Those who claim the mantle seem to be ideologically confused.
Seattle city councilwoman Kshama Sawant wants you to believe she’s a socialist. Even though councilmembers are nonpartisan, she declared her affiliation with the Trotskyite Socialist Alternative party during her first campaign back in 2015. In her inauguration speech, she reminded Seattleites that she “wear[s] the badge of socialist with pride.”
Sawant’s fellow Socialist Alternative members, in turn, want you to believe that a socialist revolution is coming. In the November general election, a second member of the party, Ginger Jentzen, won a city-council seat, this one in Minneapolis. “It wasn’t an aberration,” the party cried in its monthly newsletter, and perhaps they’re right. During his 2016 campaign, Bernie Sanders convinced many impressionable young progressives of socialism’s beauty and limitless possibility, dragging Democrats farther left in the process.