Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

"I think that no person should be homeless if we can have public structures and public policies to allow for people to have homes and food and lead a dignified life in the United States," Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said during an appearance on "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert." (Photo: CBS/Screengrab)

As Interest in Democratic Socialism Surges, Ocasio-Cortez Explains to Colbert What a 'Moral' Economy Would Look Like

"I believe that in a modern, moral, and wealthy society, no person in America should be too poor to live."

Jake Johnson

Since Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's stunning primary win over Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday, interest in democratic socialism—the label Ocasio-Cortez unabashedly uses to describe her platform and political outlook—has surged exponentially, prompting corporate TV networks to feature segments on the term and driving a record-breaking membership boost for the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA).

"I believe that in a modern, moral, and wealthy society, no person in America should be too poor to live."
—Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

In an interview on "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert" Thursday night, Ocasio-Cortez—who is one of DSA's 42,000 members—was given a chance to explain the core principles of democratic socialism to an audience of millions.

"I believe that in a modern, moral, and wealthy society, no person in America should be too poor to live," Ocasio-Cortez told Colbert, who claimed that democratic socialism is "not an easy term for a lot of Americans."

"So what that means is healthcare as a human right," Ocasio-Cortez explained. "It means that every child, no matter where you are born, should have access to a college or trade school education if they so choose it. And, you know, I think that no person should be homeless if we can have public structures and public policies to allow for people to have homes and food and lead a dignified life in the United States."

Watch:

While democratic socialism may not be an "easy term" for Republicans and corporate Democrats, a large percentage of Americans appear to have no problem with the label.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)—who has self-identified as a democratic socialist for decades—is by far the most popular politician in the country, and polls have shown that Democratic voters prefer socialism over capitalism.

In an attempted takedown of Ocasio-Cortez's ambitious progressive agenda, Fox News host Sean Hannity inadvertantly demonstrated why many Americans view democratic socialism favorably, particularly during a time of staggering inequality, soaring healthcare costs, environmental degradation, and falling wages.

"Many are hailing Cortez as a rising star on the political landscape, but in reality, her views, her policy positions are actually downright scary... Look very carefully," Hannity ominously warned in a Wednesday night segment. "This is the future, this is the modern Democratic Party."

The camera then proceeded to show a list of widely popular proposals like Medicare for All as well as basic, humane principles like "Women's Rights" and "Support Seniors."

As Vice summarized, "Sean Hannity accidentally made a great argument for socialism."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

'People Power Has Won The Day': Manchin Dirty Deal Defeated

The win was the result of "hundreds of national and grassroots organizations, along with concerned Americans from coast to coast, working together for the health and safety of frontline communities and a livable future for the planet," said one campaigner.

Jessica Corbett ·


Emissions Unleashed by Manchin Deal Would 'Wipe Out' Any Climate Gains: Analysis

"This analysis shows that Manchin's dirty deal directly undercuts the potential carbon savings of the IRA by fast-tracking fossil fuel projects currently waiting on permits," said Fossil Free Media's Jamie Henn.

Jessica Corbett ·


Florida Told to Brace for Deadly Impact as Ian Expected to Become Category 4 Hurricane

The Tampa Bay area has long been a "sitting duck for catastrophic storm surge and has dodged several bullets," said one climate scientist. "Might not be so lucky this time."

Brett Wilkins ·


Progressives Applaud Biden for Lowering Medicare Part B Premiums

"Democrats want to expand Social Security and Medicare," said one advocate. "Republicans want to cut, privatize, and ultimately end both programs."

Kenny Stancil ·


Suit Against Student Debt Relief Slammed as 'Transparently Frivolous Publicity Stunt'

"Why would this group bring this baseless claim?" asked the White House. "Because opponents of the debt relief plan are trying anything they can to stop this program that will provide needed relief to working families."

Julia Conley ·

Common Dreams Logo