America.” The bill passed on a bipartisan basis by a vote of 328–86–14. 109 Democrats voted in favor of the resolution.

The resolution identified socialism as some kind of clear and present danger to American democracy, asserting that “socialist ideology necessitates a concentration of power that has time and time again collapsed into Communist regimes, totalitarian rule, and brutal dictatorships.”

The resolution has the feel of a carnival barker or con man who distracts your attention while picking your pocket — or worse. Pay no attention to the dead man on the wall.

It needs to be noted that when Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.) sought to clarify the resolution with an amendment including language that programs like Medicare and Social Security are not to be considered socialist, his amendment was denied by the Republican majority.

Indeed, regardless of Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s insistence that cuts to Social Security and Medicare are not on the table when it comes to discussions regarding the debt ceiling, these programs are certainly on the chopping block for House Republicans.

What’s more, we have to ask ourselves, in light of recent history and our contemporary political reality, if “socialism” somehow really represents a threat to American democracy. Indeed, if Social Security and Medicare represent socialism, then it seems given the popularity of these programs with the majority of Americans, these “socialist” programs represent the democratic will of the people.

While Republicans want to make you afraid of the “S-word,” elevate it to the status of some kind of bogeyman, it would seem the “F-word” poses the not just real but absolutely imminent threat to American democracy and the realization of the people’s will, in both political and economic terms.

Donald Trump’s ascent to the presidency in 2016 spurred America’s descent, for sure, into what has amounted into far more than a flirtation with authoritarian politics. The “F-word” came to abound in the American…

Tim Libretti, PhD

Professor of Literature, Political Economy enthusiast, Dad, always thinking about the optimal world