Antonia Farzan of the Phoenix New TImes is out with a new article in response to the op-ed from Representative Maria Syms in the Arizona Republic. Rep. Syms said the #RedforEd movement could be the start of a leftist revolution in Arizona. It's seems Farazan thinks this is a great idea.
The idea of education as a public good that should be available for free and paid for out of everyone's tax dollars may not have been invented by socialists, but it's certainly a socialist model.
And one of the core principles of democratic socialism, popularized by Bernie Sanders, is standing up for workers' rights.
"I don't believe it's led by socialists, and I don't believe it’s a movement largely made up of socialists," said Camaron Stevenson, a member of the Phoenix chapter of Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). "But the ideals of #RedForEd are socialist principles."
She believes that when if comes to socialism Arizonans really only have an issue with the vocabulary.
It's the word "socialist" that makes people uncomfortable, particularly if they're baby boomers who grew up during the Cold War. Jake Bell, who cofounded Phoenix's DSA chapter, runs into that opinion often when he's out campaigning. He's currently running for the Arizona Corporation Commission on a platform that involves expanding rural broadband and lowering utility rates for the poor and middle class,
"People will say, 'I really like all these things, but you should really change that name,'" he said.
And she is definitely rooting for it .
Still, Democratic socialists say that they're hopeful that #RedForEd will lead to a revitalized labor movement in Arizona.
"Maybe through this action, practicing solidarity, and getting to know how it works, people will start to be a little less scared of the word socialism," Stuben said. "No one’s trying to take things over with a dictatorship ... I think that being afraid of something you don’t understand makes you lash out and demonize. But there’s nothing scary about taking care of everyone."
And if the leftist revolution that we've been warned about results in an energized labor movement and better funding for education, health care, roads, and other public institutions, that actually would be pretty great.
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